the greenies come out to play

Haha -- ok, well, in case you haven't figured it out, I strive to be a greener person and do not do so to be trendy .. I do so to help preserve the environment for generations to come. My little sister even called me a dirty hippie with out the dirt yesterday, gotta love your family, huh?!!?!
Don't get me wrong, Iwould not turn down a gorgeous new necklace or beautifully crafted scarf (hint, tell my hubby I want one of Celeste's scarves for Christmas) or other cute thing and appreciate a good imported chocolate (drool). I am not vegetarian, although we eat a limited amount of meat at our house. We use CFL bulbs and I even make my own all purpose cleaner and laundry detergent. I cannot stand the smell of vinegar, though, so I make cleaners from castile soap, essential oils and water.
About 6 months ago I read some research by a group called Women's Voices for the Earth on chemicals in cleaners. It really shocked me and got me thinking. And their research shows chemical cleaners can affect breathing and asthma. They may not be the direct cause, or they may be, but I cannot find anything that says such things do not in any way contribute or aggravate symptoms.
So, why not try it, I already do other things to help, why not improve my home's environment by using non-chemical products. Those chemical filled cleaners stink and make my stomach turn and also cause me to use so much more water than needed because I rinse like crazy!
I had already been reusing things for crafts and creating, I even started a compost pile and was digging up garden plots and visiting the farmer's market when it made sense (it doesn't make sense to drive 20 miles round trip to buy my green beans for the week), I buy the local and in season produce at the grocery store and buy organic when it's availiable, too.
The only thing I use vinegar for is cleaning the inside of the potty - it works great. Sprinkle in1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda all around the bowl, then pour in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white vinegar, close the lid and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Scrub with toliet brush and the vinegar will get foamy again. If there is a really bad spot, you can add some kosher salt and let that sit, or do a borax soak (without vinegar) for 1 hour to overnight.
You do have to scrub with the cleaners I use, it's not easy-cheesey or anything, but for the sake of fewer chemicals in your home and around children it really makes a difference. No worries about breathing too much cleaner, you can let them help you and not worry about chemical burns like have happened with those magic earaser cleaners (yikes).

I have been using the cleaners I make for about 4 months now and the only time we had to go to the Doc, other than normal check-ups, was for an ear-infection my daughter got from swimming lessons - major swimmer's ear. You can hardly contribute that to germs in the house. My house does not smell like pine sol or bleach clean, but I know it's clean. And spotless has never been my goal, either -- clean enough to be happy, but not too clean that you won't use anything and you would go into convulsions if muddy kids, pets or people walked into your house.
Tomorrow I will post the laundry detergent recipe, so come back -- it works well and only uses 1 tablespoon per normal soil load! So, it's a bargin to boot!

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