Category Archives: Green Living

Washing cloth diapers: a learning adventure

I have been meaning to post about washing cloth diapers for a while but never really know where to start. Everyone I know washes diapers a little differently, but there is the basic outline that everyone sticks to. The reason in the different ways we all wash diapers is that we all have different washing machines, water quality (soft/hard), and diapers.

Here is the basic “How to wash cloth diapers” that everyone starts with

1. Put the diapers in the wash and run a cold cycle with an extra rinse without detergent. Make sure your water settings are set to “large load”. The more water you use, the better. This just rinses the diapers and any extra big “deposits” left on them. If you have pockets be sure to un-stuff them before putting them into the wash. I unstuff them before putting them into the laundry bag so I don’t have to deal with smelly 4 day old urine/poop when I am doing laundry.

2. Change the cycle setting to Hot/Cold with the extra rinse and add detergent. What detergent you use will depend on what you like, what works with your diapers and what you can afford. More on detergent below.

3. Run another laundry cycle on cold with no detergent as an extra rinse for your diapers. Some people just run an extra cold rinse, some people run the whole cycle. This will depend on your washer and how well your diapers rinse. I have to do two wash/rinse cycles after the original wash because my washer sucks so badly. If I do not do the extra cycles then my diapers get build up and smelly. I believe this step is why so many people have build up/smell issues in their diapers, they just do not get all the detergent out at every wash. I know all the extra cycles are not as “green” as we want BUT it is better than having smelly build up diapers that give our babies rashes. E hardly ever gets diaper rash.

I have an old crappy washer that needs some love. It was making some very bad noises today doing a not so large load of clothes. I think it might be nearing its retirement age. Having an old crappy washer means I do need those extra rinses.

A friend of mine has an HE washer and this is her regimine for washing her diapers:

We do one rinse/spin cycle (no detergent),then I add a couple soaking wet towels to the load (otherwise the machine doesn’t use enough water) and do a heavy-duty cycle, hot water, extra rinse. That usually does the trick, but sometimes if it’s a bigger load I do another rinse/spin at the end. It took some experimenting to figure out what worked for our machine, but with this routine we haven’t had build up issues in forever, so I’m pretty happy about that! – Alison P.

About Detergent:

The kind of detergent you use will depend on the type of washer you have (HE washers need to have very low suds detergents), what type of water you have (hard/soft), and how your diapers handle detergent. We have very sensitive skin in this house, and hard water so I prefer to use the un-scented Hard Rock laundry detergent. It works great for us. I know people who hate that brand. You can always make your own detergent, or get one of the many cloth diaper safe detergents. There are great lists out there that tell you the best cloth diaper detergents so you don’t have to feel so lost in the woods.

A fair warning, if the detergent you are using has artificial colors/scents/fabric softeners they are not good for your diapers. You at best will have build up and diaper rash issues, and worst might ruin your diapers and have to throw them out because they wont absorb anything! Be fore warned.

Also, if you use those detergents on your regular clothes, and use the same washer to wash your diapers, even with the cloth diaper safe detergent, you still might have build up issues. I suggest stripping your washer before starting to cloth diaper, and sticking to natural laundry detergents for all of your laundry needs so you do not have to worry about build up issues and cross contamination.

As I said earlier, everyone washes their diapers a little bit differently. Do what works best for you, but remember, it never hurts to run that extra rinse cycle if your diapers are getting a little extra build up/smell.

How do you wash your diapers?

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How to topically relieve gout pain with Essential Oils

Just a quick post about my husband’s gout. He is currently having a gout attack in his knee. He gets gout often due to an old kidney problem he had when he was younger. If you have suffered gout you know it is extremely painful, especially when it attacks a new joint, which it is in his case.

We are doing our best to avoid unnecessary medications (like hydrocodone) and were looking for a good way to treat the gout pain while his body fights the gout.

So, to treat gout pain we used essential oils of Frankincense, Basil, Geranium, and Peppermint. 2 drops each on the effected area about every 4 hours. After applying we put a hot pack (rice pack) on his knee. He says it helps his pain a lot and is helping him avoid needing the heavy duty pain killers.

I did want to mention we use doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. They are intensely tested for purity in each batch of oils to be sure they are clean, pesticide free, chemical free, and additive free. Be sure any oils you are using are Pure Therapeutic Grade oils for Therapeutic Use! You will not see good results with oils that are not pure, and not approved for topical therapeutic use. There is a HUGE difference between the quality and effectiveness of Aromatherapy oils and Therapeutic oils. Please be safe when buying and using oils.

He is also taking an epsom salt bath with baking soda to help leech some of the uric acid out of his leg. Lets hope he is mobile by tomorrow!

UPDATE:

After 24 hours of the gout attack start up, with the use of essential oils and the baking soda/Epsom salt bath, the attack has stopped. His knee is still sore from the damage from the gout crystals but the attack, which usually lasts about three days, has let up! He is amazed that it worked and I am glad to have had my husband back to help clean the house today. YAY!

What is your natural remedy for a gout attack?

What is in my “medicine” cabinet

It is cold and flu season. If you have children, are around children, work outside the home, or have any contact with society whatsoever I am sure you are aware of this. I am in a wonderful group of natural living mamma’s who all have kiddos the same age as my little one. We are all different levels of “Green and Crunchy” and have discussions almost daily about the green stuff we are doing in our lives. I love that we all have special things in our life that we focus on, I am big on herbs and healing.

Almost every day someone’s little one is sick and I (or one of the other more herbally inclined mamma’s) have recommendations about herbs that might help the kiddo/husband/mamma feel better, and the moms who do not use herbs on a regular basis never have the herbs I suggest on hand! I decided to make a list of my “natural” medicine cabinet. It seems like a lot but using just these herbs and oils we have drastically reduced our use of Tylenol/Ibuprofen and we don’t even keep stomach medicine, cold and flu medicine, teething gel, sleeping pills, store-bought lotions, diaper creams, shampoo, conditioner, you get the idea.

These are specific to my family. As you get used to using more herbs in your every day life, and find a good herbalist, you will find the perfect combination to have on hand in your home.

Here is my list of things I try not to go without in my home. This includes Herbs, Essential oils, and the extra stuff you need to turn these into medicine. I know the list seems daunting BUT with these few herbs you can take control of your family’s health and be your own family physician.

I will go more into detail with one herb or oil every week for “Wellness Wednesday” so keep an eye out every Wednesday for an update on the benefits of each of these herbs and oils for your family in detail!

Herbs:

Chamomile, CalendulaCatnipDandelion rootElder Berry, FennelLavender, Licorice, Marshmallow root, NettleOat straw, Peppermint, Red Clover, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Hips, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Yarrow

Essential oils:

Basil, Breathe oil, Digestzen, Frankincense, GeraniumGinger, Lavender,  Lemon, Melaleuca,  OnGuard oil, Peppermint.

Things that help make medicine:

Honey, Vegetable Glycerin, Vodka, Bees Wax, Olive oil, Almond oil, Baking Soda (aluminum free), Epsom Salt, Sea Salt, Vinegar (white and apple cider vinegar), Tea pot, Tea strainer/ball/french press

What is on your families “Must Have” natural wellness list? I would love to hear what is in your natural medicine cabinet and why! 

This blog is featured on A Delightful Home‘s Your Green Resource, and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Geranium Essential Oil

I ordered some essential oils to help ease labor and delivery when the time comes and one of the recomended oils was Geranium. I have never worked with geranium before and was not sure of its effects on me so I figured I would give it a go.

I decided to make an anti dandruff hair oil tonight and used the geranium as one of the ingredients and I LOVE the smell! Floral, but not too strong, it is relaxing and calming but less strongly scented/potent smelling than lavender.

I think I will add this to my scented set of wool dryer balls once the current oil wears off. I would love to smell this all day.

From the doTERRA website:
Geranium Essential Oil
Pelargonium graveolens

Geranium offers outstanding benefits for soothing skin and is a common ingredient in many skin care products. Also useful for joint support and tempering minor aches and pains, geranium’s calming effects make it a popular choice for many essential oil users*. For aromatic or topical use.

Properties: Antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, insect repellent, refreshing, relaxing, sedative, tonic

There are numerous uses for geranium but I will just list a few here relating to pregnancy and labor, seeing as that is why I got it, although I want you to know it is good for so much more! If you have any questions ask me I have some very good books that might have the answers.

Geranium is safe for use int he second and third trimesters of pregnancy and is used to treat exhaustion, varicose veins, and edema. It is a known hormonal stimulant so listen to your body and how it reacts to this oil, especially when pregnant. (Essential Oils For Maternity published by Abundant Health, LLC)
It can be used in a massage oil for back pain/sciatica/leg cramps/perineal preparation (I am making an oil for sciatica soon); a foot rub for edema mixed with lemon, wild orange, or lavender; Hemorrhoids (you know the ones you get after pushing a melon out your lady bits); sore breasts, and stretch marks.

It is calming, reduces agitation, bleeding, dysmenorrhea, environmental stress, gall stones, insomnia, pelvic pain syndrome, physical stress, PMS, post labor, varicose veins, vertigo, and has numerous skin benefits. (Modern Essentials, A Contemporary Guide to the Theraputic Use of Essential Oils)

As you can see it is a great feminine ally, and one all woman should have on hand.

One of the things I love about doTERRA oils is their purity, being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils are tested bottle by bottle for purity, to be sure they are 100% pure essential oils without pesticides or chemical residue. It insures the plants used on the oils were harvested at the right time, and very high quality. This makes it the only brand I trust to use while pregnant, breast feeding, and on my child. For more information on doTERRAs quality control compared to other manufacturers you can read here.

How do you use Geranium Essential Oil? I would love some recipes/protocols on how you have used it and how it has benefited you.

Give away! Fuzzy Woolly Balls!

In Caitlin’s post about DIY Laundry Detergent  she mentioned that she uses Wool Dryer Balls as a fabric softener/static reducer with her laundry. We also use wool dryer balls, in fact we have two sets of four! One, unscented, for the diapers, and one that I have scented with lavender essential oil for our every day laundry.

I love wool dryer balls as a natural alternative for our laundry drying needs and LOVE Woolly Balls made by Mindy Hughes, who has been so generous as to send us a set of her very own Woolly Balls to give away!

Introducing the Amazing, Versatile, Hand-made Woolly Ball

Woolly Balls are made from wool yarn and roving, that have been felted in layers to maximize durability. They are super eco-friendly (not just regular eco-friendly), and come from a totally renewable resource (ba aa aa).

In Your dryer they absorb moisture from your washed clothes, cut drying time, and they bounce around with your clothes and beat them into softness. They DO NOT emit chemicals when heated, (like the plastic balls), last for years, and you can use them in every load of laundry. They allow you to stop buying that expensive fabric softener (which actually makes your towels and other cloth LESS absorbent), are naturally antibacterial, resist mildew, and help reduce static cling (separating the synthetic fibers from your cottons helps even more to avoid static).

Why wool? Wool is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. It can absorb up to ONE THIRD of its weight in water before feeling wet. It has natural anti-static properties. Gently bouncing dryer balls will soften your laundry without dryer sheets or chemical fabric softeners. Wool is mostly non-allergenic. For those with chemical sensitive skin, wool is a great choice. Wool is an easily renewable natural resource and is biodegradable. Woolly Balls should last several years, saving you money with each load!  We recommend three to five balls in your dryer, depending on the size of the load.

Woolly Balls are also wonderful natural alternatives to children’s plastic balls for indoor play, are easy to juggle (if you are into that) and perfect for fetch with your favorite pet!

www.mintheweaver.etsy.com

Bio

Mindy Hughes is an intentionally unemployed former corporate flunky who decided she was not happy completing other people’s to do lists.  She officially opened her home-based business, Anachronology, in 2011 and sells quality hand-dyed, hand-knit and hand sculpted items made primarily of wool at craft fairs, Renaissance Festivals and through her web-store at www.mintheweaver.etsy.com. She takes pride in the things she creates, and does nothing on a mass-produced level, preferring to create something unique of which she can be proud.  Along with playing with wool and yarn, Mindy is enjoying raising two gifted tweenagers and making a home for her family in Arizona.

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So how do you get this AMAZING matching set of Woolly Balls?

You will get an entry for each of these:

Leave a comment telling me how you would use these beautiful Woolly Balls. 
“Like” Anachronology by Mintheweaver on Facebook and let us know about it!
“Like” Natural Living Mamma on Facebook and tell us about it! 
Share this give away on Facebook and Twitter! 
 

We will be accepting entries until Sunday February 19th at 9pm, so enter to win! Tell your friends! Let us know how you would use these amazing fuzzy balls to their full advantage.

Saving money, living better, being green.

Ok so I have been thinking a lot about our budget lately, and looking at the “average” budgets most others have. I am trying to figure out where people get their numbers! Comparing our budget for a 3.5 person house to the national average is eye-opening.

Where we spend:

Food

We spend 18% of our income on food. We do this because it costs more money to eat organic whole foods. There is really no getting around that. By increasing the quality of what we eat we save in other areas of our life. My husband was missing a lot of work because of health problems before switching our diet. He is out of work 3-5 days less a month than he was before the switch saving us his PTO time and the salary cut he had to take when he ran out of PTO.

We spend less on doctors visits because of our diet changes as well.

Healthcare

Our insurance is subsidized through Mikes work, so we “only” pay about $400 a month for insurance. We do get the good insurance though (an extra $60 a month) so we can take advantage of the alternative care. I get masages almost every week for prenatal/post natal care and health maintenance. Mike and I take full advantage of the Chiropractor/Acupuncture benefits as well. I wish I could say we used a Natropath instead of a MD but there are no ND’s in our area who accept insurance and we don’t have the money to pay out-of-pocket and hope for reimbursement from the insurance company. I have found a holistic MD that I think I like though. We have a FSA so our co-pays are at least paid with tax-free money. It is helping a lot too with the hospital and midwife payments for the pregnancy. Too bad they are changing the way FSAs work starting next year due to the new health care legislation. Maybe we will get lucky and our insurance rates will drop?

Where we save:

Cleaning products

We have made our last big market cleaning product purchase. From here on out we make our own house hold cleaners, bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, laundry detergent AND dish washer soap! I am terrified of the dish washer soap, that is one we have not switched yet I just stocked up on my favorite out of fear, but when we run out I am making our own! Mark my words! Instead of spending an average of $30 a month on cleaning products we will be spending an average of $14 about every 3 months on vinegar, baking soda, borax, and Dr. Bonner’s soap.

By switching to home-made, natural cleaning products we not only reduce our cost of living but also reduce our families exposure to many carcinogenic, teteratogenic, and mutinogenic chemicals lurking in our home.

Personal care products

I make our personal care products. I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method on my face which has been FABULOUS and cleared my skin right up. More on that later. I make my own body lotion and oils, bath salts, diaper salve, eczema salve, deodorant, and have been “poo free” for 2 months now. Yes I still bathe daily but use baking soda and apple cider vinegar for my hair instead of shampoo and conditioner. My hair looks and feels great by the way! We buy hand-made goats milk bar soap from farmers markets and craft fairs for soap, which feels so decadent to me. I love it! I used to spend about $40 on personal care items, not including makeup, which cost me another $20-30 a month.

By simplifying our personal care products, and knowing exactly what is going onto my family’s body we can better control the toxins we expose our selves to. I am not sure the accuracy of this statement BUT the herbalist I worked with in Spokane mentioned that 40% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our body and blood stream.  The skin is the largest organ on the body after all. If you could reduce your risk simply enough wouldn’t you? More on the health benefits of cleaning up your personal care products here.

Housing expenses

We live in a smaller than necessary apartment and keep the heater between 62 and 65* on a day-to-day basis. We turn down the heat and turn off the lights when we leave the house. Our light bulbs are all CFL’s which save a lot of power usage and our water heater is at 120* unless I am tackling some stubborn diapers. We spend an average of 19% of our income on our housing expenses when the average family is at 34%. (Note that is not including the cost of our home in Spokane, which is a rental and netting $0 profit or loss at the moment).

Baby products

We cloth diaper almost all of the time. Ellie gets a rash at night, or wakes up wet in cloth so she sleeps in sposies almost every night. Other than that though we cloth diaper. If we were buying her disposables at the rate we change diapers and in the brand we use that does not cause her rashes, we would be spending an average of $90 a month, which would end up being about 1,080 a year. In Ellie’s first year of life we spent $320 on cloth diapers (that includes the very generous gift of my wonderful sister for Ellie’s baby shower), and I just bought some new-born diapers for when #2 comes for an additional $200. We are now over supplied with diapers and I will probably sell off some of my extras once we see how well we go through what we have. I spend $12 every 3-4 months on laundry detergent and the water/electric cost really is minimal with the washer and dryer, especially since we line dry during the summer. So we can call that a $59 a month savings on cloth diapering in the first year, and more for the second year into potty training, especially since half of year 2 will be spent diapering 2 kids! Good planning on our part.

And really what is cuter than a kiddo in a cloth diaper. Yeah she posed for this.

By cloth diapering we are reducing our child’s exposure to the toxic chemicals in children’s diapers. Ellie rarely gets diaper rash or yeast infections like a lot of babies I know who use disposables. I think once parents get over the learning curve of cloth diapering they will truly appreciate the health and financial benefits.

Breast Feeding

Ellie was exclusively breast fed for 6 months and is still breast fed to this day. She does not get cows milk when she is not nursing, she gets water. This saved us $1,733.75 in her first year of life alone (according to these calculations done with numbers from 2007). This is not including the cost of Organic Whole Milk we would have switched to afterward.

This cost is also not including the fact that miss Ellie has very rarely been sick enough to take to the doctor. Here is a good article about the benefits of BFing and some great links to scientific articles.

Clothes

We rarely buy new clothes for our selves, but when we do we buy quality. We never buy brand new clothes for our child unless they are on serious discount. It just seems like a waste of money for something she will grow out of quickly or destroy while playing. My MIL does buy her a new wardrobe at least twice a year because shopping for little girls is so fun. My savings tip: do not buy small children new clothes, they don’t need new clothes (unless it is a special occasion) nor do they care if they have new clothes. Let them be a little rough and tumble, creative and artsy, and have fun without worrying about staining or tearing. It will make your life much less stressful.

This is why we don’t need to destroy new clothes. 

How is this green? Re-use baby , re-use!

Transportation/vehicle expenses

We have 1 car. It is 10 years old and well maintained, most days. We own the car outright and have no monthly payments. Maintenance cost (including the big repairs spread out over the year) average about $80 a month. We spend about $80 a month on gas if I am driving a lot.  We live 5 miles away from Mike’s work and he bikes to work as weather permits, which is about 9 months out of the year. The rest of the time I give him a ride to and from work or he carpools. Bike maintenance is about $10 a month. Insurance cost is about $60 a month. That makes our transportation cost $230 a month, about 4.6% of our budget. The average American household spends 16% of their household income on transportation. It pays to drive an old car with decent mileage and only have 1 car if your situation allows.

By only driving one car we reduce our emissions by half, our gas usage by half, and our 10 year old car is just as fuel efficient as a car of the same size made this  year.

I could go on about how we save “being green” but I would love to know how you save? What are your tricks to benefiting your family and your environment by “being green”? I find the changes we have made help us support our expensive food habit and make our life much more enjoyable. I would love to hear your experiences.

Shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, and Our Simple Farm’s Simple Living Wednesday.

Feeling Dirty? Make your own laundry detergent!

Caitlin guest posted before about her awesome DIY Orange Cleaner last week. It was a huge hit! I am so glad so many people are interested in using it. She also makes her own laundry detergent AND dish washer detergent. She wrote this guest post for us, and I bet, if we are really nice to her, she might help us out with dish washer detergent making some time in the future.

I am just so inspired with her simple household cleaning solutions that are green, cheap, AND simple! Thank you Caitlin! Check out her blog at Caitlin-lane.blogspot.com.

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I’d like to thank Amanda for letting me guest post on her blog again! It’s always fun to hop over to other’s blogs to share a few tips and tricks.

We started cloth diapering my daughter when she was five-months-old. I had considered it before having her but my mom, who had used the old pin and rubber pants method with my older sister and brother, talked me out of it. You see, I was a Pampers baby back when cloth diapering was still (according to my mother) a huge pain in the butt. Kissing metal pins and rubber pants goodbye hadn’t been an issue for my parents.

But when we finally made that switch I was at the mercy of buying some sort of expensive laundry detergent. Yeah, yeah, I know. You don’t use that much when you wash cloth, but buying separate detergents for cloth and our clothes was beginning to add up. Plus, we were simply coating our clothes,
washer, and dryer in unneeded and unwanted chemicals. Ew. So the most logical explanation was to figure out what I could make on my own that would be best for my family. And now, no more pre-made laundry detergent laden down with chemicals and, with the aid of wool dryer balls, our clothes are
better than ever.

I need only 3 simple ingredients. Borax, washing soda, and a bar of ivory soap. I’ve heard great things about using Dr. Bronner’s soap instead and plan on giving that a go after I use up the pack of ivory soap that I have left.

Grate up your bar of soap. This is actually 2 bars as I make a double batch at a time. If you want to be a super productive person you could probably make a butt load all at once, but I kind of enjoy making it, so I keep my batches smaller.

Now, add in the borax and the washing soda.

And shake the crap out of it until it’s fully mixed. You’re done!

I keep my detergent in an old pasta container that I never really used and use and old teaspoon from an extra set of measuring spoons to dole it out. For my diapers I use 1 tablespoon of detergent and for most other loads anywhere from 2 – 3, depending on how soiled the load is.

If your first try with this detergent doesn’t work out do not, and I repeat, do not throw your hands up in the air and say “Well this sucks!”. Every washer is different. You might have hard water or your laundry might still be loaded down with a butt load of chemicals. I don’t know, I don’t do your laundry. But when making homemade detergent there’s often tweaking involved that requires you to play with the amount of the ingredients or the ingredients themselves. I can’t even begin to tell you how long it took to get my
dishwasher detergent correct. So don’t be disheartened if this doesn’t work perfectly for you. Play with the recipe a bit until you find the perfect process that works best for you.

DIY Laundry Detergent:

Ingredients:
1 bar ivory soap
½ cup Borax
½ cup Washing Soda

Directions:
-Grate soap and place in air tight container. Add borax and washing soda, shake well.
-Before use, give either a quick shake or stir.
-Use 1 tablespoon for cloth diapers, and 2 – 3 tablespoons for other loads.

Bio:

Caitlin is a wife, a mom, and a lover of words, living on an Air Force base in the middle of nowhere. Since having her daughter she’s turned to the green side and has enjoyed the changes that eating and living well has brought her family. She also blogs at All About Growing up and Becoming a Famous Author (Caitlin-lane.blogspot.com).

Shared on Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Ellie’s Eczema Salve-Improved

One of my very first blogs was about an eczema salve I made for my daughter. This was one of the very first salve recipes I made and it worked pretty well. After a lot more education and practice I have modified the recipe that is much more effective, feels great, and works super well! A little bit goes a long way.

Ingredients:

1/2 c Nettle/olive oil infusion
1/4 c Plantain/olive oil infusion
1/4 c Chamomile/olive oil infusion
1/4 c Callendula/olive oil infusion
1 oz Beeswax
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp almond oil
15 drops tea tree essential oil
 

Using the double boiler method on low heat combine oil infusions (see how to make an oil infusion here: http://wp.me/p1zBYP-2u ), coconut and olive oil with the beeswax.

When the beeswax is completely melted remove from heat, add essential oil and pour into container.

While still hot you can check the consistency by dipping a metal spoon in the salve, put it in the refrigerator to cool. Once cool check for consistency. Add more beeswax for a firmer salve, or more almond oil for a softer salve.

Use liberally wherever eczema is. This is safe enough to use on the whole body and is cloth diaper safe. I tend to slather it all over dry skin too. It works like a charm.

Why these ingredients? A reminder.

These ingredients are great for any skin problem, burns, cuts, insect stings, and redness too. It is amazing! Here is the rundown of the plant properties of the plants that went in:

Beeswax: Excellent emmolient and support for moisture. Protects skin from damaging environmental factors. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant.

Coconut oil: Works well for damaged or dry skin. Works wonders for burns, cuts, rashes, bruises, and speeds healing while it fights infection. Oh, and it smells really tasty too!

Almond oil: As a dry skin treatment, almond oil relieves itchiness, soreness, rashes, dryness, irritation and burns.

Nettle oil infusion: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-dandruff, anti-histamine, astringent, noted for the treatment of infant eczema

Plantain oil infusion: Used for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars. (Great if you have a bug bite or sting, takes the pain and sting right out!)

Calendula essential oil: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-anaphylactic,anti-rheumatic, anti-asthmatic, anti-convulsant, anti-dandruff, anti-histamine, astringent, decongestant, depurative, diuretic, haemostatic, immunomodulator, stimulating tonic

Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree oil is efficacious in various dilution in treating abrasions, minor cuts, acne, arthritis, asthma, athletes foot, minor burns, chapped lips, rash from chicken pox, dandruff, dry skin, eczema, herpes lesions, warts, hives, shingles, etc.

Chamomile:  anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic and sedative properties

 

Posted on Live Renewed – Your Green Resource

Cheap and easy drain cleaner

Just a quick post about how I cleared a drain last night.

Our garbage disposal has been backing up recently and in turn our dish washer has not been getting dishes very “clean”. I am loath to buy the nasty super basic, super toxic drain cleaner from the store. And honestly, $12 for a bottle of toxic goo is not first on my “to buy” list.

I always have been a fan of things that fizzle, sizzle and explode and have many fond memories playing with baking soda and vinegar. I honestly don’t know where I thought of it or heard of it first but I decided to try baking soda and vinegar for drain cleaner a while ago and loved it.

 

So I dumped about 2 cups of baking soda in the garbage disposal. It might have been closer to 3 cups. I buy the HUGE bag of baking soda from Costco for super cheap. Then I poured vinegar in the drain slowly. I also buy the huge bottle of white vinegar from Costco for super cheap. I let it fizz (fun) up to the top of the drain, then drain, then I added more, fizz, drain, etc

textures I saw float out of the drain were, lets call it interesting, the drain slowly cleaned out and started draining better. This did take time, about 5 whole minutes! Not as easy as pouring toxic goo and letting it sit 20 minutes, but I could use my sink after I was done without having to wait, and without the toxic fumes. Bonus.

So take your time, let it drain before you fizz again, and it works great!

How do you unclog a stubborn drain?

Orange you glad I didn’t say Windex? DIY Orange Cleaner.

I asked a good friend of mine, Caitlin, to write a guest post for me about the amazing Orange Vinegar cleanser she is using. I am so excited she is sharing it with us!

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Normally I look to Amanda for advice concerning all things green and crunchy as my family is in an ever evolving process to become as green as we can be. She has given me some of the best advice and encouragement, so I’m so very excited to be able to share a little something that I do on her blog.

When my daughter first started eating food I would freak out about cleaning her high chair. It could never, ever be cleaned right before she ate, only afterwards. And then after that it had to be wiped down with water to get off any chemicals that I could.

I was so stupid.

It never occurred to me that if I was so worried about harsh chemicals that I didn’t even have to use them. I progressed to using vinegar and baking soda mixed with water and a few drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle. It worked, but I noticed that it often left streaks or residue and I’d have to go back over it with water again anyway.

Until I discovered, dun dun dun! This!

Orange peels (or lemon or lime. Whatever floats your boat) soaked in vinegar. Miracle in a jar, folks. Especially for those of you who go through a ridiculous amount of oranges like we do. This is one of the easiest things that you can do. After you finish an orange, pop the peel into an old container and cover with vinegar. Don’t fill the vinegar to the top, only a little less than halfway as you’ll need room to add more peels. You can always add more vinegar as you go. Once it’s soaked for about two weeks it’s good to go! But if you have several jars soaking like I do (I have some more hiding under the counter) you won’t have to wait after that initial two weeks.

Here’s the easiest part. Fill a squirt bottle halfway with your orange-vinegar mixture and then top it off with water. Keep it at a 1:1 ratio, but don’t worry about measuring. I promise it’s not life or death, it’ll be OK if it’s a little off.

Spray, wipe, and enjoy the awesome smell and cleaning ability of citrus!

Bio:

Caitlin is a wife, a mom, and a lover of words, living on an Air Force base in the middle of nowhere. Since having her daughter she’s turned to the green side and has enjoyed the changes that eating and living well has brought her family. She also blogs at All About Growing up and Becoming a Famous Author (Caitlin-lane.blogspot.com).

 

Shared on Frugal Days Sustainable Ways.