Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find this blog helpful. It started with small idea about saving a little money by a do-it-yourself way. As I've discovered in some of my travels, most do-it-yourself ideas are, in fact eco-friendly. These are my experiements and my thoughts on the matter.

I took the above picture at the beach near Bodega Bay. I love water. It's beautiful, and it has so many metaphors for our lives. While one drop does not make a huge difference to us, many drops can form an ocean, that has the power to wash the very footprints we leave right before our eyes.

Hopefully, together, we can become so many that we will be able to wash some of our carbon footprints away.


Chelle }}i{{

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!!

Sure, we've all heard about recycling before. It saves the planet, blah, blah, blah.

Well, thanks to this couple, there are some great ways to recycle and tuck some extra money in your wallet. Even bring the kids along with you to help!

Couple Pays For Wedding By Recycling 400,000 Cans

Peter Geyer and Andrea Parrish are getting married soon. They did not have a lot of extra money, but came up with the quirky idea to pay for their wedding by recycling cans. They were able to successful get $3,800. With some more luck and donations their way, it's shaping up to be a wonderful wedding!

What can we learn from this? It pays to recycle. Not only does it help with the environment, it helps with your wallet too! Get the kids involved! Find out where your nearest recycling centers are and how to get paid to recycle! Earth 911 provides not only a plethora of recycling information, but it also tells you where the nearest recycling areas are and for what (i.e. paint, oil, cans).

Next, set a goal with your little ones. What would you like to accomplish? Make individual goals with your kids, a family goal or a couples goal. Like a video game, an above ground pool, or a trip for two to Hawaii. If you want more than one goal at a time, great! Just make sure to split it all up evenly!

Then, make a goal poster. Maybe a thermometer type one. Color the money amount in every time you get a chance to hit the recycling center. Put the money in safe keeping. Either in a high interest savings account or under the floor boards...which ever you deem fitting. :-)

Call local offices and ask if they have a recycling program in their building, offer to provide the service free of charge by setting a few recycling posts in them.

This will get your children excited. They will go looking for cans and bottles to recycle. Like an Easter egg hunt. This will also teach them the importance of goals and accomplishing them and the great reward after the hard work. When going for a walk, take two bags with you and pick up as you go. This will teach children responsibilities of littering. One bag for trash, the other for recyclables.

With this goal-oriented idea, we can help save the planet one bottle/can at a time while having some fun earning some dough!

Peace and Love,

Chelle }}i{{

**I forgot to add in my favorite website for eco friendly household cleaners. Ecos. Here is my favorite product I use: Orange Plus. I bought the gallon concentrate for $20 2 years ago, I still have over hald the bottle left. This stuff is GREAT!!!**

Friday, June 4, 2010

$10 A Year All-Natural Laundry Soap

Hey guys!  Sorry for the hiatus!  It's been a crazy month or so!  But here is an AWESOME recipe!  I did have photos, but apparently they went into hiding.  :)

$10 dollars for a years worth of laundry soap?! Not only are you re-using your bottle and bucket for laundry, you are saving the earth by not buying all the bottles and boxes of laundry soap!

A popular liquid brand states for 32 loads, it costs $8.49. That 32 loads price is just $1.50 under a whole year's supply of the make at home stuff! Crazy!!!  (Info For Popular Brand)

This laundry soap is all natural, it takes maybe a half hour to make!  It's fun, easy and even the kids can enjoy helping!  My 4-year-old enjoyed it!

***While it is non-toxic, it still cam be harmful if swallowed...use caution with little ones.***

Here's what you need:
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/3 bar of grated soap.  Grating is important, as it melts faster.  Pick a scent!  What ever the soap smells like is what your laundry soap will smell like.  I chose a Dove fruity smell.  Light and pleasant. (2 bars for $3)
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda (a HUGE box for $2)
  • 1/2 cup of Borax 20 Mule Team (Huge Box for $3)
  • 5 gallon bucket and lid for storage ($2 bright orange one at home depot.  I chose the bright orange as to show a big difference from anything else!  A lid is only important if you have little ones that you are afraid can fall in.)
  • A small resusable pourable container
Mix grated soap and 4 cups of water in a sauce pan on LOW HEAT.  This is critical as it heats and boils will gets sudsy and over-flow.  At low heat, it doesn't bowl.  This is the longest part of the active process, stir occasionally.  It take about a half hour if the grating is a fine shaving.  May take longer if soap is chunky.

In the 5 gallon bucket, mix Borax and Soda.  Add the melted mix.  Mix well.  Liquid will be thick, no worries.  Then, add 3 gallons of cold water.  Mix well!  Liquid will start to have a corn starch like texture when stiring.

Without the lid, let the solution stand over night.  With little kids, make sure to put it up where they cannot get it.

Viola!  You're done!  Store in a cool place (ours is in the laundry room).  Take the smaller container (we use an old juice bottle) fill it up and use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of solution.  I use the smaller container so I don't have to keep dipping into the big one.

The made up solution will remain in a liquid form.  Make sure lid is always tight especially with little ones.  The solution will leave your clothes smelling good (a light pleasant smell, nothing over-powering, great for those with allergies!).  This also lasts for about 2 months (a family of three with a load a day).  And with the $10 you spent on supplies, those supplies should make at LEAST 6 batches.  Which in turn, should last you about a year. 

We're saving the earth and our wallet one load at a time!!!

Chelle }}i{{

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Arbor Day!!!

Well, to all, Happy, Happy Arbor Day!!!  Our actual tree planting will probably have to wait till next week.  The weather this week here has been VERY non-compliant!

We had horrible winds that up rooted even the mightiests of trees in my city.  Which, our city doesn't have a lot of big ol' trees.  So, this Arbor Day is very significant to us.  It will probably end up being an Arbor week, perhaps even a little longer do to everything.

I am posting the link for the Arbor Day Foundation.  Check it out, they have tons of stuff!  Try something this year...plant something indeginous to your area!  It should be mighty fun with some cultural significance!!!  This link is a good way to tell you what grows well in your area.  Just type in your zip code!!  :-)

And also, in light of the disaterous oil spill off the guld coast, send your thoughts, prayers, healing vibes, if you can, even some money or yourself to help out this area.  This is going to hurt people, animals and, well just all of nature.  It's a fragile ecosystem.

As of right now, I can't find any links for support for this horrid event.  If any of you find anything, let me know!!!  I'll post as soon as I can!!!

And the last thing...don't forget to name your tree!!!!  :-)

Chelle }}i{{

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Lesson, Seedlings (Part 1 of the Gardening Series)

First of all, Happy Earth Day! While planting our seeds today, I was telling my son a little bit about Earth Day. Upon quizing him, this is what my 4 year old said: Me, "What is Earth Day?" Him, "It's like the Earth's Birthday." Me, "Why do we recycle?" I was looking for "It helps the planet." and this is what I got instead. Him, ""Because trash piles up, and it makes the Earth mad. It hurts her heart, she gets sad." It's such a beautiful thing when kids say such profound things.

Starting your own garden is fun and rewarding for both you, your family, the Earth and your wallet.  It teaches patients, hard work and dedication.  By doing your own garden, this reduces you going to the store to buy veggies and fruits, which in turns helps cut out all the emmission caused by transporting foods that come from another state or country.  The organic nature of your own garden is healthier, as you know personally what chemicals (if any) have been on or in the plants (When it gets closer, we'll do a organic pest control post).  Plus, fresh off the vine food always taste better!! 

To me, gardening is healing and spiritual.  I love nature.  Everytime I am in nature, I feel closer to God and the Earth.  The earth is a living energy, putting your hands in the soil, tending to plants, there is a deep connection there.  It's truly profound.

The rule of thumb in my area (Northern Nevada) is: "When there is no snow on Peavine, that's when you can plant outside." This picture was taken today. That is part of Peavine looming from my front porch. The rest is covered up by clouds from the snow storm. Needless to say it will be another month before we can go plant outside. We start our seeds inside.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Empty egg crates (or a seed starter kit).  **make sure there are holes in the bottom of EACH cup for irrigation.**
  • Soil (I chose organic seed starting soil, nice and rich!)
  • Seeds
  • Paper and Pen
  • Water

I chose (not by choice) the seed starter kit.  My family are not big egg people.  I've been able to get egg crates from grocery stores before.  This year, not a big success on the eggs.  But the kit was very inexpensive.  This is a thin, flimsy paper cup, designed for direct transplanting into the ground.  It's a great, easy way to transplant plants when you're like me and don't have the greenest thumb!
Here, my son is helping me put the soil in the cups.  The soil usually a light and fluffy mix, so fill them into heaping mounds as it will settle.  Seedling soil is VERY important, it's like baby formula for plants.  It has very special nutirents needed.  Being I live in a not so rich soil area, I always have to get "imported" dirt.  However, it is important when planting outside (we'll discuss later) to mix your local soil with nutrient rich soil.  This gives the plants a better chance of survial in your local environment.
Next, take an old water bottle, poke holes in the cap.  It becomes a cheap, useful watering can.  The best thing?  It's small and easy for the kids to handle with minimal spilling.  Water the soil deeply.  Let it sit (we usually do over-night so that the soil is nice and saturated).
Make a grid on a piece of paper.  Fill in the blanks as you go.  This helps tell you later what they are.  This is important when planting them, as every plant is different, requiring difference spacial and sun treatments.
Next, poke holes with your finger. A good rule of "thumb" is to put your index finger into the soil to the first knuckle (about 1/4-1/2 inch).

Add seeds, the bigger the seed, the less seed you need.  The smaller the seed, the more you put in to make sure you get at least one hearty plant.  Make sure that if kids are helping you, that they are not mixing them together (an easy mistake).  If you mix the two seeds, how will you know at pruning time which one to cut.  (I always choose the blue wire. lol)

When thinking about your garden, double your batch.  Say you want 3 Zucchini plants, you will do 6 seedling cups.  Due to natural selection (among other things), it's a good chance not all the plants are going to make it.  By doubling your batch, this give you a better chance of having the desired number of plants ready for planting.

Cover with another layer of dirt and water deeply again.  Gently pack down lightly.  Place seeds in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.  Continue to water the seeds.  Depending on what plants you planted, the seedlings will sprout within the next 3 weeks (for detailed info, look on the back of the seed packets).
Place the paper near or on the plant packet (or stick labels, we did both to show) to show where everything is.
Enjoy watching your little seedlings grow!  We can't wait!!!
Have a wonderful, Earth Day!!!
Chelle }}i{{

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Come Soon, also, Need Some Ideas!!

So, I just wanted to through out there, what I have planned.  If you like them, don't or have other ideas, let me know!!
All-Natural laundry soap
  • Arbor Day, planting a tree
  • A healthy, homemade sports drink
  • Health tips (both physical and mental)
  • Energy saving tips
  • Starting, tending and harvesting a garden (a multi part series)
  • Beauty products (hair, face, perfumes, etc)
So, that's what I have so far...My goal is to do a post at least once a week.  We shall see!!!  :-)

Chelle  }}i{{

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog (Animal) Deterrent

Okay, so I have a problem.  I have two WONDERFUL dogs who like to dig.  I was told to use some Chilli Powder.  We did, Mojo, our Golden Retreiver ate it!!!  Still having problems.  I was told to use the infamous Habenero Pepper.  So I went to the store and created my own recipe.  It worked!  The following is the recipe that I created.  Now, Habeneros are a little pricey (16.99 lb.), but you don't need that many, so a dozen only ran me a few bucks.
Note: This recipe was only tested on my dogs, though I'm confident it will work on all animals due to the potency of it.  Always excercise caution if you don't feel right about using it, don't.  Try it, if it doesn't work, hey you're only out a few bucks.  :-)

***Habeneros are VERY hot.  Please use EXTREME caution when handling them.  If you have any resiptory problems, use gloves and a mask.  Avoid touching your face until you have washed your hands THUROUGHLY!!!  Handle the peppers by the stems as much as possible this will help avoid spreading the oil of the pepper.***

You will need:
  • A Blender
  • 12 or so Habenero Peppers
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of oil (I used organic olive, as that's what I had!)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • A small pouring container, such as a glass measuring cup.  Try not to use plastic, as it's harder to get the oils off when cleaning.
Remeber to handle by the stem, put the peppers in the blender, stem included.  No need to wash them, as they are going on the ground any ways.
Puree the peppers as much as possible first.  Then add oil, followed by water.  Add the water a little bit at a time, as you might not need all of it.  Pour into the glass container.  Color will depend, as every pepper is different, don't be alarmed.  Liquid should be slightly lumpy and a little runny.  This just helps spread it easier.  It made about a cup of deterrent.
***Try not to inhale deeply!  I have asthma, wasn't wearing a mask and was bothered a little by it.  It doesn't sting...at first.  :-) ***

Pour a TINY line along the problem area.  A little goes along way!!
The testing phase.  Koda, sniffing, then licking.  He continued to lick his lips for a good fifteen minutes.  No harm done!
Mojo, in a FULL-ON lick!!!
He headed STRAIGHT for the water!!  I am pleased to report, after over an hour, they are doing fine, and steering clear of the area!  I only did half the yard to test it and see what would happen, if they move to the other side to dig or stop all-together.
The oils from the peppers as well as the added oil should help maintain the smell for a while.  If, after a while, the dogs (or animals) come back, repeat, as the smell could have faded!

Let me know what you think!!!  ;-)

Chelle }}i{{