10 Tips and Tricks for a greener home.

 

Simple and Do-able….. 🙂

 

1. Wash out your empty glass jars (the ones you bought your pickles or olives in) and use these to store food instead of plastic containers.

 

2. Can’t get the sticky label off the empty jar? Here’s what works for me:

  • Soak the empty jar in hot water, or run it through your automatic dishwasher.
  • Peel off as much of the label as possible.
  • Smear a thick layer of peanut butter (yes really) over the remaining bits and over any remaining adhesive (I use the back of a spoon to do this).
  • Leave the peanut butter to do its work for half an hour or longer.
  • Wipe off with a damp cloth or else paper towels or newspaper, and throw the paper straight into your compost bin.
  • This  for me is the surest way to remove stubborn adhesive! A vinegar soaked cloth over the sticky bits is another option you can try (leave it for a half hour or longer), or else try olive oil instead of the peanut butter.

 

3. Freeze food in glass jars instead of plastic: See my previous post….

 

 

4. Buy in large quantities in order to reduce plastic and other packaging: I previously used to buy toilet rolls in stacks of 4’s or 9’s but now I’ve started buying in stacks of 18. This makes sense to me for two reasons: firstly, its cheaper and secondly it saves on plastic. Simply put, 1 x 18 rolls of looroll takes less plastic wrapping than 2 x 9 rolls of looroll.

 

5. Reduce plastic bin liners: Restrict your kitchen bin to dry waste and use newspaper to roll up wet waste and ‘smellies’. If possible deposit straight into your outside garbage bin.

 

6. Buy unbleached coffee filters (we buy ours at Pick n Pay Norwood, Johannesburg) …

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7. …and then put them into your compost after use.

 

8. Swop teabags for loose tea: If you are a fan of black ceylon this may be a bit of a challenge! I finally found Joko tea (loose tea leaves) at Norwood Spar in Johannesburg. Packaged in cardboard with a plastic inner 😦 …pity. The tea ball is a nifty little thing, available at tea and coffee specialist shops. I have used it on occasion for holding ground and whole spices when making Chai, or for curries and similar dishes.

 

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9. Peel less, use a scourer more: carrots, potatoes and other veggies are usually fine without peeling (unless they are looking considerably old and tired, in which case you be the judge). Keep a small metal scourer (Goldilocks) or a nail brush in your fridge’s veggie drawer or alongside your potatoes in their basket. Use this to give your veggies a scrub, rather than reaching for the peeler as your default position.

 

10. Easiest breadcrumbs! Dry breadcrumbs give a nice crunch and texture to foods. Sprinkle them over pasta, vegetable bakes, or use to thicken soups. You can also coat foods such as fish or patties with breadcrumbs before you saute them, for extra crispiness

  • Cut or break your bread into cubes or small chunks. (If the bread is still soft, it will need a few hours to go stale…overnight if necessary)
  • Place the stale pieces into a container and put them in the freezer.
  • Once frozen,  roll them up in a small clean cotton dish cloth.
  • Use a rolling pin or the side of a bottle, or even beat with your fist, to crunch the frozen pieces into crumbs. This takes seconds!
  • Use immediately or place  into a glass jar and back into the freezer until needed.

 

So there you go…10 easy starters! And feel free to make suggestions to add to this list. Let me know…..

My no-plastic pledge: 1 month later.

 

Having signed the pledge earlier this month, I last week  received an email from Story of Stuff, asking me to give feedback on my plastic-free efforts for that month. And here is a nice link featuring some hints and tips on going zero plastic: worth looking at, even if you didn’t sign the pledge!

Earlier this month I wrote two posts that relate to the subject Here and Here.

I had another read of them myself just now, to refresh my memory as to how I started out a month ago.

Since then I have learnt a few things: Continue reading

30 household products you can replace with naturals

 

Here is my list:

  • Dishwasher detergent and rinse aid
  • Kitchen surface cleaner
  • Kitchen scourer
  • Window cleaner
  • Floor tile cleaner
  • Furniture polish
  • Bathroom surface cleaner
  • Air freshening sprays
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Bath soap
  • Hair pre-wash treatment
  • Hair shampoo and conditioner
  • Body butter
  • Body lotion
  • Hand cremes (light and rich)
  • Shaving creme
  • Toothpaste
  • Eye shadow
  • Lip gloss
  • Laundry detergent and softener
  • Laundry pre-soak and hand wash powder
  • Stain removers
  • Antacid powder
  • Ant-itch for skin
  • Face cremes (light and rich)
  • Facial cleansing grains
  • Body skin scrub

 

That’s over 30 natural replacements and counting!♥ Continue reading

“Going Green”: Choosing your battles

Yesss…just looking back on my site stats, and I see that my first ever post was the 3rd July, which is 16 days ago. It feels longer; much longer since I first pressed Publish and put myself Out There. A few minutes ago I sent a Whatsapp note to a friend in which I said jokingly ..”So much I’m trying to cover with this blogging! So much to do …so little time! And I gotta have fun doing it too (emoji, emoji)” In fact, that is exactly how I feel. There is so much to write about that I often just don’t know where to start, but I start anyway and trust that what I’m doing will reach others out there. And yes, fun is important too! 🙂

And snags can hit you in different ways, whether it be ‘writers block’or some issue with trying to edit your post (when, almost in tears, you eventually send a mail to the WordPress team, and thankfully get the response you need!) or simply realising that “going green” is not all plain sailing. Sometimes you need to make a choice as a consumer, knowing that what you have is not perfect.

Case in point: Beauty without Cruelty  is very important to me, Continue reading

Let peace start with me

 

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

Mahatma Ghandi was a man true to himself, a man of peace despite the adversity that confronted him. I love this quote of his. It reminds me that we are immensely powerful and that our words and actions can have an effect on how people around us think, feel and act. You may remember events in your own life where there was tension or anger between two or more people in a room, where high emotion such as anger, hurt or similar negatives were at play. At times like this it may take just one kind word from one individual in order to bring relief where there was tension, or peace where there was war. In such a case, that one individual has exercised their power to give, and to create positive change in the process. How we choose to act and what we choose to say is a choice, and sometimes requires that we be selfless, putting our own needs aside for that moment when we see that it is within our means to create peace. Never doubt the power of your choices, and your ability to be the peacemaker in a difficult moment, where others seem to be at war.

What about you…Have you had the opportunity to help others find peace in a moment of pain? When was the last time you were able to be the voice of calm and reason in a difficult situation?

Selective Shopping

Saturday 10/06/2017: Today we took a trip to Impala Fruit and Veg at 177 Beyers Naudé Drive, Northcliff, Johannesburg. The plan was to reuse my own packaging, and to add zero of the shop’s plastic to my grocery basket. I packed a few small plastic bags I have in stock at home and re-use often, and some cloth carrier bags. I had previously visited Impala about 3 years before and had been impressed♥ at what was on offer, including fresh, canned and preserved goods, both locally sourced and imported. The great selection of delicious, nutritious goodies is still on the shelves, but I was disappointed to see how very little of their fresh produce is available without packaging, specifically without plastic. It seems that convenience and that the ‘grab and go’ needs of shoppers is catered for but not much for those of us who are trying to reduce our consumption of plastic and  unnecessary packaging. Happily, the following were available unpackaged: turnips with their greens still attached, loose tomatoes, and bunches of herbs. I also picked up the following packaged without plastic: big glass jar of dijon mustard and a tin of locally packaged dark cocoa powder. At the till, the assistant offered to remove the leaves and stems from my turnips and when I declined she agreed with me that the greens are the ‘best part of it’ ;). I was given a brown cardboard box to carry my wares home in which I was happy to take with as an alternative to the usual plastic bags. At Olivia’s, next door to Impala, I bought a few fresh bread rolls at the deli section, and placed these in a brown paper bag. I left, happy to know that I had successfully acquired zero shop’s plastic, and had managed to reuse all my own packaging
Continue reading

Decluttering: 10 positive points

The experience of clearing out stuff that has become an eyesore, not useful, or that we have simply grown tired of, can be surprisingly rejuvenating and leave with us a renewed energy and a huge sense of relief.
How we benefit:
1.We say goodbye to stuff that is no longer adding value to our homes, our health and a positive sense of self, and that may even be hindering our ability to move forward with a sense of purpose. (if it’s still not mended/repaired after 3 months,maybe it’s time to just get rid of it)
2.Decluttering allows us an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-organize our physical space in a way that makes practical sense, thus streamlining and simplifying our routines and activities.(how many kitchen knives do you really need?) We take a fresh look at the things we use and how we can improve our use of our available space. Continue reading