Laundry Tips and Recipes

Being the change that I wish to see in the world is all about taking personal responsibility for the planet which we all share, love and call home. Because we live in a world (and climate) that necessitates clothing in our daily living, today’s tips and recipes focuses on how we can make a difference in the way we approach washing our garments. For me, my most important focus is in doing laundry is about energy conservation and being cognizant about what goes into the septic system. Here’s a few interesting facts from the Laundry List website

  • Approximately one quarter of Americans use an ENERGY STAR washer. There are no ENERGY STAR dryers on the market.
  • Less than 4% of Italian households own a dryer. [Yay for the Italians!]
  • Apartment communities can save 330 percent more water, equating to a savings of 8,216 gallons of water per year per unit, by utilizing a common-area laundry room instead of an in-unit washing machine.
  • We estimate that 8% of households line-dry their laundry during 5 months of the year. If all Americans who currently do not use a clothesline started to use one for ten months of the year, we could avoid 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, annually.

For the very last reason listed above, I wanted to provide you with a list of 10 reasons about how line drying your clothing can have a significant impact on your life, as printed by the Project Laundry List:

Top Ten Reason to Line Dry

10) Save money (more than $25/month off electric bill for many households).

9) Clothes last longer. Where do you think lint comes from?

8) Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment.

7) Conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change.Learn how!

6) It is moderate physical activity which you can do in or outside. You can even lose weight!

5) Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.

4) Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.

3) Clothes dryer and washing machine fires account for about 17,700 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 360 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for clothes dryer fires in structures is estimated at $194 million.

2) It is fun! And can be an outdoor experience that is meditative and community-building. It may also help you avoid depression.

1) Demonstrates that small steps can make a difference. You don’t have to wait for the government to take action!

Did you know that: you don’t even need soap to wash most loads. The agitation of washing machines often cleans the clothing on its own (especially with High-Efficiency washing machines). But because most of us have grown up with the use of strong detergents and softeners in the cleaning of our clothes, below I’d like to gift you my all-time favourite, environmentally-friendly laundry detergent recipe.

Laundry Detergent Recipe:   Mix –

  • 1 cup  grated Fels Naptha soap (or Ivory soap),
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax

Use 1 tablespoon for light loads; 2 tablespoons for heavy loads.

laundry-soap

Furthermore, as a booster to your laundry, Tipnut.com recommends white distilled vinegar as an incredibly versatile resource: Color Brightener; Color Protector; Whiter Whites; Yellowed Items Reviver; Heavy Duty Pre-Soak; Lint Busters; Fabric Softener; and, Ring Around The Collar Remover.

Sunscreen: to use or not to use??

sunscreenI truly believe that sunscreen can be potentially good and a necessary accessory when I’m out for long jaunts in the sun, where a ball-cap and clothing fails to protect my barren white legs and wrinkle-prone face (think summertime at the beach). Skin cancer is a very real phenomenon, one which I dare not risk, especially having very freckled facial skin. I personally use an organic sunscreen made by Badger with just Zinc. I’m still up-in-the-air about using Titanium dioxide in a sunscreen, as it’s not known as of yet whether this could cause potential health problems. As stated on the Wiki website: “The safety of the use of nano-particle sized Titanium Dioxide, which can penetrate the body and reach internal organs, has been criticized.[36] Studies have also found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause genetic damage in mice, suggesting that humans may be at risk of cancer or genetic disorders resulting from exposure”  Nano-technology and nanoparticles could be a new incubus in itself! Technology may truly be our downfall, in the end. But I’d rather use a sunscreen that is mineral rather than chemical based. The question is, how does one know of it’s origins, unless the product is specifically labelled?

I find it difficult to unearth and believe research online that is factual, informative and above all truthful. How do I know that what I’m reading about is in fact trustworthy and not biased by the ever-motivating profit margin and vested interests of the author / company?  In the end, it comes down to being fully responsible for my own health, through education, cross-referencing ‘facts’ and continually learning, learning, and re- learning. The internet is marvellous for that. Having said that, I preface the below article as information to not necessarily take my word for (or Dr Mercola’s), but rather a start to your own investigation. I would love to hear your feedback and opinions on the subject, and any subsequent relevant fact-finding that you might do, on sunscreens and body care products.

Below is a lengthy excerpt from an article from the Dr. Mercola’s website. I don’t necessarily promote the Doctor’s views (which I find at times seem to be over-exaggerated and biased), beliefs, website or products, but I do find the article interesting.

It’s Time to Expose the Sunscreen Smokescreen!

I’m talking hundreds of sunscreens that I believe are toxic because they contain man-made chemicals … chemicals I believe can cause serious health problems and increase your risk of disease. Here’s why.

The main chemical used in sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet B light is octyl methoxycinnamate. OMC for short. OMC was found to kill mouse cells even at low doses.  Plus, it was also shown to be particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine. And guess what?

OMC is present in 90 percent of sunscreen brands!

But that’s not the half of it. A common ultraviolet A filter, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, has also demonstrated toxic properties.

Furthermore, several studies show that the chemicals commonly used in sunscreens are absorbed through the skin and end up circulating in your blood stream. Not good. So…

If Your Sunscreen Contains Any of These Chemicals That I Consider Dangerous and Potentially Life Threatening, Do Yourself a BIG Favor…

Dump it in the trash now .

Yes, that’s right. Toss your sunscreen in the trash if it contains any of these questionable chemicals:

Toss your sunscreen in the trash if it contains any of these chemicals I consider to be potentially harmful.

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Padimate O
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Trolamine salicyclate
  • Octocrylene

[ And two more which I might add]

  • Octinoxate or octyl metghoxycinnamate
  • Octisalate

Potentially harmful chemicals such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone (two chemicals I just mentioned) are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man!

And a note to moms … You are undoubtedly very conscientious about caring for your children.  But when you lather up your son or daughter with sunscreen thinking you’re doing the right thing, you could in fact be doing more harm than good.

So check the labels on your sunscreen, and throw them out if they contain any of the potentially dangerous chemicals named above.  After all, your skin is your largest organ, as your child’s skin is theirs.

Baking Soda Delights in the Kitchen

I love the fact that I can use natural and environmentally friendly products in the home to clean, cook, beautify and deodorize my world. Any part that I can do to reduce, reuse and recycle in the most efficient and least harmful manner is incredibly important to me. Some of my most used and favourite household items that I use everyday are baking soda and vinegar. In honour of every day being Earth Day (in my household it is!), I wanted to pass on these useful and original vintage recommendations offered up through one of my favourite resource websites for environmentally friendly tips: TipNut.

Hope these prove to be practical, helpful and fruitful (pun intended!) for you in your kitchen food prep and cooking. These tips have been sourced from a recipe booklet published in 1936 by Church & Dwight Company, Inc. (Arm & Hammer and Cow Brand baking sodas).
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