Less Blue Bags Needed

As I was tying off a blue bag of refundable recyclable containers such as pop and juice cans, I had a great idea!!

Why not just use a box to store the recyclables in instead of a bag! The bag gets emptied on the spot for counting so it would not matter how they were packaged to get to the depot!! Really!

I have lots of empty boxes from when we were using disposable diapers and wipes in the attic. Not to mention the once in a while parcels that come here. Also, grocery stores have a lot if boxes that they have from unpacking their goods. Super easy to just ask for a couple. Boxes can fold to seal the top as well.

Better yet, if one does not want to use boxes, and old laundry basket(s) or storage container(s) not in use would do to! This way, its an easy wash out and get reused over and over and over!!

One less need for a blue bag! Money and resources saved!

Homemade Make-up

No make-up

 

This is where I got my inspiration to make my own powder foundation as well as the eye shadow (tweaked). This is the website to this recipe as well by gittemary.com. Fantastic site I just found.

 

 

In the beginning I did not have shea butter for a primer. I tried using coconut oil, which I bought at the Bulk Barn in my own container. But the coconut oil does not absorb into the skin very well and left my face pretty . . . wet. The foundation would rub off very easily and then my skin would be blotchy. So no go with the coconut oil as a primer!

3 Tbsp Arrowroot powder, 1/2 tsp cocoa powder and cinnamon each.

I went a long time with just the powder and no primer. It was fine, but not the same as a liquid foundation for sure (which is what I was used to).

I found a vendor at The Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago who sells shea butter. All the way from Africa. 1 pound for $28.00 in a cardboard box or a container with a .5 pound for $15.00.  Of course, I avoided the container without thinking about it! I whipped up a small portion, 1/8 of a cup or so. I use that as my primer.

I tell you, what a difference! Primer is definitely a need. The powder foundation blends onto the skin so nice! Its also a great lip balm for a final touch.  (I would love to add some colour to it, like beet).

I must mention, I do not use a concealer. I need to lighten the recipe in the video for my skin colour otherwise I have dark patches. I just have not gotten around to that. I must say I am no make-up expert. I have never used concealer, so I am unaware of the benefits, really.

I also do not use the bronzer (cocoa powder), as I find it leaves blotches on top of the foundation. It just does not blend so well. I am not sure why. Though, it was fine without the shea butter primer. (I never used bronzer anyways).

For the eye shadow, I found straight up cocoa powder was not dark enough. I found some superior red cocoa powder at Bulk Barn, and that is what I am using. I take my applicator and sweep off the particles off the side of the container, so I can collect a small amount at a time, rather than sticking the applicator in the cocoa directly (too much).

I have not yet found an eye liner, mascara or eyebrow pencil replacement.  I will be doing some more researching soon and asking some helpful people I have been in contact with on different groups online. I feel I should go see a professional make-up artist and get some “how to” tips.

I took a break and further researched the link above and found this mascara recipe. Interesting! I have seen recipes calling for aloe vera gel before, and my first thoughts was to get a aloe vera plant too. Yes! She says something about using almonds to make activated charcoal . . . Must research that one.

I did find a container of activated charcoal at Superstore a few weeks ago, and it says to keep away from eyes . . .  so that needs more investigation.

As you can see, there is no rushing this process. Rushing will result in mistakes and waste (product and money). Something my husband has taught me. My commercial mascara is running out and needs to be replaced, now, but, if anything, I will just do without until I can make some. easy as that. ( I will save the old container and applicator to refill in the future).

A me sure to watch the video and read the site I posted above. I left some things out for my own routine.

Homemade Waffles

The kids are loving these homemade waffles. Christmas of 2017, my dad and step-mom bought us a waffle maker. Chris took charge and found, I think, the best waffle recipe!

In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 tsp baking powder and a 1/4 cup white sugar.

In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 + 3/4 cup warm milk, and 1 Tbsp of vanilla. Add in 2 beaten eggs.

Combine well and add the dry ingredients until well blended.

The waffle maker holds 2/3 cup of batter, so this recipe should make about 5 full waffles. (Sometimes I over full and so get 4.5 full waffles). I cook them for 6 minutes at a time.

Lay the cooled waffles on a pan and freeze them. Transfer frozen waffles in a container. I am using a cake tray from the bakery, just use it upside down, great container!

Goodbye store bought waffles/eggos and the packaging!


Farmer’s Market Day

I got some great bar soap from The Farmer’s Wife. I decided to only support PEI local for bar soap. Recently I bought a bar from Bulk Barn, as my face is really broken out with eczema and acne. The soap is working, but the smell is terrible. Daniel says it smells like paint! Blah! As soon as I feel my skin is in good condition, I’m done with it! Currently I have to put it in a cardboard box to contain the fragrance. I have become very aware of fragrances and want to avoid them as much as possible. I don’t want the house smelling that the bar soap.

Sweet local craft products!

I’m also using shea butter that I bought at the Famer’s Market a couple of weeks ago. 1 lb for $28.00. I can not remember the business’ name, but they also sell PEI honey, honey stir sticks and bees wax. Today I bought a large jar of honey for $13.00, and I can take the jar back to get reused!  I bought a jar of mustard pickles as well, from Clohossey Farms. Local and fresh.

Local!

So the Rosemary Mint (smells amazing) bar soap will be destined for the kitchen sink. The Outback Jack (smells amazing) for the upstairs bathroom/shower as well as the Beer soap. The shampoo bar of course for the shower when the present bar runs out. I’m hoping the Outback Jack soap will help keep my skin calm.

Top left is the Beer Soap, bottom left is Cool and Clean Shampoo Bar, Top right is the Rosemary Mint and the bottom right is the Outback Jack.

Currently, Chris is using up the commercial shampoo, no use in throwing it away, use it up. I can not go back to it after I started using the shampoo bar as it took 2 months for my hair to adjust to the natural bar soap. Just can’t do it. All the kids, except the 2 year old, Thomas, are using the shampoo bar. I reserved the last bit of commercial tear free shampoo for Thomas. I dont want his eyes stinging every bath as soap gets on his face during rinsing. I have the tear free shampoo to use up anyways.

Everyone using the bar soap for body wash. I’m so happy to get out of those fragrance chemical products!!! You have no idea!!

Also, there is a big happening coming soon I found out today, but I will not share it as its not my business too . . . yet. A couple more weeks! I tell you, I am very very excited!!!

 

School Lunches for 3

Here is a shot of Julia’s Daniel’s and Alaina’s lunch bag for school. There is always only one single use plastic, fruit cup. Daniel and Alaina are not big on eating fruit, and we have always had fruit cups for snacks at school. It is something I want to steer from, but I believe it needs to be replaced with something else. I would like to try and make my own, but time is very pressing. 2 times I bought pears to experiment and make our own fruit sauce, but I did not take the time, and they all went to waste. I will have to brainstorm with the kids to come up with a different alternative!

Julia, Daniel, Alaina.

From left to right:

Julia- Apple juice in a reusable container, pretzels, chicken, orange pepper, grapes, crackers and carrots.

Daniel-Apple juice in a reusable container, pretzels, bran flakes, fruit cup, chicken and carrots.

Alaina- Fruitopia in a reusable container, pretzels, cheese, apple, fruit cup and chicken.

Everything (except the fruit cup) is in its own container. I would like to make some reusable cloth bags, or like my husband suggested, just wrap the snack in a piece of cloth. Don’t need a bag. He is right!! I will be upgrading to cloth soon. The containers do take a lot of space and time to wash. Cloth can be put in the washing machine with a load, no problem at all.

Our low waste school lunch items are:

Left over meats from supper like chicken and steak. Sandwich meats like Beef.
Pretzels, crackers, sunflower seeds, Bran flakes, cheerios, shreddies and home made granola bars.
Apples, carrots, berries, peppers, cucumber, fruit cups.
Cheese and yogurt.
Juice from home, poured into reusable containers. (These containers were the small cranberry drinks. The cover twists on good creating a tight seel. Rubbermaid juice boxes leak when laying down).

Noting all this information down is encouraging me to just ditch the fruit cups. I think I will. See, the 10 minutes it took me to write this article, I changed my mind. Just enough push. Sometimes that is all you need, a nudge to move forward.

Charlottetown Event With CBC

CBC will be holding a public screening about  “reducing the consumption of single use plastic”, in Charlottetown at The Guild Theatre, February 5th at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30. There is limited seating to 140.

“Guest panellists Rachel Willcock, an innovative stay-at-home mom from Summerside, PEI Environment Minister Richard Brown and Ocean Devotion Producer Jane Adey.”

The audience is “encouraged to comment, ask questions and share their own ideas about reducing consumption of single use plastics.”

 

 

 

Bulk Barn Trip

Large trip to Bulk Barn! About 18 cloth bags and several containers.

Some great goods, shreddies, Cheerios, pretzels, so many kinds of nuts.

Lots of treat like items too. Great alternative to wrapped chocolate bars. Cravings settled with a simple amount, not too much, not too little. This amount will last is a good while! Don’t forget the hot chocolate!

Baking needs, salt, baking soda, honey, garlic powder. Can’t forget the coffee! Smells so good! Dried cranberries, a great add to trail mixes.

 

 

Refuse!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The three R’s. But don’t forget Refuse! That is what I did tonight!

Our 2 year year old, Thomas, is potty training. Today was the first day. We only had 6 pairs of underwear and that was not cutting it!! Lets just say our laundry is caught up for the week! Tomorrow will be a waste of water and energy if I have to wash a couple pairs of wet clothing at a time just to have fresh underwear and pants for Thomas.

I decided at bedtimes I had to go out to buy more. I went to Wal-Mart and picked up 2 packs of 4. I really did not want the plastic packaging. It was not even recyclable. I came up with a plan.

After paying for the items and refusing a bag, I unpacked the underwear, and handed the plastic packages to the cashier. I told her that “I wanted to make a statement to Wal-Mart, not you personally.” I don’t want the packaging.

The  cashier kindly took the packages and asked how are the items supposed to be packaged, together. I replied that “Wal-Mart will find a way, there are other alternatives. Other clothing is not packaged on the shelves like shirts and pants”.

The cashier nodded and we went our separate ways. I did notice the cashier went to see the person in charge, but did not hear the conversation as I went out the door.

Walking out I felt very proud! I think we all need to do this more! Companies of all sorts need reminders, even if they say they are working on goals for the future to be more environmentally friendly. Action needs to take place, now!

From Cloth Diapers To Potty Training

On October 7th, Thomas was introduced to cloth diapers. Its been a great adventure, zero waste diapers. Even the liners and wipes are reusable.  From that date to this date we saved approximately 570 diapers from landfill. (114 days x 5 diapers per day). Give or take the number.

So today I decided to pull out the underwear for Thomas’s size from the attic. After a wash and dry, we will be starting. Day 1 January 29th.

Chris has been trying to encourage me to make the the switch with Thomas for a little while. He is right. Thomas is ready and he is super smart. He is talking so much more and asks for things. Tells us, most if the time if he has a dirty diaper.

Also, he has gotten some sores, which is not healing very fast. First irritation since we started cloth diapering. I figure as well, being out of the diaper environment, he will heal much faster. This was the final push to start potty training.

Update, February 7, 2019

Thomas is doing really good!!! His sore and rash are gone, probably from an amnonia buildup in the diapers (Racheal, in the comments below, stated it may have been the problem. I believe she is correct). Since then, they have been stripped and Thomas is feeling quite well!

Here is a picture of his chart to show progress.

Dishwasher

So, recently I have switched to using Nature Clean Dishwasher powder detergent. I have been fining the dishes have a residue. So I tried a little less detergent. That seemed to help some, but not so much in the glasses. Though I don’t find it is getting worse.

I also found that the dishes were not coming out clean. Dried foods bits, like potatoes, were still there. Our dish washer is old. The water pressure is not great with it and there are other issues in this old house. So I was not sure to blame the dishwasher or the detergent. The detergent seemed to work fine when I tried it as a trial for a few days about month or two ago.

Today as I was unloading the dishes, I noticed there was still some detergent left in the dispenser. Also a one dish was not at all clean and it was facing down, where the water surly would spray it. No doubt about that. But it was still completely dirty.

So I decided to take the dishwasher apart a little. I did not want to go to far, as I think, I may loose my way. Haha. I only really found the the bottom of the door was super dirty. I got that cleaned up. Put it back together as I thought, me and Chris can tackle the rest another time in the evening.

I through in a bunch of vinegar and baking soda. Set the washer to quick rinse with the dirty dish inside. And yes, it got rinsed! Yay. But, when I opened the door mid waymthe cycle, I noticed the water was not spraying out of the spinning blades very much. Maybe a couple inches high. And the rotating blade on top was not moving fast either.

So there you have it. We seen this before, took the washer apart right down and gave it a good cleaning. Worked fine until recently. And when I think about it, I can remember hearing the water spurting around the washer, loud, like it should be.

I’m happy to learn that I don’t necessarily need to switch detergents!!!

I was trying to use vinegar in the rinse aid, but I think it is plugged. Not sure how to clean that or even empty it. I’m not even sure where the rinse aid comes out of during the rinse cycle. I did find a bunch of plugged up holes (vents?) on the bottom of the door. Not sure if that is the area for the rinse aid to come out of . . .

Anyways, deep clean coming soon to our washer.

Oh yea, and, I found a tsp and 2 plastic spoons Thomas used to use (not for the past 8 months or so) trying to fit their way down the slotted drain. Oh dear!!