Posts tagged home

Natural Cleaning for Spring

If you are like me, you are looking forward to Spring for the new blooming flowers, the heated sunshine, the wildlife emerging from their long hibernation and open windows ushering in fresh air. But when I open our windows I see dust flying. When the sunshine comes pouring in I see the dirt bunnies and the crumb stashes in the dark places. A lot of this stuff is leftover from the holidays! Boy does that sofa have some body oil stains on the arms! And I cannot believe there are old potato chips behind the entertainment center. All winter long our home is like a dark cave. Now the sunshine is revealing way too many blemishes and I am not looking forward to cleaning.

One of things I hate about spring cleaning is the cost of the new supplies. Floor cleaners, furniture wax, rug shampoo, upholstery cleaner, bathtub scrub, window wash and air fresheners! Not only does this stuff put a huge dent in my wallet but it ends up adding tons of chemicals to our home environment. I hate the residue. I have to wipe the furniture down every time I walk past it just because I can see that oily sheen. This year I am passing on air fresheners altogether. The effect is only temporary while the lingering spray ends up all over the house, on surfaces. And it makes me sneeze. So this year I am trying some new ideas. I thought I’d share them with you. Here are some great recipes for natural cleaning alternatives. Some of them will save you money, some won’t. But all of them will help detox your home after the long winter has passed.

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Bug Spray, Arthritis and Lupus

You guys are gonna love this… just kidding. But it’s more testimony for the case of going natural and dumping all these chemicals! Especially bug sprays and other deadly poisons. It seems that research that was done in Philadelphia is suggesting a link between women’s exposure to household insecticides (including roach and mosquito killers) and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Do you realize how many women have these diseases? It’s unnatural. And that previous research hinted at a link between agricultural pesticides and a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I think it’s time to take this information seriously. Lupus and RA are nothing to take lightly; in general, autoimmune diseases are diseases where the immune system goes haywire and begins to attack the body. And to ice the cake, it was also shown that farmers are a high risk group for these diseases and the reason now seems to be bug killers. Ugh.

Women in the study who reported use of insecticides presented a higher risk of developing the two autoimmune disorders than women who reported no insecticide use, whether or not they had lived on a farm. Those who used the insecticide the most often and most frequently had double the risk! Are you using this stuff? Do you want to develop RA? I know people who have this and, take my word for it, you don’t! But I guess the powers that be just don’t care about any of this; after all, the people who make the bug spray make a lot of the OTC meds that are used to treat the pain. Bayer comes to mind. They make insecticides and herbacides and also make the aspirin you’re taking to treat your arthritis. So many drug companies today have merged with larger corporate interests so that many different product lines are mixed and this mix can cause conflicts of interest. So it’s up to you to investigate and find out who’s who in the zoo.

This involves reading the lables and taking precautions to limit your own exposure to dangerous chemicals. Epidemiologists are saying that this should include products you’ve taken in the past and even those you know are no longer available. Especially if that product has since been implicated in health issues or larger crises. Keep your ear to the ground about whatever chemicals you currently use or feel you cannot give up. If you hear anything at all about possible health risks, have yourself assessed as soon as possible. It is true that more research is needed to nail down the direct link between insecticides and autoimmune disease. In this case, the researchers examined data from a previous study of almost 77,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Even if you do not meet this criteria, care should be taken when deciding to use deadly poisons or toxic chemicals. In general, the insecticides implicated in the study include insect killers, such as those designed to eradicate ants, wasps, termites, mosquitoes and roaches. This is the stuff that will actually kill the bugs. The study didn’t include insect repellents or skin rubs for mosquitoes, flies or fleas.

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Why Are You Fat?

The answer to that question can be really surprising. Oh, I know it’s far more popular to write a post about a new diet fad, some pill or food or magic bullet I can talk you into taking that I promise will make you thin. Or to write a motivational piece about how you should get up and jog and run and climb monkey bars or whatever else is handy to get your butt shagging and this will make you thin, right? Oh, if the solution was only that simple. And those of you who have taken all the pills, foods and magic bullets and have climbed the monkey bars on your way to the daily jog and still jiggle when you walk, you know it’s not. But what are the real reasons you are fat? Could it be something around you that has nothing to do with what you actually eat or how often you exercise?

Now, I won’t be the one to tell people to eat what they like or to stop exercising. Our sedate society is making all of us lazy and unproductive to some degree. People were made for physical labor, to build their own huts, to hunt their own food, to run through the jungle, literally. Our current technology oriented sit on your butt and eat lifestyle can’t be good, no matter what. But what if it’s not the only factor in your weight problem? What if it is in the world around you? Among those things that you have made a part of your beloved lifestyle or among the expensive and much desired objects you surround yourself with? What if?
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Money Saving Thanksgiving Ideas

I thought that it might be fun, with the economy the way it is, to make some cheap, homemade stuff for Thanksgiving. Usually we are all running out and spending a lot of money on table and house decorations along with the traditional food selections and accessories like napkins and serving pieces. When we invite family over for a big repast in our homes, we want it to be festive and enjoyable. What is more original and interesting than something we can’t just buy in Walmart, but has a personalized element? Something like homemade table napkins, handwoven fruit baskets, herbal centerpieces or handmade wreaths. Something they won’t see or experience anywhere else in the world. Something that speaks exclusively of you and your Thanksgiving meal.

I have some great ideas, some real cheap, others a bit more pricey. It’s up to you to determine what you have time for and what you can afford as well as what will work with your overall plans for dinner. How many people are coming? Is it just you and the kids or is your entire extended family coming? Are you serving at one table or more? Is this already so deep in your pocket that you just can’t afford anything at all? If so, I have ideas where you can forage the ingredients for free. So all of this I have taken into consideration and want to give you choices that will work for as many of you as possible. So, with no more adieux, here are the step by step recipes:

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Easy Ways to Cut Energy Costs

I was not surprised by the fact that the average American family spends more than $1600 a year on utility bills. I know that seems surprising but I know what I pay and when you average it out, this amount seems average for us. This adds up to about $133 a month on average and we actually spend a lot more than that in the summer. I’m sure the same is true for a northern household in the winter. So $1600 does not seem extravagent and yet it is! Do you realize that the electricity generated to power a single family home creates more carbon than two average sized cars?! This, I must admit, I do find surprising and very disheartening. How on earth can we bring this number down? It’s not like we’re overdoing it, at least by our standard of daily life. So what can we do to change these numbers, to save carbon and money? And do these things have to make daily life difficult?

I think there are some easy solutions that can help us reduce this consumption however, I do not think anything is easy when it is not a part of a daily routine. I, just like everyone, has adjusted a routine that allows for just so many tasks a day within the framework of the demands made upon my time. I hate it when I have to stop something, change something, move something and, in the process, disrupt the efficiency of my routines. But, none the less, I do beleive the effort is worth it and I have been trying harder. Here are some of those steps you can take if you are willing to make small changes to your daily routines.

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Get Warm and Save Money

It’s hard for me to imagine it, here in Florida where we are all still sweltering in a solar sauna, but it is winter already in many parts of the country. I saw yesterday that it was snowing somewhere already! Wow. I would love a single day below 85 degrees! But even so, it got me thinking about how expensive winter is and how it is hard to stay warm in a tough economy. I have family up there, facing the blast on less money this year, worrying about the heating bills. So it gave me the motivation to look around for some solutions.

I wrote a few posts last year on insulating the home and how to winterize the home cheaply and easily. I thought it was time for an update, with some new ideas thrown in. So if you’re starting to shiver and find yourself shopping on ebay for sweaters, then maybe you can use some of these tips. I promise I will only focus on ideas that cost very little but will work. And, of course, I will stick to the natural side of things and not go suggesting you add abestos! (lol). So, if you’re getting chilly and want to cut back on the green stuff you spend, then give my list a read. It will only take a minute.

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Dump Your Dish Detergent!

There is a new product out there that you guys should know about. It is a new natural dish scrub made from various natural elements like corn and peach pits. This in lieu of using sponges or greenie meanies or other items meant to be used with dish detergent. These new little goodies do not need detergent to work. I can vouch for that because I have used one of them and am so far very impressed. First of all, let’s get the endorsement thing straight on the front end. These people linked to my blog because I had an article on the dangers of dish detergent and they found this valuable to their customers. They did not ask me to review this product on the blog. But I did ask if I could try one and they did send me one for free. And that is the end of my relationship with them. But here is what I thought when I used their product.

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