Archive | Home RSS feed for this section

Guest Blogger: How to be Eco-Friendly on a Limited Budget

26 Dec
Neems of Neems-n-Things writes:
While walking the aisles of the supermarket last week, I felt overwhelmed by all the eco-friendly products, gizmos and gadgets on display for the holiday season. Some seemed useful, while are others were just another marketing ploy to get me to part with my money. Honestly, do I need an eco-friendly ice cream scoop when a regular spoon works just fine?
Most of the time, I really do want to reduce my contributions to green house gas emissions and get those around me to do the same. But, it has become very easy to get lost in the hype and feel like your contributions are futile.
So, here are a seven simple tips that can help you get started.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The 3 Rs seem like common sense, but I was surprised to find out that I was not recycling properly. Planet Green gives a great explanation on how to do it.

2. BYOL – Bring your own lunch
Sometimes it’s great to go a new restuarnt for lunch and other times, it’s just a another hassle. Try bringing your own lunch to work or school. It gives you the option of getting whatever you want and made just the way you like it. You could take dinner leftovers to avoid them going to waste. But, don’t forget to pack it in a  reusable bag, with a resusable water bottle and container. And if you’re feeling extra eco-friendly, use a cloth napkin.

3. Don’t buy an item just because it has the words green, eco-friendly, or recycled on it.
Purchasing some of these items might make you feel good for a moment, but think about the benefit of purchasing them? What good is a reusable bag if you are going to fill it with disposable paper plates, disposable water bottles, and processed junk food? Instead buy products because you need and plan on using.

4. Make a list before you go shopping
I know how difficult it can be to go into a store and only buy what you need, but doing so will save you time and money. Take a look in the fridge and the cupboards before you go shopping to avoid wasting food. Also, if you use a list, it’s easier to stick to a budget and avoid spending extra money.

5. No Impulse Buying
One thing I have learned in trying to reduce my contribution to landfills is not to buy on impulse. Seriously, how many times have you bought that extra item that was on sale only to stash it away in the closet for the next six months? It is a waste of money and a major culprit of waste production.  That includes groceries, hair products (product junkism is real), shoes and clothes. It takes some practice but the extra savings are worth it.

6. If you don’t use it, let it go
As you take inventory of the things that you have, you are bound to notice you have unused appliances, shoes and clothes. Sometimes it’s hard to admit you have too much stuff. But there is no sense in holding onto to it. Why not donate those items to a local homeless shelter, Salvation Army or Goodwill? Or you can try craigslist, Freecycle and consignment shops.

7. Throw a Swap & Shop party
If you have too much stuff, more than likely your friends do, too? So organize a weekend when you all bring your gently used items together and exchange. Make it a potluck and have each person also bring a dish or drink. And at the end, you and your friends can opt to donate or sell the leftovers.


Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

2 Dec


Directions: Add the baking soda to a large bowl and then add the essential oils. Be sure to mix the oils into the baking soda well. Since lemon essential oil is normally yellow, it is essential that it is mixed well into the baking soda so that no undiluted lemon oil stains your carpet. This blend may be adapted to use your favorite essential oils, but strive to add essential oils that offer antibacterial and disinfectant properties to give the deodorizer an added benefit (the oils in this blend work to accomplish that). After you have blended the oils into the baking soda, the deodorizer can be stored in a glass jar or airtight container. 

Instructions for Use: Sprinkle the deodorizer onto your carpet. Several of AromaWeb’s advertisers sell powder sifter containers suitable for body powders and carpet deodorizers. Alternatively, you may use a clean, discarded spice container that has holes that permit you to “shake” the deodorizer onto your carpet). Allow the deodorizer to sit on your carpet for 10-20 minutes and then vacuum normally. 

Source: Aromaweb

Vanilla Room Spray Recipe

29 Nov

Vanilla Room Spray

  • 4 oz. clean spray bottle with a fine mist setting (do not use a bottle that previously contained cleaning products or hair products such as hair spray).
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled water
  • 1.5 ounces of vanilla extract
  • Up to 10 drops of your favorite essential oils if you would like to add to the vanilla aroma.

Be sure and take heed in the safety data for the oil(s) you choose to use since an air freshener, by its nature, will come in contact with all those in your household.

Directions: Fill the spray bottle with 1.5 ounces of vanilla extract and 1.5 ounces of distilled water. (Even though a 4 oz. bottle is suggested, leave about 1 oz. unfilled so you can shake the bottle well between uses.) Then, add up to 10 drops of your essential oils if desired. Shake the bottle prior to each use, and let it sit for about a day before making a conclusion that the aroma is too weak; the aroma can change after the air freshener has had time to sit. Mist lightly in the room. Be especially careful not to allow the air freshener mist fall onto furniture or into open beverages.

Photo Source:

Source: Aromaweb

LINK: 20 Secret Household Cleaners

17 Oct

Here is an article about cleaning your home with items that you probably already have in the house.


Follow me on twitter: @naturalbyl

Natural Oven Cleaner Recipe

12 Sep

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid castile soap

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven.  Cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle  more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work, try adding more baking soda.

Natural Scrub Cleaner Recipe

4 Aug

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent(castile soap works for this) to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

Easy Homemade Dryer Sheets

20 Jul


What You Need:

1. Cotton, washcloth, or fabric (make sure it is clean and light-colored)

2. Essential Oils

Put a few drops of the essential oil on your cloth, and put it into the dryer with your clothes.  This is an easy way to make your clothes more fragrant.

Natural Spray Cleaner

19 Jul

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

Natural Bleach Subsitute

12 Jul

Bleach/Brightener Substitute
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1⁄4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice
12 cups water

Store in a labeled plastic jug. Add 2 cups per load along with detergent.


Natural Furniture Polish Recipe

8 Jul

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.