Ideas for Environmentally Healthy Living

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Ravensdaughter
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Ideas for Environmentally Healthy Living

Postby Ravensdaughter » 19 Jan 2004, 23:26

:ravens:

I am starting this thread in order to encourage us all to research, share and try out different ways in which to live more gently on the Earth. I think that both the planet and our own health and happiness would benefit greatly.

So...to start things off I will put a few helpful URLS and ideas that I use.

The Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.org/
While this is based in the USA, there are a lot of good ideas and resources on the site.

Environlink Homepage: http://www.envirolink.org/
This page has a LOT of useful links for all kinds of information on it.

Nuclear Information and Resource Services: http://www.nirs.org/
Great site for info regarding energy and nuclear issues

Most of us do not have tons of money to spend on things to renovate our homes and such, so we have to look to inexpensive alternatives. Not always possible, especially when it comes to organically grown food and cloth, but there are things we can do.

On another thread I posted a recipe for a household cleaner that can replace most of what we buy. There are good reasons to do this. Most commercial cleaners are loaded to the gills with chemicals you really do not want around yourself or your kids. We are taught/conned into believing that we have to massacre every bug, germ and virus in our environments if we want to have any chance of being healthy. It is a lie.

For one thing, the chemicals used damage us, our kids, our pets, wildlife and everything else. Secondly, using this stuff only breeds bigger and badder bugs, resulting in antibiotics not working as well when we really need them. Hospitals are famous for this. The stuff they use only breeds more resistant strains of things like staph. Thirdly, the simple things like hot water, soap, vinegar, etc. wash away the vast majority of germs and such anyway. And fourthly, we need germs and bugs in order to be healthy. Our immune systems are designed to respond to these things by becoming stronger. We actually weaken ourselves when we try to live germ-free.

So...here is my grandmother's recipe for a general, all-purpose cleaner:

1 gallon hot water
1/2 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons baking soda

This works beautifully on counters, in refrigerators, to clean out washing machines, etc. If something is REALLY dirty, increase the amounts of ammonia and vinegar by another 1/2 cup each.

For windows, I use either a few tablespoons of ammonia and vinegar in hot water or a product called Bi-O-Kleen Glass Cleaner. I like the spray bottle and the stuff cleans well with no environmental problems or fumes.

There are some products on the market, in the USA, that are very good. Simple Green is what I use in toilets and for very greasy stuff. Grease on clothing - I use a product called Bi-O-Kleen Cleaner and Degreaser. One bottle makes 32 or more gallons and it is made with grapefruit seed and orange peel extract, along with coconut and other environmentally friendly things. This stuff can be used on upholstery, counters, in the laundry...all over the place.

I think that sharing what we do to make our lives healthier and more in balance with Life is a wonderful thing. And we can include gardening tips, tips on where to find organic products, recycling and anything else we can think of.

Peace and Bright Blessings,
Samantha Ravensdaughter

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Flidais
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Postby Flidais » 20 Jan 2004, 12:52

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Summer ends in gowns of gold and Red
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add sparkle to her aging eyes.
One last dance before sleep over takes her
and visions of green fill her dreams.

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Postby Aril » 22 Jan 2004, 22:01

There is a paperback available in the UK called 'Go M.A.D. 365 daily ways to save the planet' which is updated and reissued annually which is a good starting point for living more lightly. It's got loads of good tips [well 365 actually!] and a list of useful addresses and contacts.

Hope this is of help

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Postby Lily » 10 Mar 2004, 11:40

bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Postby Night Hawk » 14 Mar 2004, 22:52

I don't drive (due to my low vision), but I feel much happier and healthier with having to walk to a lot of places. If the distance is to great to walk, I either take the bus or have someone drive me.
Walking's GREAT exercise, too!
:awen:
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Postby Becca » 12 Apr 2004, 16:28

I just traded in my 4x4 truck (about 16 MPG/city) for a Honda Civic Hybrid (rated at 48 MPG/city). It was voted the cleanest internal combustion engine in the world. So far, I love it. I would definitely recommend this car to anyone who needs to drive but hates the negative environmental impact it causes.
Every little step helps, right?
Becca

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Postby Angela » 20 Aug 2004, 17:33

You can buy Earth friendly items at
http://www.gaiam.com They have several catalogues focusing on different aspects of living.

Angela

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Wren MacDonald
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Postby Wren MacDonald » 28 Dec 2004, 20:44

I could go crazy listing stuff here but in the interest of not being attached to the computer for the rest of the day doing so I'll only list a few:

for earth-friendly cleaning products: seventhgeneration.com (they also have a cool monthly e-newsletter)

for all sorts of eco- and simplicity- living: the center for a new american dream (i believe it's "newdream.org")... doesn't just apply to americans, lots of good info

to do a daily good deed: thehungersite.com, therainforestsite.com, theanimalrescuesite.com, thebreastcancersite.com, thechildhealthsite.com, theliteracysite.com, ecologyfund.com; click the button(s) for free every day, you don't give them any personal info, and companies that advertise on the sites donate to the specific charity(-ies) all because you see their ad on the page.

for good environmental news and tips: grist.com

good enviro reading: The Legacy of Luna by Julia Butterfly Hill
...also One Can Make A Difference, same author.

Okay, I'll stop (for now, mwa ha ha ha!). ^_^

Wren ^.~*
Tree huggers of the world, unite! ^.~*

http://www.thehungersite.com
http://www.ecologyfund.com

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Postby ShropshirePagan » 30 Jan 2005, 19:44

Ok ....

Female orientated but relevant to all genders really ...

http://www.wen.org.uk - it's the Women's Environmental Network. They have lots of information on health, food and waste projects. When my son was littler (he's five now) I was a founder member of Shropshire Real Nappy Network.

Recycling, simplest way to 'do your bit' - http://www.recycle-more.co.uk/

Organic gardening - fantastic way to help your environment and have stuff to eat that's not coated in nasties - http://www.hdra.org.uk (Henry Doubleday Research Association - home of organic gardening in the UK!)

And for any tips on more earth-friendly living, my fave - Centre for Alternative Techology. They show many different ways of building amongst many other things - http://www.cat.org.uk/index.tmpl?refer=index&init=1

Hope that helps. I don't do as much as I possibly could due to time and money limitations, but if these links help, it's another small step in the right direction.

Blessings

Elaine x

PS - if anyone would like to know more about cloth nappies or eco-friendly sanitary products, I'm happy to share my knowledge (and it's not out of commercial interest!) - so please PM me!
...the turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour. And I can feel it.

The Doctor in 'Rose', 2005


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Deilen
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Postby Deilen » 03 Feb 2005, 21:11

Hi all,
I just wanted to add something about Ecover products or more the point another reason why it's good to use them.
I live on the River Wye and over the past year we have noticed a large amount of foam on the river. Which sucks at the best of time but since the River is an SSSI and nominated SAC it's not good news.
To cut a long story short after a year of bugging the E.A. and finally getting some help form a friend with media contacts something has started to happen.
The foam is down to a new Phosphate scrubbing process that, although removes alot more phosphate, it reactivates the detergent.
See there is no easy way to actually remove all that soap, washing powder, washing up liquid etc etc, that we all put down our drains every day.
so although we don't see it, it's there and this new process reactivates the active chemicals called Surfactants and hence the foam.
So it's a big fat slap in the face and a wake up call that we ARE responsible for what we put down our drains and therefore the environments it goes into.
Ecover, as it breaks down unlike normal detergent, is far more healthy all around.

If you would like any more info please PM me or email me.

Deilen

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Postby Becca » 03 Mar 2005, 14:39

I haven't seen it mentioned, but I also like Mother Earth News. They usually have some good articles. http://www.motherearthnews.com[/url]
Becca

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Mother Earth News

Postby Goldfinch » 26 Mar 2005, 08:12

I receive the Mother Earth News Magazine and I enjoy the articles that are written. One of the reasons why I enjoy the magazine is it reminds me of simpler times living in a rural area. I may live near 2 large cities but I will never forget my rural roots in western New York State. Someday I hope to return to that area permanently.

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Postby bonefox » 27 Mar 2005, 18:14

One thing you can do if you can't afford to buy a more efficient car (like me >_<) is to make sure you get your oil changed and your car tuned regularly. This can raise the efficiency of your car. It may not seem like much, but if everyone got just a few more miles to the gallon, it would make a huge difference!

I almost forgot! Resale/Second-hand shops are great! I take all the clothing and other items I never wear/use anymore, and drop them off. Not to mention it's a cheap way to find goods you might normally buy new.

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Postby bonefox » 15 Apr 2005, 02:24

Here's a link to a number of eco-friendly solutions:

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/site/p ... HF&b=83939

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Postby Dryadia2 » 05 Jun 2005, 04:30

Bugs don't bother me, but when they start eating my outdoor plants, i get defensive! I noticed the leaves of my hedges were turning yellow, and were speckled with tiny white mealybug insects. Here's my 'solution' and has been tested on 'Euonymus' shrubs with success:

Environmentally Friendlier Bug Spray
(for sap-sucking mealybug, scale-type insects)

1 cup 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon mineral oil
1 teaspoon mild dish soap
1 quart water

Outdoors: spray the little buggers and nearby leaves, repeat in 10-14 days (in case eggs hatch), or dab with cotton swab for minor infestations.

Indoors: dip a cotton swab in solution and dab it on.

Disclaimer:
Caution!
Test First, as plants are sensitive! Try a small amount on a leaf, wait a couple of days, and if the offensive bugs die, and the leaf isn't harmed, then try a larger area.
Last edited by Dryadia2 on 05 Sep 2005, 20:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Loosh » 24 Jul 2005, 00:30

Hi All! I want to share my bug spray formula. It is really just "garlic tea". But the method is important. Here goes:

chop coarsely 1 whole garlic (medium sized)(ten to twenty cloves)
Put it in boiling water (1-2 quarts)
turn off the heat and cover the pan
let it sit until completely cooled (3 or 4 hours OR overnight)
decant into a spray bottle with one or two pieces of the garlic
discard the rest of the garlic

Now you have a very sulfur rich stinky spray that will get rid of white flies and aphids (probably more but that's all I have tried it on). I bought a very expensive bug spray--it smelled the very same way had a lot of sulfur in it--but was poisonous to animals and humans too.

I have also had good results from an organic fertilizer from http://www.gardensalive.com they have a great catalogue with pictures and descriptions of garden meanies and how to get rid of them.

Happy Gardening!
:D
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Postby Dryadia2 » 24 Jul 2005, 01:59

Greetings Loosh!

Thanks for sharing your recipe! It sounds much safer to use, than the recipe I posted, (which is for mealy bugs not aphids), and mine is too harsh on tender leafed plants. I'm not sure how my kitchen will smell making 'garlic tea'(might leave it outside while steeping), but I'll give it a try!

Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

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Postby Loosh » 26 Jul 2005, 00:19

Hi Dryadia!
I think the secret is to cover it immediately after the boiling water is poured over the cloves of garlic and keep it covered overnight. That way much of the stink stays in and when it has cooled --then only the liquid smells. So it will stink if you splash it around.

I found I need to re-apply the spray after a rain, otherwise every 7 days at least. It can be applied more often (every two days) if the infestation is very bad. I had some black aphids that were very difficult to get rid of!!
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Postby Lora » 26 Jul 2005, 00:44

One thing's for sure - it can't smell worse than comfrey 'tea' which I use as a feed. Definitely for outdoor use only!

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Postby Wren MacDonald » 05 Sep 2005, 11:28

Hello again!

Here are a few more websites with lots of tips and suggestions:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/eco-tips/index.php

http://www.globalstewards.org/main.htm

http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/5002/index.html


And a couple of book suggestions:

Eco-Economy and Plan B both by Lester R. Brown (he has a new one out but I haven't read it yet).

Also in the way of cleaning-type-suggestions, I use baking soda and vinegar to clean out drains. Just pour some baking soda down into the drain, and follow it up with vinegar (I don't pre-measure this... just pour enough vinegar to fizz up the baking soda and get it all down the drain. Put in as much baking soda as you like ^_^). It may take a couple of applications if you're really clogged up, but if you do it periodically (preventively instead of after you've already got a clog) it works really well to keep things running smoothly. Also, if you've got a wicked bad clog and even several pours doesn't work, they have these things that you attach to a hose and stuff down into the drain; it builds up water pressure and shoots it in there with so much force that it knocks the clog right out. No harsh plumbing chemicals needed (or expensive plumber bills).

Another friendly alternative I use all the time is for cleaning caked-and-burnt-on pots and pans. While the pot/pan is still hot on the stove (leaving the heat on works best), pour on some lemon or lime juice. The heated up acid will cook off whatever is stuck on your cookware, and you can just scrape it off with a spatula (or what have you) and it comes off like it was nothing. I used to use this when I worked in my college dorm's cafeteria on their industrial-size grills and trust me, if it can clean that mess, it can clean anything. No elbow grease required.

One more tip for water conservation: keep an empty bucket or something by the sink to collect good water that you would normally pour down the drain (for instance, when running the hot faucet waiting for the water to heat up, or cooled water from a hot water bottle, etc). Then use that water to water plants, gardens, lawn, etc.

Hope this was helpful to someone! :)


Wren ^.~*
Tree huggers of the world, unite! ^.~*

http://www.thehungersite.com
http://www.ecologyfund.com


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