Sunday, April 22, 2012
I have tried to practice living a greener lifestyle ever since I left college, studying environmental conservation has changed my thinking forever about protecting the Earth and doing my individual part for the greater of the whole.
It isn't always the easiest and it takes time and awareness but I believe that what I do comes back to me in greater abundance, that is true for all of us.
This year I am living very simply and it has been nice to have the time to ponder my lifestyle and practices that I will be teaching my growing family. I like to give thanks for the Earth and seek even further changes I can make to help out with our planetary health. This year I am making a pledge to cleaning up even more. What I have already done and what I will start doing to help out me, my family, the Earth, and you!
Here is my list of 20 lifestyle changes I've made other than recycling religiously;
Earth can absorb my energy and produce the best food for my body. Lots of Love and intention helps keep our connection with the Earth.
2. Compost my food scrapes and turn them back into rich healthy soil. An old plastic garbage can works great with some holes in the top.
3.Using canvas or any other reusable shopping bag for groceries, shopping, farmers markets or anything else that they use plastic bags...if I forget my bag I carry my goods to remind me to place them in my car for next time. The habit has stuck and now I leave bags in my car all the time.
4. Carry around my own water bottle. I don't buy bottled water. The plastic from those bottles is a terrible hazard to the environment. Watch water bottle story to learn more about this impact.
5. Turning off the lights when I leave a room, JJ can tell you all about me following behind him and turning off the lights as he leaves rooms as well. I also keep the lights off outside unless I am out there.
6. Changing the lightbulbs to CFLs, saving so much energy and money!
7. Washing my clothes in cold water instead of hot, better for my clothes anyway.
8. Combining my errands for one trip instead of driving needlessly everyday to the same place. Also, Drive the speed limit and coast to the stop signs instead of gassing the car and slamming on your breaks.
9. Ride a bike. If at all possible, in Tennessee it is NOT very bike friendly, I would like to try to ride my bike more often for errands or to visit a friend if they live close.
11. Turn off my computer at night.
12. Hang my clothes outside to dry. Clothes dried in the sun smell soo good.
13. Before buying anything new, check craigslist, KSL, or a thrift store and see if I can find something that needs to be saved instead. Keeping my carbon footprint down by reusing first. Also, donate to thrift stores instead of throwing things away.
14. Make my own household cleaners. Check my tutorials for recipes.
15. Unplug my chargers when not in use.
17. Use a Diva Cup for my menstral cycle. I have been using one for a year now and it is amazing, never have I leaked and I can do every sport and swim.
18. Use cloth napkins at dinner, then wash the kitchen with them before placing them in the dirty laundry.
19. Reuse glass jars for flour, honey, syrups, dried beans or anything else instead of plastic bags.
20. Buy food in bulk. Freeze it, continue canning food or place in cold storage.
What will you do to help our planet????
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
So lately I have been very obsessed with what I put on my skin. This includes my clothes, my detergent I wash my clothes in, my belly lotions, my soaps, and even the shampoos that I wash my hair with. The skin is the largest organ on the body and it absorbs everything through its many many pores. I have been thinking so much about the skin of my newly forming baby's body and how everything I use on my skin is being absorbed into my bloodstream and into my precious little Amazing one.
Yes, that is the babies name "Amazing" We simply can't think of another name!
Anyhoo, back to the skin. So I have gutted out all my products and either created my own or found great safe ones that I am going to share.
Lets start with Shampoo-
I have searched many products for good shampoo and even made my own which is nice but some people will find it hard to get use to because it doesn't lather too much, I'll post a recipe for scaly scalp in my tutorial. The products I have found that are amazing with no sulfates (lathering agent), parabens, preservatives, MEA, DEA, or dyes. All these are useless in shampoos. My ultimate favorite is "DermOrganic" shampoo and conditiner both contain Argan oil which is great for repairing hair and leaving it incredibly shiny. I also found one from sally's beauty supply that is cheap and free from sulfates, parabens, silicones, DEA, MEA, or dyes. The brand is "Zotos- pure elements". "Desert Essence" and "Avalon Organics" and "Nature's Gate" all carry lines of chemical free shampoos and conditioners.
-Keep in mind you won't do much good avoiding harmful shampoos if your water is full of chlorine and other hard water minerals. So from spriteshowerfilter.com you can find a filter that screws on your showerhead and filters all the chlorine and hard minerals out of your water. Just think about all those lovely relaxing baths you take and how much your skin is soaking in chlorine and hard minerals. Those are all being absorbed into your skin...and for the mommies their babies skin.-
Being pregnant I am keeping my belly and boobs and hips nice and lathered all the time to help with elasticity as well as maybe keep away stretch marks some. I have found my favorite and most trusted to be straight up "Coconut Oil" I mix vitamin E and lavender essential oil to the coconut oil in a large container and I lather up twice a day. Smells so good, watch your pets they love this stuff!
I will someday be a pro at making my very own bars of soaps but until I get my goats and borrow their milk these companies have made me smile with their yummy body soaps.
"ZUM Bar" makes wonderful soaps with shea butter, glycerin, and essential oils of many different fragrances. Also, "Bronner's Castile" soap is awesome for making household cleaners and to use as a body wash, it comes in a bar of soap as well. I like the homemade soaps I find at farmers markets and I tend to stock up everytime I go, so step out to your local market and see what the locals are making for soap, usually it will have less than 5 ingredients thats how you know its awesome!
Best company I have found is "Rockin Green" detergent. It is made with 6 ingredients and they specialize their formula for cloth diapers that go directly on the babies bum. Yes, I will be using cloth diapers so detergent without any harmful chemicals is a must. Check them out at rockingreensoap.com.
But you can make your own too with Borax, castile soap, rosemary, washing soda, distilled water, and essential oils. Check it out in my tutorials.
I hope you love your skin as much as I do and take some time to make small changes to your routine and products. Remember everything that is harmful on you is also very harmful to our environment getting into our ground water and contaminating our water systems and the earth. Take pride in your personal care and it helps care for the planet.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The next morning I got to sleep in, which isn't too rare for me these days but still I LOVE it! JJ brought me breakfast in bed. Fruit with almond butter and juice. I ate some in bed then went outside and laid on the hammock for the rest. He took off to the store as I read and relaxed.
He came home and made me an ice cream cake with coconut milk vanilla ice cream and a layer of gingersnap/peanut butter filling with coconut milk chocolate ice cream on bottom. MMMM! The boy can cook!
I cleaned myself up and he took me to downtown Nashville to an art museum to see a fantasy art exhibit...so cool!
We met up with his mom for a chinese dinner and then to a movie "The Hunger Games" lets just say JJ said his hand hurt after the movie, so intense!
The next morning I wrote in my journal and he got all geared up for a day out on the Caney Fork river in a canoe. I packed a lunch and we were off.
Oh, the river was sooo gorgeous. It reminded me of the Yangze river in China. Rocky cliffs of limestone and luscious green foliage everywhere you look. Everything in Tennessee is so green and beautiful, so much life here. We slowly paddled downstream and enjoyed listening to the sounds of the birds and the trout jumping for bugs. We pulled off the side and had lunch in a green grassy field. We laid next to each other and snuggled for a while.
The weather was perfect and we were the only ones on the river, so private and peaceful. I enjoyed every minute of it. I am loving my adventures here and am thankful that even though I miss home at times, this feels very nice and I do appreciate this experience in my life. Baby's first canoe trip was a joyful success...Thank you JJ for being my sunshine everyday, I Love you more than you'll ever know!
Oh, I can't leave out that for dinner that night we had fast food 'chik-fil-a' oh yeah I ate chicken and I devoured it. Baby likes the fast food. Damnit! She must be her father's child. It was so dangerously tasty. In moderation I suppose, JJ loved it, he even had to snap a photo.