Attracting Bees

Now normally I run from stinging things as I tend to swell up pretty good when stung. We all know that our little friends are in trouble so I’m going to have to start looking out for them and hope they return the favor. I came across an article today about building bee hotels and I wanted to share it with you:  Building a bee hotel.  It’s a great article and jumping off point. There is another article with several ideas here: 5 ways to build a bee hotel.

I have big plans for my new garden this year and building a little habitat into it for our fellow creatures is now a part of that plan. I love the pile of stacked debris in that last article and plan to do something similar, as well as build a bee hotel.

I may be a be a better gardener in my head then in reality but I can sure stack up a pile o’crap in my yard!

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K Cup Recycling Part 2

Ok so yesterday the little K Cup top removers came so I can compost the paper & coffee grounds and save up the plastic to send back.  I got them from Recycle A Cup and I think this is a great idea.

I’ve only used it on 2 K Cups but wanted to give my honest feedback here. It’s not the panacea I’d hoped but it will work.

First, the packaging could be a little more earth &  user friendly. I had to tear it into little bits to get the tool out of the packaging and there is plastic in the packaging.

Now, the first K Cup I recycled came apart with a little plastic ring stuck to the filter so I had to tear it apart with my hands and that plastic ring is waste now. The second one I guess I did correctly (pushed the cup up further in the tool) and I got 2 pieces – one plastic cup that I can send back to the company when I get a lot of them, and one part with the filter, grounds and metal cover.

In both cases you will have to tear off the metal cover and will get grounds all over your hands and the counter… if  you are like me anyway.

So I will use this tool and I will recycle my K Cups but it will be messy! I’m ok with that.

Alternatively, you can buy refillable K Cup thingies that you put your own grounds in…..

Have a great day!

K Cup Recycling

So ya, we all have our vices and mine is a deep love for my keurig. I don’t drink that much coffee because I gave up caffine for my blood pressure but my husband drinks it every day. I know there are lots of horror stories about how awful and filthy these machines are… ya that’s why I call it a vice!

But anywayyyyyyyyyyyy … it bothered me greatly to throw away all these little cups… they are as bad as plastic water bottles. Luckily today I found ReCycleACup which is a company that makes a little device to cut off the top of the kcup so we can seperate the compostable grinds & filter from the plastic. The plastic can then be reused or recycled. Don’t have a local place that will take the cups? No problem, you can mail them back to the company and they will do it for you.

I ordered mine today. I might even start recycling these for other people, but first I need to make sure it works well. I’ll keep you posted!

Zero Waste

So I’ve gotten a lot of good info from ZeroWasteHome.com and I think Bea is great but I do have to say this… if the photos on the site are of her home then NO just NO. ( you’ll just have to visit the site and click PHOTOS to see what I mean) I don’t know anyone who can live like this for realz. It reminds me of that Woody Allen movie with the orgasmitron where everything was white and sterile.

Can we all create less waste, hell ya. But life is dirty and messy and just.. NOT clean and white. If you have children, a husband and/or pets then you know what the heck I’m talking about.

I don’t want to live like that. I want to emmerse myself in the glorious messy dirty practice of living. But you know, to be fair, if folks can live like that AND want to live in a sterile, white, cleanroom house.. well go for it.

Toothpaste, Body Powder & Deoderant

Home Made Toothpaste

These past few weeks I’ve taken a little time to remove some toxins from my life, reduce the waste I create and stop supporting big corporations just a little  bit more. I made myself some deoderant using baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils and I have to say it works well. I know, I know, it’s winter.. we’ll see how this bad boy holds up come the dead of summer and working in the garden….  but aluminum is bad mmkay? I’ve tried using those stones for deoderant but I just hated them…. I’m liking this concoction.

Yesterday was a rainy day so I decided to  play in the kitchen and made a lovely  Winter scented Body Powder, and it’s heavenly. I used an old, empty talc container for the powder which works great (the top pried right off.) I also made more laundry soap, which I’ve made a number of times before and my husband actually asks me to make it when we run out. The above picture is homemade toothpaste & tooth powder that is simply baking soda, stevia and peppermint essential oil. The paste also has coconut oil.

Let me just say…. both baking soda and coconut oil are amazing.

I ordered some cloth and net bags for my grocery shopping too. I got them in various sizes so that they will hold veggies, fruits and bulk purchases such as flour and rice. I should make them myself but I’m just not a seamstress… I broke the sewing maching way back in the day  in school.

I’ve been reading up on producing zero waste . Bea of this site suggests bringing jars to the butcher in the grocery store and asking them to put your meat in there… this seems sort of far out but so did making your own deoderant 5 years ago….. I wonder what the guy at Hannafords is gonna say when I shop next week… and yes, I know, I know, we shouldn’t really even buy meat from the grocery store…. but sometimes it can’t be avoided and we can only make the changes we can at the time. I’m working on that one. I’m hoping to raise some meat birds this spring/summer so I’ll have a supply of chicken in my freezer, I get all of my hamburger from a local farmer who hays my fields and in return he gives us beef, I already raise chickens for eggs; so I’ve made a start.

I also started a big pot of bone broth using the carcass of the chicken I roasted this past weekend and read 1/2 way thru a book on permaculture. Wow that was a good day!

~Love and Light, Nan

Recycling Dryer Lint

So I’ve been thinking about dryer lint in the back of my mind for years. Last year I made fire starters with lint and old crayons I’d cleaned out of my daughters old boxes and bins. They worked great but I don’t have anymore crayons as my daughter is all grown up.

While reading some articles on a zero waste lifestyle I found out that dryer lint can be composted! This spring I’ll be landscaping my front yard and adding my very own veggie/herb garden AND a new compost bin built with wooden pallets. This will be the perfect time to reuse all that dryer lint!

A zero waste lifestyle seems way off the charts for me but I know I can reduce what I do create and I’m going to focus on that in 2016.

In 2015 I moved to natural, but purchased, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid and household cleaning products. I also made my own laundry soap but was unhappy with homemade fabric softener. This year I’m going to try to make my own deoderant and toothpaste as well as move to purchasing food and personal hygene items in bulk and bring my own containers.

Some zelots insist you move entirely from a life you are used to, to one of zero waste and being totally one with the planet, overnight. I do not believe that after 30,40 or 50+ years of living one can instantly unlearn a lifetime of habits and preferences. We are all works in progress and making small changes, learning to fully encorporate them into your life till they are natureal, and then making other changes… is something that we are all capable of. Every change you make benefits you and the planet. So don’t get overwhelmed and do nothing; pick one to three things to change and make them a part of your lifestyle. When they are second nature then rinse and repeat.

Happy 2016!

PS: Just came across an article that said NO don’t compost dryer lint. It had a few other things not to compost so check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Choices & Changes

Changing one’s life to be more in tune with the environment, local produce and healthy living is not something I could do all in one fell swoop. It took 50+ years to get to this point and that’s a lot of habits and choices to change overnight.  It’s a lot of learned behavior to retrain in such a way that it’s dooable and sticks.

I see many blogs or FB posts where folks are judgemental and insist you must do this or that NOW and not doing so makes you a lousy person and personally responsible for the death of the planet. I say PISH!  Different approaches will work for different people. I know that I have to compromise to some extent with those who live in my household; while I will no longer drink soda and believe Pepsi is made by an awful company and is tantamount to poison, I still buy it for my husband… no I”m not trying to kill him…. but if I don’t buy it he will anyway and it’s not for me to dictate to him what he consumes. He knows my stance but his choices are just that, his choices.

I loved Pepsi. LOVED it. When I gave up soda I did have relapes especiallly when under stress and I’d drink a few glasses to get me through. Finally I was able to resist and I’ve now been soda free for at least 4 or 5 months. My husband left a glass on the table the other day and I tasted it and guess what? YUK… I no longer even like it.

My approach is to pick a few things to change and work on those until they click; once they are second nature you can pick a few more and so on.

My newest attempt is to add more fruits and veggies into every meal. Inspired by 100 Days of Real Food I took a challenge to add 2 fruits or veggies to each meal. I wasn’t able to do that 100% at first but what it did is bring that idea into my consciousness and now I have successfully added more fruits and veggies to most every meal. Today I’m working in one of my artisan cooperatives and I brought lunch: Hummus, pita bread, lime water, ground cherries, pecans, tomatoes, a peach and a tangerine. No sandwich with processed meat (yes I’m sorry I LOVE bologna) … this is progress.  Take it one meal, once change,  at a time until it’s second nature…..

Don’t give up and don’t let folks shame you! Moving forward is the only important thing…..

~Nan

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