Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Step 2: All-Purpose Cleaner

The second switch I made on my green journey was extremely easy. Instead of using a commercial cleanser for my countertops, I made a simple one out of vinegar and water - and it can be used for more than just countertops!

I took an old plastic perfume spray bottle and mixed 1 part white distilled vinegar with 2 parts water. Just make sure you shake it up before you use it.

Simple, right? And yes, there is a distinct smell of vinegar when I spray it, but it's gone as soon as it's dry. If you were really opposed to the vinegar smell, you could add some lemon juice to the mix. I haven't tried this, so I can't tell you how well it works, but supposedly it gives it a fresher scent.

And the amazing thing is this cleaner can be used for just about anything. I've found it works great on windows (no streaks!) and could be used on floors, walls, toilets, refrigerators...the possibilities are practically endless. As a side note, however, I have read that vinegar should not be used on marble. Just a heads up.

One last thing about cleaning countertops: if I have a particularly gross spot with stuck-on whatever, I'll make a paste with baking soda and water, rub it in, then let it sit for a little bit. Then I'll spray the vinegar/water mix on it and wipe up. Easy peasy!

Vinegar is a great cleanser because it's versatile, cheap, and a disinfectant. Now I know that the product I'm using to clean a surface I have been known to eat off of is completely safe and sanitary. And I get the added bonus of knowing I'm not polluting the environment - what more can a girl ask for?


Is Cleaning with Vinegar Hygienic?
How to Clean Your Home Naturally
3 Homemade Natural Cleaning Products
Green Cleaning This Spring

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour - Logo

What are you doing Saturday night? On Saturday, March 26 at 8:30 PM, my husband and I will be turning off all the lights and each and every appliance in our house for one hour. Why? Because we are again participating in Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is an event started 4 years ago in Australia that has since become a global movement to take a stand against climate change. Each year this event has become bigger and bigger, involving hundreds of millions of people, hundreds of countries, thousands of businesses, and even iconic buildings and landmarks. That's right. Even the Golden Gate Bridge, Rome's Colosseum, and the Sydney Harbor Bridge have all stood in darkness for one hour each year, as a symbol of the changes we need to make, and the ease in which we can live a more sustainable lifestyle.

You can pledge to turn off your lights for one hour tomorrow night starting at 8:30 PM local time simply by going to

This year, the organizers have decided to take it a step further and ask each of us to "go beyond the hour." It's an initiative that is meant to get people thinking and talking about the other ways in which we can incorporate eco-friendly ideas into our own lifestyle. Things as simple as recycling, eating more locally grown foods, composting, and switching to greener beauty products. Learn more and add your own act here.

This blog is a testament to the things I'm already starting to do and change in order to live a healthier, greener lifestyle. What will you do?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Step 1: Facial Scrub

I've been trying out different face washes for about 6 months now, sometimes because my face just would not stop breaking out, and sometimes because I realized the chemicals in them were actually bad for me and my trying-to-make-a-baby body. Recently I really learned how bad the chemicals in commercial products are for you (a post on that later) and decided I'd try a home remedy.

There are only 2 ingredients: honey and baking soda. I put about 4 tablespoons of honey and 4 teaspoons of baking soda in a small jar and mixed them together. This will last about 10-12 washes (I haven't totally run out yet, but I'm getting close). Here's a picture, post 1st wash (excuse the hair; it had been up all day).

To begin, my skin is not great. It's oily and acne-prone, but gets dried out easily. I have to wash it 2-3 times per day to keep from feeling greasy. I also have spots that seem to be always red. To sum up: it's a mess.

Most of this you can see from the picture. But after that first wash (which was just before bedtime on Wednesday) I noticed two things pretty quickly: my face instantly felt smooth, and the next morning I had just enough oil on my face to keep it hydrated, not the normal layer that felt like it coated my pores.

I did notice just a bit of dryness around the corners of my mouth, and this is no doubt due to the exfoliant properties of the baking soda. If I didn't use that, I'm sure I wouldn't have an issue. But, to be fair, the dryness wasn't enough that it made me reach for the lotion. In fact, I haven't used lotion on my face since I started, and this is normally a step I never skip.

Also, while I still wash my face at least twice a day, I don't feel the need to wash it more often (we'll see if that remains the case with my workouts this week).

And finally, I feel that the redness has seriously subsided. It's not totally gone, but I feel better walking out of the house without makeup.

All in all I am very happy with the results so far. I'll keep up with it, and post pictures periodically so you can see the results.

Here are some resources on honey. Of course, make sure you always do your own research as well.

Benefits of Honey

Properties of Honey

World of Honey

And here's where I got my recipe: No More Dirty Looks

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...

I've recently begun a journey toward a greener lifestyle. I've always been concerned about the environment and my health, but sometimes I put both of those priorities on the backburner in favor of the easier, more popular option. Lately, though I'm finding that I cannot in good conscience do that any more.  And so it was time for a change.

I'd like to document this transition so that I can see how far I've come, what does and does not work, and also have a space where I can explain why I've made these changes.

So welcome! I hope you'll tag along on my journey.