Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Trial & Error

School starting, Scout planning and soccer practices beginning. It's a fine time to add something new, right?

But I'm doing just that. The busyness of back to school means I have less time than ever to squeak in those extra errands. But it may just be what I need to get back on track.

Once a month, I'll share you some of the great finds and serious stumbles I make on my road to greener stewardship. And I invite you to send me pins, posts, links and ideas of what you'd in your heart want to try but just haven't been quite brave enough.

What I have been up to the last few weeks? Here are just a few things I've squeezed into my schedule.

I tried: Baking bread.

Yea. Baking. Really have time for that, right? But I am in love with the Five Minutes a Day concept... And I realized it's really easy to start your dough, run kids to practice, come home and then bake enough bread to cover two week's worth of sandwiches.

The verdict: Win.

I tried: Making dishwasher detergent.

Making dish soap was going to be a trickier task. Store-bought powdered recipes always seemed to clump up in our dishwasher. And I couldn't find a liquid recipe that had all the ingredients I needed.

I finally stumbled on a recipe that is simple: 1:1 Borax and baking soda. Had both of those. Whipped up 3 cups worth in 90 seconds. I use two tablespoons each load, and everything is coming out clean!

The verdict: Win.

I tried: Making homemade deodorant.

This I was least certain about. I stumbled on the idea on Pinterest the afternoon I ran out. The concept is simple: cornstarch, baking soda, coconut oil and a few essential oils. (I swapped lavender and Solace blend for the Whisper blend but otherwise followed the directions to a T). It makes slightly more mix than will fit in your standard deodorant container.  While it packs well, I felt it was really flaky when I put it on, and I felt the melaleuca (tea tree oil) smell was overpowering.

That and I truly haven't had a chance to put it to the real test: Honest summer weather (or, I confess, a workout). We've been blessed with dry 70s here, not humid or really hot. The 90s we've been promised for later this week may prove whether this idea really works.

The verdict: Postponed.


What ideas for greener living have you wanted to try but haven't? Post your idea here or send me an email at goinggreenmama@gmail.com, and I'll share the results of them next month.

5 comments:

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

Do you compost? That's what I'm reluctant to try. I'm scared of attracting vermin.

robbie @ going green mama said...

I do! Pretty easy. Though if I actually put real effort into it it would be better!

Green Bean said...

I need to go back to baking bread, Robbie. Thanks for the input on that one. We make our own laundry and dish detergent and that is such a win. Plus, it makes me feel happy every tie I take a scoop of it out of a cute thrifted jar. ;-)

Betsy - we compost in three large wooden bins against the fence. I had thought we would attract all kinds of rats, raccoons and such but it has been half a year and I've seen no difference in wildlife. I do think it is helpful to have plant material (leaves, dead plants, grass clippings) to balance the food. It helps things decompose more quickly.

Stephanie said...

I love in HOT Arizona and finally found a homemade deodorant that works for me! It's a simple mix of 50/50 baking soda/cornstarch. You can put it on with a cotton ball, but I just use my hand to rub it in. Just don't get dressed immediately after.

Christy said...

I have been reluctant to try the Borax dish detergent but I found a recipe for Borax-free detergent. Haven't tried it yet.

I have been very reluctant to try the homemade deodorant because I have wondered about white marks on clothes. I use a crystal that seems to do the job so far. Maybe when it runs out I will give it a go.

I have been a very very reluctant baker most of my life, but over the past year I have taken on the baking challenge and I love it! Nothing like fresh homemade bread. Only problem is that it never lasts because everyone gobbles it up as soon as it cools enough to eat.

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