Wednesday, March 27, 2013

(plastic free)...ditch the plastic~~~ ways to avoid - re-use - make the switch

new mandala design...
ocean inspired
"say no to plastic"......

DITCHING THE PLASTIC~~~  REFUSE, REDUCE, RE USE....then if you have to , recycle~

a few posts ago, i mentioned that i thought i was doing pretty good as far as plastic use and recycling and using my own bags goes....blah, blah, blah~~~
my commitment to reduce plastic has been amazingly educational for me.  i never knew all of the issues with toxins in plastics, toxic linings in cans, ingredients in foods, etc....i have REALLY narrowed down my use and am continually making changes...each day i try to make some kind of difference.

once you start looking around for plastic free items, you start to realize how much of what we buy is wrapped in plastic!  UGGHHH.....
here is a good choice for toilet paper...NOT wrapped in plastic~

*.a little more about recycling...a problem in itself~

and now , the fun stuff!!  i have been to the thrift shops around town and have found some AWESOME items~  so excited!!
so, i was on a mission to convert anything in plastic to glass jars or other earth friendly packaging.
also, i am trying to re-use any plastic i have if possible before thinking about taking it to recycle.  my goal is to weed out all plastic's a process~

the perfect jar for sea salt~  ($1.50)
i love the size and the lid....

enamel ware!  i'm obsessed....and love collecting cool pieces and colors...

my spice cabinet...just about plastic free~~~
canisters were cheap at a thrift store...

bargain glass jars~  the one on the right was a liquor decanter and will
be perfect for bulk maple syrup...yay~

another enamel ware bowl!  love the color...and it's huge.

my spice cabinet....i will replenish spices from the bulk section at the health food market...

this was the BEST yummiest dinner....homemade, vegan refried beans...on top of 
the homemade tortillas leftover from last week (recipe on last post) topped with organic avocado, tomato and shredded cheese (not vegan)!!  the beans were so good.
i soaked pinto beans,
cooked in water with 1 chopped onion, 1 head of garlic, some sea salt, pepper and cumin....
cook about an hour then let cool and puree to desired consistency in a vitamix or food daughter the refried bean connoisseur loved them!

making the deodorant switch~~~
i wouldn't have believed it if i hadn't tried it, but YES baking soda really works!
beth terry's choice and i thought i would try it.  i had this container and emptied out the last of the 
powder to use for the baking soda.  it works perfect and i can't believe how much money i'm going to save not buying "healthy" deodorants~~~~

i have been using these and honestly, the baking soda works better :)....
and no plastic~~~

there are plenty of products in glass containers that do the same job as the ones in plastic.

trying to convert to all glass jars was pretty easy...i had so many already and am finding them at the thrift stores too...

(chia seed, flax seed and brewers yeast)

my friend danielle told me about the tomato paste in jars at tidal creek...
also found crushed tomatoes in jars....
the rest is from the bulk section.

and i had these tags on hand for the labels....

making my own water excellent probiotic with many other 
health friend libby shared the grains with me...there are so many recipes on Pinterest and
the web...

finally found syrup in a glass jar...(harris teeter in the baking section)...
my kids love syrup on their pancakes, but i didn't want to buy the plastic bottles...
haven't tried yet but it's "lyle's golden syrup"...

making the switch has been really easy and there are so many ways to make it inexpensive.
it's a process and it's fun (for me)....
we have gotten so used to conveniences, but getting back to the basics is actually way simpler  :)

here's a recipe for dishwasher detergent...(epsom salt comes in containers instead of the plastic bag :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

more plastic free ideas~ keeping it simple~ cleaning up...

this morning i took a different route than usual and ran on the loop (middle sound loop)...
i REALLY couldn't believe how much trash i saw on the side of the road and in the marsh going down to the creeks...
today is trash when i took the trash can to the street i saw the HUGE empty dog food bag in the trash can ...(perfect for picking up trash) :) i headed to the loop again and filled it up...didn't take long (maybe 20 minutes at the most).  mostly plastic...bags, straws, bottles, caps, wrappers from various items , some styrofoam, and someone REALLY likes bud light in a can!  i picked up maybe 12 cans of bud light...(for real).
SO, that's how i re-use my dog food bags!


~one thing i've learned is once you start to learn more about plastics and how to reduce your plastic use, it is endless all the changes you can make!  it's actually been fun and not at all a task like i thought it would be.  i've have found some great resources and have been talking to friends who can give really good advice and input too...  this is a great site for glass jars and pump lids.  i'm really working to reduce all plastic and cans from my pantry and eventually end up with only glass jars. :) also, trying not to buy items in plastic (i.e.: *tortillas)~~~

these were so good!  recipe from danielle below :)
we made quesadillas and everyone just put the ingredients they wanted....
(sweet potatoes, refried beans, cilantro, cheese, sliced chicken, avocado and sliced tomato).
we had leftovers so they are stored in fridge in a glass container....

 today i made my own *laundry detergent following this recipe~ it was really easy- i added some lavender essential oil to make it a little more fragrant.  i love that it has no color to it!  (no dyes)...and i could just re-use plastic containers that i already had.
and HERE is another great site i found with recipes for dishwasher and washing detergent....i haven't tried them yet, but i will and they look good to me!  the blog has great ideas on reducing plastic.

 Plastic Free Shaving 
 Plastic Free Shaving
 Plastic Free Shaving

 Plastic Free Food Wrap
 Plastic Free Kitchen Brushes
 Dental Products

 Plastic Free/ Recycled Binders
 Glass Jars / Paper and Stainless Straws
 Glass Jars with Glass Lids

 Homemade Yogurt
*Homemade Tortillas
 Homemade Hamburger Buns
 Homemade Almond Milk
*Homemade Laundry Detergent
 Homemade Lip Color

Plastic Free Blogs
It Starts With Me
My Plastic Free Life
Wellness Mama
Plastic Manners
Life Plastic Free
Plastic Free Girl

OH, and one of the things that BETH TERRY said at the UNCW presentation has stuck with me, because i truly thought i was doing such a good thing by recycling...
REFUSE, reduce - re-use - recycle....
(recycle is last in the list~  refuse should be added to the list :)
recycling is okay when we try everything else first...once you start researching recycling and what the process entails it's very eye opening~

my favorite glass jar~~~
i found this a while ago at a second hand store for $2.00
it does have a yellow plastic lid, but mason jar lids also fit it.
and my glass straw from glass dharma is the perfect addition ~

have a listen.....
my friend deblois~
hoping to see her down in florida next week

Saturday, March 16, 2013

reducing plastic use...little by little

take good care of the sea.....

(mixed media collage on wood substrate)

the point of this post is to spread the word and hopefully inspire at least 1 person to make changes to reduce plastic use. if more follow that is even better :)
i started this journey just a short while ago and hope that this info. helps anyone wanting to change their plastic footprint. ~PLEASE leave a comment if you want...and let's do this together!!

i'm doing a little research on ways to use less plastic~
first and foremost is the book i was telling you about in the previous post:
"plastic-free".  not only does this book give you LOTS of's also a real eye-opener to what plastic really is and all the damage it can do.
here are some things i've also been doing to reduce my plastic use...

i've been using this recipe for all-purpose cleaner for a while now.  i love really cleans well, and it's all natural..(.i am officially trying really hard not to buy any cleaners in plastic bottles)...
i tweek the recipe sometimes depending on what essential oils i have, but here's the basic recipe.
i put mine in a glass mason jar...and also re-use over and over a spray bottle that i have (yes, it's plastic )

2 T white vinegar
1 T borax
purified water
1/4 cup lavender castille soap
10 drops lavender oil
1 tsp. lemon juice

in 16 oz. bottler or jar, mix vinegar and borax, essential oil, soap and lemon, then fill with warm water to dissolve the borax.  shake it up and use it for pretty much anything!
sometimes i add a little peppermint oil too...or more lemon juice...
the castille soap DOES come in plastic bottles, so next time i make this i'm going to try grating a bar or castille soap into the water, boil it,  whisk to mix it....then i will add the rest of the ingredients. :)

*i made a little jar of all-purpose moisturizer using coconut oil and lavender oil.
it works great's in a small glass bowl with a teeny spoon.

lunch at the co-op...i had my stainless "spork" from green bag lady...and the really cute re-usable bag i won! along with my own bottle ....using their bowl and the paper soup cup...i had very little waste.
AND enjoyed reading my new book i keep going on and on about! :)

*DANIELLE has some good recipes on her blog and one i like is the homemade tortillas~
and although i haven't tried it yet, this looks really yummy too, i'm going to make a batch for our road trip coming up.

once i began my journey to reduce my plastic footprint, i started feeling a little overwhelmed at all the things i love that come wrapped in plastic.  i have started looking for alternatives and even asking at the local health food store if they can provide certain products i like in glass instead of plastic.
i was also shocked when i started looking around my house at all the plastic i have.  it seems like it's everywhere!  luckily, beth tells us in the book not to feel guilty or frustrated...and also not to judge others for what they are or are not doing!  (i really needed to hear that).  the good thing is that once i use what i have here that's in plastic containers i can slowly weed it out more in bulk using my glass jars.  OR making my own concoctions and recipes :)

*i have said no to straws and lids wherever i go.
*i keep my handy stainless "spork" with me and use it instead of plastic utensils.
*i take my jars to the store and have them weigh and mark the jar before buying from the bulk section.
*i'm re-using ANY plastic i have and making it into dog/kitty litter waste holders.
*i have all my re-usable bags in the car so i don't forget them and have to take a paper or plastic bag.
  {i love my bag i won at the "plastic free presentation" from green bag lady}
*i have been using coconut oil from a glass jar for my lip moisturizer.  it feels good and works great.
  and i know what's in it!  (coconut oil)...that's all :)
*face cleaner...coconut oil and baking soda.  just a dab of each in the palm of my hand, rub together      and use as a cleaner and exfoliant.  works great.
* i have also started doing more beach cleanup.  not just being there and picking up a few things , but               going with the intention of cleaning up....most of what i find is plastic and cigarette butts.  UGGHHH.
when i do these cleanups i take my own bags ...not plastic bags :)

trash collected from henderson street in about 20 minutes
(lots of butts in the bottom of bag along with tiny bits of various plastic items..)

useful/informative sites and products that are plastic free.
green bag lady
plastic - free blog
it starts with me blog
glass dharma (glass straws)
seventh generation (supplies)
blue angels
3 little birds (reusable snack and sandwich bags)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

art, birthday and less plastic~

a little art, a big birthday,  and a little info. on trying to be more aware and contientious
of my use of plastic :)

i am still working on assignments from misty's class....
although it's officially over, i can still go back and work on the ones
i missed...

my baby just 
turned 14.

how did it happen so fast?!
we had such a good day and night...celebrating with family and friends.


last night i attended a presentation at UNCW on living plastic free.
so, what i learned was astonishing!....i knew that plastic was a problem.
and i thought that i was a pretty good steward ....i don't use plastic bags, 
or saran wrap... i recycle.  yadda yadda...
i was humbled.  
there is SO much to the plastic problem that i didn't know.
and there are so many things that i can do to change my ways.
this book "PLASTIC FREE" is filled with information and ways to reduce your
plastic use.  AND the author tells her story about her journey to being so close to 
plastic free that it's unbelievable.  she is a great speaker and shared her story as well as
great ideas and ways to reduce plastic use.  last night when i got home, i couldn't put the
book down.  and my mind was reeling with all the ways i could make a difference and all
the things i can do to reduce my own plastic use.
*please take the time to learn more and do something...
even if it's one thing to reduce your plastic use.  big things can happen when we all
make a change.  it doesn't have to be extreme and it doesn't have to be all at once, but little changes DO make a difference :)
more and more we are seeing the impact that plastic has on our wildlife and marine life.
heartbreaking and frustrating, these articles impacted me just enough to start doing things a little different.  one step at a time .
want to get a free glass straw for earth day?

my first change...this morning at starbucks, i said no lid please...
just the cup and the coffee.
(baby steps)  :)
i will try to remember to take my reusable cup next time ~~~


you are always there.
you are a sanctuary.
always giving.
i .