21 December 2009

cleaning up my act

What was your New Year's resolution for 2009?

I resolved to live a more natural, green, holistic, call it whatever you want-life.  Sure, I had made some changes over the years in this direction, but I never really committed myself to it. When I was pregnant I moved towards organic, local foods. I started to research holisitic remedies to keep in my mommy-arsenal. I bought my Tom's of Maine toothpaste and deodorant. That was really it.

By 2009, I felt I finally had it together enough to simplify my life. But where to begin? It can be really overwhelming trying to make lifestyle changes. So, I started with baby steps. I didn't want this resolution to go the way of years past. My resolution became detoxifying our lives: household cleaners, personal care products, food containers, and food.

I'm proud to say that it's gone pretty well. Here's my list of accomplishments:
  • renewed CSA membership - for spring and winter shares
  • shopped less at grocery stores, bought more food locally & more organic products, bought in bulk when feasible 
  • switched to glass containers for food storage
  • planted a fire escape garden - grew basil and a tomato plant (though I only got three tomatoes)
  • consistently bought shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant that was organic and/or natural for myself (still trying to find a baby wash that works for my son - so right now it's conventional, but fragrance-free)
  • switched my makeup to fragrance-free (baby steps here...)
and here's what I am most proud of...
  • i've made our household cleaners for an entire year now - kitchen & bathroom cleaners, laundry detergent, and (less successfully) dishwashing detergent
For once, I am really happy with my resolution. I won't spend New Year's Eve thinking about    why my resolution didn't work out, what I could have done differently. The key was doing it little by little. And I'll expand upon my "green" theme for this coming year as well. I'm going to focus on creating less waste and getting rid of my nemesis - the ziplock bag.


  1. So umm, how do you make your own cleaners?

  2. The basics are vinegar and water... I use about a 1:1 ratio for the kitchen and bath, slightly more vinegar for the toilet. In the kitchen I add a citrus essential oil - maybe 20 drops - and for the bathroom - lavender essential oil.

    Oh, to clean the toilet, I first spray with the solution above, then sprinkle with baking soda, leave for a few minutes and clean with the toilet brush. Very easy.

    The vinegar solution is great on glass - no streaks ever.

    The laundry detergent is a bit more complicated, but so cheap. I'll post it in a bit...