Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eco- friendly Nerd - yep that is Nikki

Going green has really been on my mind, when I lived in Switzerland it was a way of life and I adapted to it mostly because it was easy. Well, sort of, after receiving several fines and then understanding how the recycling worked and then learning from the locals I made it a part of everyday living. I have often thought about my experience there and how much I had changed when I returned home. My taste buds had changed, my grocery shopping habits had changed my thoughts on transportation had changed. I remember coming home and freaking out about talking to a box to make my food order. Why didn’t we just get out of the car and walk in to talk to someone in person. I remember my brother laughing at me about it. As years past I found myself conforming back to the ways of American living. My taste buds changed from this healthy living to the greasy fast food craving. I found it to be more expensive to eat the European lifestyle. I remember eating more whole foods only because there was no choice in Switzerland. I remember the first time I walked into a grocery store. It was a little market below where we lived. The store was ¼ size of a King Scoopers, there were only a few isles of boxed and canned items, and the choices were very limited, only one brand not four or five like you see in the USA. There were no bottled salad dressings and that is where I learned to make my own. So buying fresh and whole foods were easy, since our fridge looked like the size of a dorm room fridge we could only buy small amounts of food and that kept things from spoiling and also kept us going every few days to the store. So I guess in the long run we actually saved money, because we ate everything that we bought. I don’t know about you but when I shop I try and shop of the whole week. Then I find things weeks later in the fridge that I thought I was going to use and didn’t and now it is time to throw away. Waste! Something I am working on. I am being more cautious about what I am buying and when I buy in bulk these are items that will sit on my shelf or in my freezer for future meals. This summer we really embraced our garden and I found that we ate with the foods we grew. I am learning to eat what is in season and work my meals around these food items. So as the season change so do our appetite, I will miss our garden, but anxious for next year and what we will add to it.

Going green with my cleaning supplies. I am such a nerd. I have to share my excitement with my new cleaning supplies. I have been doing more searches on ways to improve my more eco friendly lifestyle. I kind of went on a cleaning strike at the house and I was hoping to make a point. I guess the only point I found was that I am the only one who noticed the dust bunnies on the floors, they food stick to the counters and cupboards and the dirty rugs and mildew in the bathrooms. Oh well. But to have my house so gross in my eyes, was the greatest time to try out my new cleaning supplies. So after work I made a trip to the store with my list of items that I wanted to buy to begin making my own supplies. When I got home I was so excited to start. Yes I told you I am such a nerd, little thing like this was so exciting to me. I am not sure I have ever been so excited to clean. Well I began conquering the kitchen. I did the dishes and got the counters cleaned off. I mixed my first bottle on concoction and began. WOW!!! Yes this deserves a WOW!!!! I usually have some sort of film on my bar; I clean and clean and there is always some residue left behind. Not any more. This stuffed was a miracle worker. I then used it on my white cupboards, Spray and wipe. Oh baby it is working with out scrubbing. Spray and wipe, can this be my new life? No scrubbing and wondering if I will ever get this stuff clean. Next I tackled the floor. Let me just tell you how much I hate my kitchen floor. It is one of those items that since we moved into the house I have wanted to replace. It is not a priority so we have not replaced it, but it has been a thorn in my side. It is white and unless you get on your knees and scrub with all your might it will never get white. I have done this twice since moving in this house 4 years now. Uh…Yeah…I just admitted that. In the mean time everything I have used leaves a nice residue, so I NEVER walk bare foot on that floor. Oh those days are over. The first brush on the floor, by the way I am not on my knees working I am using my mop. A smile hits my face; I made it through the first section, with much surprise and glee. Then I clean the cloth and go back for the next round. As each round is done, my sink water get blacker and blacker and my floors are getting whiter and whiter. Oh this is too good to be true. They look good, but the test is walking barefoot. I wait 20 mins while doing so I am sweeping the laminate floors and cleaning the other rooms in the main level. I go back for the moment of truth. I kick my flip flops aside and walk around the floor. Oh, I am nervous, but I continue walking around the kitchen as I do I get a little bounce in my step and a little flicker in my heart. It works! I tell you again I am such a nerd. There was no residue, the floors sparkled and they felt so good on my bare feet. I don’t think it will bug me as much to have these floors. Yes eventually I will get them replaced but for now. I will continue to clean them with my new cleaner and be walking happily on them. So here are the recipes below that I have tried so far. I am going to next tackle the bathroom and if I find as much joy in those room as I did in my kitchen I will be sure to write about it. The bathroom I think is the worst place in the house to clean. I hate cleaning the bathroom. I usually have Adam do it; I would rather do the whole house than that room in our house.

This is what I used on my kitchen floor.

Homemade Floor Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 gallon warm water
Mix in your cleaning bucket and use this to clean vinyl type floors.

This is what I used in my kitchen.

All-Purpose Cleaner
2T vinegar
1 t Borax
Hot water
A few drops of a mild dish detergent
10 drops of essential oil, optional
In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and hot water. Swish around until borax has dissolved. Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Add the essential oil (I used tangerine)

1 comment:

Piper said...

I loved this entry!! But what is borax? (I know, showing my ignorance...) Do share... And how did it go in the bathrooms?!? I am going to have to try the stuff you use din the kitchen- we have white cupboards which I have to scrub at least weekly and it drives me nuts...