Well, recycling is underway and I have (surprisingly) gotten my husband on board. You'd swear his ultimate goal in life was to destroy the planet. See what I mean when I say this new lifestyle has been an uphill battle? He's coming around, though! Anyway, first trip to the recycling plant will be this weekend. Feelin' good :)
My third challenge for myself was to replace my cleaning supplies with natural ingredients. So far, this is what I have replaced:
**Kitchen Cleaner (similar to Formula 409 stuff)
-Replaced with a solution of 2 C. Water (in a spray bottle), 1/2 C Vinegar, and 1 Tsp dish soap.
**Floor Cleaner (generally use products similar to Pine Sol)
-Replaced with (in a bucket) hot water, 1/2 C. Baking Soda, and 1 C. Vinegar
**Dish Soap (I use soap similar to Dawn)
-As soon as I can get my hands on some soap flakes...
-(will be) Replaced with 2 C Soap flakes to 1 gallon of water
Place soap flakes and water into a pan. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until it boils and until soap dissolves. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Remove from heat and let liquid partially cool, add the essential oil and stir. Pour into a clean plastic squeeze bottle or re-used dish soap bottle
These are what I'm starting with, since I use them daily.
I explained some of my reasoning for challenging myself in this way in a previous post, but I wanted to share some other information that helped me choose to go natural with my cleaning supplies.
*Average Americans spend nearly $2000 per year on cleaning supplies. Using natural ingredients significantly reduces that expenditure.
*The EPA has determined that indoor pollution is 2 to 5 times more dangerous than outdoor pollution, and chemical cleaning products are mostly to blame.
*The millions of gallons of chemicals that are dumped down our drains eventually make it into the ecosystem, and are eventually absorbed into the tissues of plants, fish, and wildlife.
My Earth Destroyer spouse is actually impressed! I mopped the floor a few days ago and some time later Char was crawling around on it. He sort of..well freaked and said, "Oh great, let her crawl around on that floor that's all covered in chemicals after you mopped." First, I told him to hold off on the aneurysm. Then I told him for the five THOUSANDTH time that I'm using vinegar, water, and baking soda. He's doing fine now.