Thursday, January 26, 2012

Recent Changes We've Made

We've made some recent green changes:

  • No more can foods. The metal cans are lined in BPA. The only things we usually bought in cans were beans, spaghetti sauce, cream of mushroom, diced tomatoes, and tuna fish. I now buy dry beans and cook them, make homemade spaghetti sauce, and dice fresh tomatoes. I didn't use cream of mushroom too often but I found a homemade recipe. It looks very time consuming so I'm thinking about making a very large batch and freezing it. Speaking of freezing, I've been saving all my glass containers and using them to freeze food in. Better option in plastic containers or ziploc bags and even better, it reduces my carbon footprint.
  • Make my own chicken stock. I used to buy organic pre-made broth. Homemade stock is so extremely easy to do. There are many ways to do it but I do it the way my mom does. You can boil either a whole or half of a chicken {bones intact} in a large pot of water. I like mine to cook for about 3-4 hours so I keep it on medium for that length of time. Afterward, just add in your ingredients. Keep in mind, if you choose to add noodles or rice, wait until the last 10-15 minutes. Otherwise, it'll absorb a good amount of the liquid/broth. I recently made some chicken soup and I included gluten free and organic pasta, carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans and peas. All of the veggies excluding the carrots were frozen organic. I buy a lot of frozen {out of season} veggies. Again, to avoid the BPA lined cans.

It was a lot of soup that week. If some of you didn't know, my parents grow for a local chicken company. They started the farm the same year they adopted my sister and I {1987} and they still continue to raise chickens for poultry. Sometimes, I wish they did eggs! Anyway, that week, they had butchered a handful of chickens and they gave us four whole ones. We cut them down into parts and separated them out into meat and bones. I've been using the bones to make chicken stock. There's nothing like fresh, homemade stock. Later on that week, I made soup with fresh carrots, celery, and zucchini.

  • Switched to Biokleen laundry detergent and dishwasher gel. Biokleen products are: "readily biodegradable and do not biodegrade to more harmful compounds. Uses natural extracts {grapefruit seed, lime, orange peel, and natural essential oils…no cheap substitutes, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. Complete ingredient statements on labels. No known carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, or pollutants. Non-corrosive. Non-flammable. Non-reactive. Reviewed by a Certified Hazardous Materials Management Inspector. Kind to those with chemical sensitivities and allergies." We use....

We've been doing this for a few years now but we wash our clothes in cold water too. It is just as effective as warm or hot water and it saves both money and energy!

  • Make homemade baby wipes. I spent a week researching all the different kinds of baby wipes out there. I eliminated Pampers Sensitive which Everett has used since birth. We then switched to Earth's Best but I wasn't happy with those either. It has Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate in it which isn't really a researched substance so that makes it questionable. The wipes also have concerns of formaldehyde contamination. All the other crunchy baby wipes had one sort of questionable ingredient or another which I wasn't willing to risk. Here's the recipe to the homemade baby wipes:

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Dr Bronner baby mild soap.
3 cups warm water
Tbsp distilled white vinegar to {prevent molding}
Few drops of lavender essential oil
Few drops of tea tree oil

I get Viva paper towels {they are the thickest} and cut them up so they fit into a used baby wipes box. Pour liquid over paper towels and voila! I have no question over any of the ingredients. No chemicals or irritants.

Update: I mentioned in this blog entry that I tried Mrs. Meyers Clean Day hand and dish liquid soap. I did some further research into all the ingredients and discovered that these products use synthetic fragrances. Ew. We still have close to full bottles left so I'm planning on using it up and trying a few other soaps that scored zeros on the non-toxic level; such as products by Soap for Goodness Sake. It's a bit expensive so I'll probably search around for homemade liquid soap recipes.

These are a few recent changes we've made to crunchify our life. I have so many more things I am anxious to try, a lot of them being homemade, but I gotta take it easy on the pocket book and continue to make a few changes here and there.


  1. Have you thought about using old receiving blankets instead of paper towels for wipes? We did that a bit since we already did cloth diapers.

    1. Yes, I have but I'm a bit of a germaphobe. I'd like to do cloth for our next child so I gotta hype myself up the next few years. Ha.