Happy (Belated) Earth Day!

On Earth Day, I was cleaning like a crazy person for an upcoming road trip/showing of my house (so sorry about all those chemicals, Mother Earth!), so I didn't quite manage an Earth Day post. Actually, I didn't really think I had anything to post about. When I was in college, I was Super Green Girl, but with the advent of marriage (my husband is practically anti-environment) and children (OMG: the diapers! the wipes!), my good habits deteriorated.

As I was giving my formerly-green-self a mental kick in the shins, I started thinking about the things I do manage to do for the environment.

  • I recycle. Big deal, you say? Small Town has NO recycling. I have to export my recyclables to Ginormousville 100 miles away. My hubs thinks I'm crazy and my in-laws roll their eyes at my 'eccentricities,' but by gosh, I manage to recycle paper, plastics 1-7, glass, aluminum and steel cans.
  • We keep our house (too) warm in the summer and (too) cool in the winter. I would like to say we do this for environmental reasons, but the reality is that our house is about as energy efficient at a paper bag. Our electric bills would rival the national debt if we were to keep our house as cool/warm as we might like for it to be.
  • I do not own paper plates. We eat all our meals on regular dishes. It took some training to bring the hubs around, but the kids have never eaten on paper at our house.
  • I HATE using paper towels. I can make a roll last for months. This skill is somewhat counteracted by T's germaphobia... He just doesn't believe that a rag can really get the counter clean.
  • I only do four loads of laundry per week. Mostly because I hate laundry. But seriously, my washer has adjustable water levels and I almost never run anything but a full load.
  • Same goes for the dishwasher. I only run it when it is full to the MAX. Last year, I stopped rinsing the dishes before I put them in. That saves a ton of water and except for the occasional stray morsel, the dishes are just as clean as they were before.
  • I save lots of electricity by letting the dogs clean my kitchen floor and hardly ever running the vacuum cleaner.
  • I clean so rarely that I seldom release harsh chemicals into the environment.
  • I don't use a lot of anti-bacterial products, so our household isn't contributing to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria. Side bonus: I am building up my kids' immune systems!

Who knew I could turn my complete apathy for all things housewiffery into a pro-environmental statement! I'm not a slob! I'm an environmentalist!

As an Earth friendly bonus, here is a little recipe discovered by Mrs. B's husband, Mr. B. He even made some. How many husbands would do that?

How to Make a Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer

  1. Start your natural hand sanitizer by selecting a container. This recipe will work in plastic squeeze bottles, or mini spray bottles. Look for these in the travel accessories area of health and beauty departments.
  2. Use the following recipe---2 parts aloe gel (NOT juice). 1 part distilled water (NOT tap). 1 part grain alcohol-vodka (NOT isopropyl). 4-5 drops essential oil of choice (NOT fragrance oils). Hint: tea tree is a great antibacterial and one of the best essential oils to add to a hand sanitizer recipe.
  3. Mix all ingredients in glass bowl (preferably) with a plastic spoon. Don't use metal dishes or utensils because of potential reactions with the essential oils. Pour your aromatherapy hand sanitizer into plastic containers. You can add less water if you prefer a thicker product.


  1. I also try to conserve energy the "green" housework way - but by "green" I mean putting it off until the last minute when I HAVE to clean and then doing a half assed job.

    OK, were do I get essential oil and aloe gel? I think my girls would LOVE to make their own hand sanitizer. (Notice how grain alcohol isn't on my "where in the world to you find that?" list??

  2. I am glad to see I am not the only one who uses the "it will build their immune system" line. I love your methods and I subscribe to most of them.

  3. i fall into the anti-antibactrial method..

  4. he rae ann..i've given you an award...come and accept it!

  5. Awesome! I'm going to try that! And I let my dogs clean my floor too. Much easier!

  6. I love it! An environmentalist, yeh, me too!

  7. This is so funny! I love the way you write. Glad I am following you Rae Ann! PS I love the immune system thing; it's one of my proudest qualities too.


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