Do you take off your shoes before entering your home? Do you ask others to? Do you ever feel awkward asking them?
We take our shoes off before entering our home. In our old home, we took them off in the garage and left them there. In our new home, we have a mudroom that serves the same purpose, but is a tad more organized and warmer in the cooler months.
Why it might be a good idea to not bring your shoes in the house
2008 Arizona Study showed many things, but the average shoe had 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside.
2009 Texas Study found coal tar to be in house dust. Most likely it was tracked in from shoes. It is considered to be a human carcinogen.
I get a lot of kickback when I ask people to part with their dryer sheets. “I don’t want static.” “I love the smell.” “I don’t care what is in them.” “My mom always used them.” “I just bought an economy sized box.” “Pinterest has a bunch of alternative uses for them.” Really? Why the attachment? Before you start thinking I am judging, I am not. I once had a lot of those same sediments come out of my mouth about my dryer sheets, BUT then I had my first daughter and I started researching and what I found wasn’t worth it anymore. It is the single, most impactful, and easy thing I can ask you to do that can really improve your health in the long run (in my opinion). So, for Day 28 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge, I would like you to look up your dryer sheets on ewg.org and review the ingredients. If you are inclined to ditch them (can I encourage you to!?!!?!?!), here are a few alternatives:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.” – Annie Dillard
I have jumped on the decluttering bandwagon. Have you? While I find tips and tricks in each book I pick up on the topic, I find the easiest way to declutter is to simply not buy things. I have been getting progressively better at this within the last 6 months of so. I did the Marie Kondo Life Changing Magic, ClutterFree With Kids (very practical), and just read tons of other books on the subject. I find the easiest way to keep on top of the clutter (and save money too) is to just not cart it. Leave it on the shelf. Leave it in your online cart a few days and see if you still need (want) it. Give it to the checkout gal or guy and they will restock it for you. (Please don’t leave it on a random shelf. I used to work retail.) Not only does not buying unnecessary stuff help you to keep your home and life decluttered, it also saves precious resources (all the stuff it took to make it, pollution from the production process, packaging materials, pollution from the shipping from factory to store, etc.). Day 27 Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge is to simply curb your consumption and accumulation by:
borrowing from a friend
repurposing something else to fill your need
Any other ideas?
Use this criteria to see if the item comes into your home:
Is it only in my cart because it is a bargain or on sale?
Do I have the room to store it?
How much of my time is it going to require? (To set up, maintain, store, learn about, etc.)
Do I really love it?
Do I need it?
Can something else serve the same purpose?
Will my spouse give me the how much did you spend speech? (hahahaha….we have all been there!)
What do you think? Can you practice curbing your consumption? It gets easier as you go along. I have given up Target for a year in the name of curbing consumption, saving resources, spending my time more intentionally (you know you have walked mindlessly around Target throwing stuff in your cart you didn’t know you needed (wanted), and just seeing if I could do it. Guess what, for the most part I have done a bang up job the last 10 months. Not only have I saved our family a bunch of money, but I also curbed our consumption, saved resources, and tackled our clutter. You can do it! Where are you curbing?
Have you heard of grounding or earthing? All it means is that you take off your shoes and socks and run or walk around in the grass or mud or natural surface. I must admit that over the years I have heard many friends talk about Grounding (Earthing…same thing), but I have never actually looked at the research behind it. It is something we can all easily do to improve our health and it is fun! Your Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge for Day 25 is to take off those shoes and go Grounding (or Earthing)!
Here is a short list of some of the benefits thought to come from Earthing:
Do you practice Earthing (Grounding) right now? I know I practiced a ton of Earthing as a child. It felt so natural to kick off my shoes. My girls love to be barefoot in our grass too. (Another reason to have a chemical free lawn.)
Day 26 has you doing less of something. Can you guess what it is? See you tomorrow.
Welcome to Day 24! I am pretty much super jumping up and down excited about my newest find! I can’t wait to share it with you!! Life changing here! Okay, so not too life changing, but a change in the greener department for us. The Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge for Day 24 is to green up your dishwashing by using one of the suggestions below or take a peek at the ingredients on your current dish detergent. (EWG.org is a great source to help you decipher your cleaning ingredient labels.)
Dishwasher Recipes For You To Try
The easiest one and one that we always have on hand is straight up Castile Soap! Yup, just put a Tbsp. or so into your main washer slot and push your buttons. I like it because I smell goodness and not chemical smells now from our dishwasher. I use Castile Soap for a few other things around the house, so it is an easy switch for us. No more buying Dishwasher Detergent. Now, I can multipurpose and put my girls to work running the dishwasher.
This one uses Castile Soap too, but has a few other ingredients
Here are a few more to try and this article even includes some hand washing recipes. I just use my trusty Norwex Cloths (we have the dishes scrubbed out, so really just giving a quick wipe over to get the germs and bacteria out) for the few dishes we hand wash. (The shell spoon all the girls want to use.)
Which one do you think you will try? I am excited to hear your results! Happy Day 24!
Day 20 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge has you in the kitchen making some stuff to slather on your body. Here is a nice article that tells you why you may want to make your own body products instead of purchasing the long, wordy, incomprehensible labeled brands. I bet you will likely have most of the ingredients already in your pantry for today’s challenge. I have a few of my favorites listed below for you, but you can putz around on Pinterest to find others you might enjoy. You can give them as gifts too! Your challenge for today is to pick and make one or more of these recipes. Don’t be stingy though; share with a friend.
This recipe is the one that I use when I make my own deodorant. I do not put mine in a bottle though, instead I use just a little glass bowl and apply the deodorant with a cotton ball. I do not skip the essential oils in it, which one I add depends on what mood I am in at the time.
If you don’t want to try to make the recipe above, you can use baking soda and an essential oil. It works really well. If I am out of my homemade groove, I pick up some of the Dr. Bronner’s Cinnamon Toothpaste. It makes my teeth feel super clean, leaves me with fresh breath, and even whitens.
I really like this site for homemade body scrubs, because it tells you what you need (1 part oil, 2 parts sugar) and it gives you some great add-ins (with the reasons why you would want to add each one). I really like to have a scrub in a jar near the tub. The few times a year that I get a bath to myself without the kids, I want to treat myself and enjoy a great smelling scrub. I like to use coconut oil and coconut palm sugar (similar to brown sugar), then I add in a few drops of peppermint.
What are you going to whip up? Do you have some favorite recipes to share? Please post them in the comments. See you all tomorrow!