Day 25: Grounding! No, not your kids!!

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)!

earthing

Here is a short list of some of the benefits thought to come from Earthing:

earthing benefits

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.

 

Day 24: Green Up Your Dishwashing

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 23: Paint Smarter!

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Do you like to paint?  I do, I guess.  I go in streaks and I paint and paint and paint until I end up at the chiropractor because I have worn my hands out.  I do enjoy the brush strokes, the endless Pandora listening, the unavailability to anyone else,  and the finished product.  I really like the Mythic Brand of paint.  (If you are Madison, WI local, go to Premier Paint and Wallpaper to grab some.  They are always very helpful, knowledgeable, and super cool with my girls grabbing all of their sample swatches.)  It is safe, non-toxic, waterbased, easy clean-up, and no VOCs!  Even so, I do notice that I still smell a little bit of the paint smell for a few days and my throat feels a little scratchy after painting for days on end.  I like to diffuse Purification Essential Oil while painting and then, I will leave it diffusing for a few days following painting.  That seems to take care of any residual paint smell.  So, I am using the safest paint I can find (other than Milk Paint), and I am still having some respiratory stuff going on.  Can you imagine how my body would rebel with normal paint?  I want to encourage you to find the safest version of paint available to you and use it for your next project.  Do you notice a difference in how you feel or how long the paint smell lasts?  For the Day 23 Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge, I am simply challenging you to either research your current favorite paint brand a little, or decide to research a more eco-friendly version of what you typically use.

Do you think I have a painting problem?  Hahahahahahahaha!  Laundry Room is next up!

Day 22: Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!!!  Today’s Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge is simple.  Do something that will benefit the Earth.  It can be anything!  Choose from the list or think of something on your own.  The Earth says, “THANK YOU!”

  • Turn off your TV today
  • Plant a tree
  • Shut off the lights
  • Look into replacing drafty windows
  • Bring a plant into your home that helps clean the air
  • Use microfiber instead of paper towel
  • Plant flowers for the bees
  • Pick up trash
  • Recycle your e-waste
  • Recycle
  • Take a shorter shower
  • Hang your clothes to drycropped-globe-in-grass.jpg
  • Reuse your towels
  • Borrow a movie or book from the library
  • Shop local
  • Eat organic
  • Carpool
  • Host or plan a swap
  • Thrift shop instead of buying new
  • Compost
  • Learn about composting
  • Vermicompost
  • Go on a nature walk
  • Pick an area in your life that you would like to green-up, and make a few step plan to begin
  • Invite a friend to go through the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge with you!
  • Use the other side of your printer paper
  • Recycle your ink cartridges
  • Use an eco-friendly detergent
  • Take yourself off of mailing list to avoid junk mail (win-win!)

I know there are so many more ways to love on our Earth today and everyday!  What are you going to do today to make an impact?

Day 21: Buy in Bulk

Welcome to Day 21 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge!!  I am so glad you are here today!  Day 21 has you buying in bulk.  That may mean going to Costco or it may mean scooping out of big bulk bins.  Not only will you mostly likely save money, but you will reduce packaging.  If you are shopping the bulk bins, bring your own container.  You will likely get a discount for doing so, and you will avoid more recycling.

My favorite bulk items are:

  • Organic Spices!!  Holy cats, are these super economical to stock up on.  I use my empty spice jars to fill them up.  You can get exactly what you need, so none goes to waste.
  • Organic nuts!  Yum-o and again, I can get just what I need.  A lot of times, the girls and I will grab a few different foods out of the bulk bins and make a hodge podge lunch or a special treat.  (We don’t need a whole bag of sugary gummy worms, but we can have a few each and really enjoy them.)
  • Baking supplies!  I found a huge bag of sugar at Costco that should last us 6 months or more.  I buy our organic cocoa powder from the bulk bins and store it in canning jars at home.
  • Espresso Beans!  Need I say more!?!?!
  • Rice!  Costco, you are growing on me.  The huge bag of rice will probably last us at least a year if not a year and a half, but it is a big savings for us.
  • String Cheese!  Okay, so I don’t save much packaging, but it saves lots of cha ching by buying in bulk.

What do you like to buy in bulk?

Day 20: Make Your Own Body Care Products

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.

Deodorant

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.

Toothpaste

This is a great toothpaste recipe to try out.  You may not have the clay, but Amazon can easily solve that problem for you.  (Doesn’t Amazon solve a lot of problems!)

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.

Body Scrub

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!

Day 19: Bring It!

Day 19 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge is to Bring It!  Bring something along that you would typically use something reusable for out and about.  This will help cut down on single use packaging waste and also in the long run can help reduce costs.  Some stores will even give you a credit for bringing your own mug or bags or takeout container.

Reasons to bring your own:

  • Chemicals in take out containers.  Heat intensifies the chance that you may be getting an extra dose of chemicals with your take out.
  • Many people might rinse out and reuse containers, but they are not all meant to be reused.
  • When I shop my bulk bins, I am able to save money by bringing my own container.  I save 10 cents for each container I bring.  I am also credited 10 cents for each reusable bag I bring to load my groceries into.
  • You will also be doing your part to keep extra plastics and single use items such as straws and napkins out of the landfills.

Things you can bring of your own:

  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Coffee Mug or Travel Cup
    • The coffee shops I visit often give a quarter or even 50 cents for bringing in your own mug
  • Stainless Steel Straws
    • Yes, your stainless steel straw can really make a huge difference!  I have seen figures of 60 to 500 million straws thrown away each day.  Think about that.
  • Microfiber Cloths
    • We love our Travel and Baby Body Cloths for faces, hands, tables, carts, anything grubby out and about.  Saves us time and money by not searching for a napkin or buying those wet wipes, and it helps the Earth by reuses the same cloths over and over again with just water!  No chemicals!
  • Pryex containers for takeout food
  • Canning jars for bulk bin purchases
  • Reusable Bags for Groceries and Produce

Can you think of other things you can take along?