Viridorari is an environmentally focused blog. The mission of Viridorari is to help you incorporate healthier, "greener" habits into your life, to benefit you, the people around you, and the environment.

Viridorari is on Twitter! Follow this blog with a mission to be up to date with what's new on Viridorari and the world of environmental activists @viridorari

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Harsh Facts, Ecofriendly Economics: Homemade Products

Harsh Facts of the Week

These facts come from and their campaigns to curb global warming.

350 parts per million is what scientists and climate experts believe is the safe upper limit of how much carbon dioxide can be in our atmosphere. We recently broke 400 ppm.

Scientists and governments alike also agree that warming the Earth by 2 more degrees Celsius would create a catastrophic outcome.

We can emit 565 more gigatons of CO2 and stay below that disastrous 2˚C mark.

Fossil fuel corporations have enough fuel in their reserves to create 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions- almost five times the safe amount.

These numbers are simple and straightforward. They tell us that we need to get off our butts and do something. We have no place for careless fossil fuel, oil, and coal burning in a liveable future. Enough said.

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” –Lady Bird Johnson


Ecofriendly Economics

In this special edition of Ecofriendly Economics, I want to provide you with several recipes for cleaners and repellants so that you can skip store brands and go homemade. There are three basic reasons why you should consider homemade products instead of store bought.

    Save money. Making their own cleaners is one way the Wagasky family was able to save expenses and live on only $14,000 a year. Read about the Wagasky family and their incredible story in this Activism Spotlight.

    Reduce packaging waste. To store your homemade cleaners and such, reuse bottles and jars instead of buying new every time you shop.

    You’re in control. There’s a plethora of stories out there about the horribly harmful ingredients in common household items (for example, DEET in mosquito repellent, or cleaning fluid fumes). When you make your own products, you know what’s been put into them, and often they’re safer and gentler on you, your pets, your children, and the house you live in.

Learn how to make your own paper in this Recycling Project

Deet and Bug Repellant
    Although the United States EPA assures that the use of bug sprays with DEET in them is safe as long as instructions are followed currently, there’s plenty of evidence that suggests DEET has the potential to cause negative health effects, ranging from rashes to memory loss. It is also dangerous to apply DEET bug repellent to pets, because of the possibility that if they lick themselves they will ingest it. DEET is toxic for birds and aquatic life, and has been found in about 75% of U.S. water sources.

    Here are a couple of recipes for homemade bugspray from Wellness Mama.

Recipe #1

-Essential oils (choose one or more of these): citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cajeput, cedar, catnip, lavender, mint
-Natural witch hazel
-Distilled or boiled water
-Vegetable glycerin (optional)

1. Fill a spray bottle half full with distilled or boiled water
2. Add witch hazel until close to the top
3. Add half a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin
4. Add 30-50 drops of essential oils until you have a scent that you like. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. 

Recipe #2 (Extra strong, very smelly)

-32 ounce bottle of apple cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons each of the following: sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, and mint
-Quart or larger size jar with airtight lid

1. Add vinegar and dried herbs into the jar
2. Seal tightly and store in a place where you won’t forget it
3. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks
4. After 2-3 weeks, strain out the herbs and store in spray bottles, refrigerate if possible
5. For use on skin, dilute with one part spray and one part water

Nail Care
The nail cleaning method is something my mom uses all the time, and she provided before and after pictures for this post.

Nail Cleaner

One or two slices of lemon

1. If nails are heavily coated in dirt, rinse them off as best as possible.
2. Scrub your nails and the undersides of the nails with pulp part of the slice; the lemon juice is the cleaning agent.
3. Use the corners of the rind as a nail cleaner to scrape away any remaining debris.
4. Repeat process with a fresh slice if needed.
Mom's nails after working in the garden                                                                                  Mom's nails after cleaning with lemon

Household Cleaners
    These recipes come from Danielle Wagasky’s blog, Blissful and Domestic. Essential oils are optional and used for the purpose of making the cleaners smell good.

All purpose cleaner
-1 cup white distilled vinegar
-3 cups water
-10 drops of essential oil

Shake all ingredients together in a 32 oz. spray bottle

Uses: counters, mirrors, stoves, tables, etc.

Orange Citrus Cleaner (All-Purpose)

-1 or 2 quart sized mason jars
-Spray bottle
-White vinegar
-Orange, grapefruit, or lemon peels
1. Fill quart jars half full of peels
2. Fill the rest of the way with white vinegar
3. Screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously
4. Allow vinegar and peels to sit for two weeks
5. At the end of two weeks, blend the peels and vinegar together in a blender (your mixture will look like orange juice).
6. Strain to remove any remaining pieces of peel and pulp
7. Discard pulp and store your remaining mixture in jars or bottles
8. When using for cleaning, dilute with one part water, one part cleaner

Uses: counters, mirror, stoves, tables, etc.

Tub and Sink Scrub
-Baking soda
-Squirt of dish soap
-Squeeze of lemon
1. Make a paste in a bowl to the consistency of frosting with the ingredients
2. For use, dip cloth or sponge into it and scrub. For stubborn residue, allow to sit for fifteen minutes before rinsing away

Uses: sink and shower cleaner

Floor Cleaner

-A fourth cup of dish soap
-A half cup of vinegar or lemon juice
-Two gallons of warm water

Combine ingredients in a bucket and use with mop

Uses: floor

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

-A half cup of baking soda

1. Flush toilet   
2. Sprinkle baking soda into the toilet and scrub
3. Allow to sit for ten minutes
4. Flush after ten minutes

Uses: toilet

Drain Cleaner
-A fourth cup of baking soda
-A fourth cup of white vinegar

1. Sprinkle baking soda down drain
2. Follow by pouring vinegar down the drain (be sure to get it along the sides)
3. The reaction between baking soda and vinegar will clean the drain

Uses: drain/pipe cleaning

Soaps & Detergents
The first two recipes come from Blissful and Domestic. The third provides a link to a recipe by Mother Nature Network.

Dish Soap

-A fourth cup of soap shavings (Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap recommended)
-Two cups water
-One or two tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice

1. Pour water and shavings into a saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring until the soap has melted (do not allow to boil)
2. Allow some cooling
3. Stir in vinegar or juice, then allow to sit until cool
4. Store in jars or bottles

Laundry Detergent

-4lb box of baking soda
-4lb box of borax
-4lb box of super washing soda
-3 bars of soap (Fels-Naptha recommended)
-13 gallon trash can with strong bag

1. Grate the bars of soap into shavings
2. Mix all ingredients together evenly, a little of each at a time, in the trash can
3. Cut off the corner of the bag for pouring into storage containers
4. Use a third cup of the mixture for each load

Bar Soap

    I’m not even going to try to re-create this recipe. It’s the most complicated off all of the recipes in this post. Click here for the recipe provided by the Mother Nature Network.

Good luck with your homemade endeavors, and be sure to let me know how your concoctions work at Compliments go to the writers of the credited sites.
Animal of the Month Update

 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Nearly half of the existing mountain gorilla population lives in a protected national park in northern Rwanda- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. 400 gorillas live here in thirty-six different groups. Ten of these groups are accustomed to humans because of frequent research and tourism. Despite the need for research and human compassion for gorillas and conservation efforts, this close interaction between humans and gorillas has the potential to endanger their health because of the potential to transmit diseases.

No comments:

Post a Comment