If you are experiencing allergy symptoms in your family and you can’t identify them, look no further than inside your own home. Finding I am allergic to many scented home and body products, it takes special effort to be aware & eliminate the offenders. While finding the best tools to make my physical needs better, I realized an organic agenda is what works best. We assume organics cost more & are inconvenient -- ENT's cost a lot more than natural products!
Simple solutions are the best. Easy adjustments can change our health. Even those who don’t suffer from allergy problems have everything to gain by changing their ways. Clothing, towels, bedding--all the items that we launder, surround us 24/7.
Using products that you can pronounce the ingredients on the packaging & know what it means, takes us back to how simplicity can be the best solution.
Dropps is a mail order laundry detergent system that is plant based. It has a product for everyone & eco-friendly packaging.
Woolen dryer balls are an amazing find too. They eliminate any scent that penetrates your laundry, prevent static cling & reduces drying time. Plus, these bad boys can last for over a year!
It’s OK to have unscented linens & clothing. The smells are just a signal of baked in chemicals that lead us to believe they are clean. Each polyester dryer sheet is a petroleum & coal product that will end up in a landfill & in your body. The long term benefits are a big win for everyone.
We have blogged about the many companies that are environmentally conscience, FLOR's 2017 Spring catalogue takes steps to recycle more products. With new designers on board, take a look at their latest styles and see why we keep cheering them on!
Our personal dream has come true, in the possibilities of what a shopping bag can do. As large cities move to a plastic bag-free zone, we as consumers need to lead the way in the conservation movement.
This Richardson-based bag manufacturer has definitely stepped up the eco evolution. These bags are made of renewable plant fibers and recycled cotton from t-shirt trimmings.
RagBags are available at some local stores or can be custom ordered from the manufacturer. The name comes from the fact that once these bags are too worn to be used as a shopping bag, they can then be reused & repurposed as a cleaning rag.
Shop Local! Shop Often! Shop with RagBags, Alternative Eco-Awesome!!
Those of us who color eggs for Easter every year, usually choose to use food coloring and vinegar in a cup of hot water. It's fast, colorful and gets the job done. It's always fun for children to participate, but it never hurts to mix it up. Create new traditions, the ability to guess what will work and be prepared for a dud. Try a trip to the store with your kids. Go down the isles and have them pick out a few things they think may work for dying eggs. Life is about 3/4 anticipation anyway, let them pick things of color in the produce section or in the canned goods. You will find out what really works.
In years past, I used natural dyes, using only things from the produce section. This year I thought I would try a new twist on things...pantry or refrigerator. Using things I already had was quite the test. Not everything I used was quite as wonderful as I thought. The mustard was a no-brainer, if it can stain a shirt, it can stain an egg! That was my theory in making my choices.
I used 1/4 of a pint of blackberries (the very mottled egg in the photo), French's Mustard, canned black beans and canned beet juice. With all of these fabulous colors, I mixed vinegar in a cup of hot water and waited while the color developed into something suitable.
Hope this encourages you to try a few new things and show your kids that all things don't work and those that do are worth the effort. It takes a little more time, is highly experimental and really made me happy when things worked out better than I thought.
For those of you who don't color eggs for Easter, try this as a spring breakfast, serve with fruit and a couple pieces of toast. I would love to believe that spring is a good enough reason to do something so lovely.
We all talk about how we want to improve our environment. How many of us are willing to do small things to walk the walk? I avoid the “drive thru” at banks and fast food restaurants. It is quite annoying to others, but I do know my tellers and fast food servers. It is more personal and often just as fast. I consider it green and part and of my exercise program. I believe getting out of the car makes sense.
Making sacrifices becomes part of the green movement also. Perhaps the gas I save avoiding the drive thru gives me the option to go out of my way to do other things.
I am currently upcycling some drapes into a sofa slipcover. My client found them in the driveway of one of her neighbors. The neighbor's garage sale was over and the drapes (which ended up being free) sat on the driveway for a couple days. She was happy to make them go away and my client was thrilled to gain about 18 yards of great fabric. They were dusty and laying out for a couple days, what to do?
Brainstorming about how to clean them was exhausting, until she found Courtney. Owner and operator of Grass Roots Eco Cleaner, an eco friendly dry cleaners. If you are spending a great deal of money to have something cleaned (it is a little higher in cost), why not go as eco friendly as possible. I wanted to share this idea with you so you can think of it as an option.
McKinney has a dry cleaner on every corner, but one needs to think about the chemicals being brought into your home and what you are carrying around on your body.
Staying in this vein of friendliness, I found this soap “hand in hand” made from eco-friendly, organic ingredients. For every bar bought, one is donated – the last batch was donated to Haiti. This soap can be purchased on-line or at Anthorpologie.
I have used foam rubber to stuff thousands of projects since I was a little girl. As the years have passed, I have felt a pang of guilt every time I have to purchase a new piece...this stuff lasts for ever! It is a petroleum based product, over priced and is not biodegradable. I save all of my scraps and try to use every bit that I can.
A recent trip to Hancock Fabrics has set me free from my foam dilemma. With the call from consumers to provide us with products we need without compromising our desire to live "green", Sew Prefect by Lauren Hancock has answered the call with soy-based foam products. Guilt-free - I can stuff cushions to my hearts content and please my clients at the same time.
Hancock Fabrics Cushion Foam
Pouf image is from West Elm!
Before too much time slipped by we thought we should finish up the warm weather events. One of our favorites is the Historic Downtown McKinney Farmer's Market at Chestnut Square.
Let's begin with some of my personal favorites --
Honey Guy--Really it's the Warne Bee Farms, but seeing his table with the honey stick reminds me of my kids when they were little. Their favorite thing at any Farmer's Market were the flavored honey sticks. It's great using a local farmer--bee keeping is an important, historic tradition. It's good for the environment & our bodies. Now that it is getting cool, put a little honey in your tea instead of sugar! http://www.warneshoneybees.com/index.html
Toffee Dude--You can't go toffee with out a nut! There's almonds, pecans, peanuts, macadamia nuts......scrumptious! You get that toffee in your teeth, you'll be tastin' that yumminess all day. Deliciousness is Texas Toffee's middle name. http://texastoffee.com/
The Olive Oil Mixologist---You can't walk by the olive oil stand without the sales lady making you some crazy good olive oil/vinegar cocktail. She sold me!! Once you pick-up some of these oils you'll be dippin' your bread & rubbin' your roast in a whole new way.
Fresh Flower Girl--What caught my eye at this vendor were the Mason jars of flowers & herbs. This summer my Zinnias died because of the heat. I was so happy to have some on my table. The cut flowers cost $5 for a refill when you bring the jar back--what a deal! The okra tasted as fantastic as the photo (at the top) looks. The big boy watermelon came from their garden too.
There are breads, pies, pastas, & produce of all types... This Farmer's Market is an experience. It's not just looking, it's being in the moment. You pick it up, smell it, touch it, & really feel it then you get to meet the person who loved it enough to grow it/make it. They help you love where you are. http://www.chestnutsquare.org/programs/farmers_market.asp
Historic McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Market is weekly through October 29, 2011
Winter markets are the third Saturday of each month.
The Chestnut Square market is located at 315 S. Chestnut St.
(the corner of Anthony and McDonald Streets), McKinney, TX 75069
We are all worthy of feeling satisfied about where we are in our homes. Our approach to the adventure is as important as the results. The journey of finding our design ideals shifts with seasons & people passing through our lives. We are more likely to enjoy the creative process when things are made easy and How To Love Your Home's passion for finding & sharing tools, tips, & triumphs is here for simplifying the journey to a commonsense approach to homemaking & design!