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Easy eco-friendly ideas

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  • #46
    Originally posted by KayteO View Post
    Becareful that you don't clutter your house up waiting to find a use for something (my problem)
    Well, yes that's my next challenge!


    • #47
      1. Join Freecycle. It stops stuff going to landfill and you can get things for free rather than buying them new. Lately I have got a UV pram cover and a stair gate, saving me about $150. I've got rid of lots of stuff too.

      2. Buy fresh fruit and vegies rather than things in tins.

      3. I clean the house with vinegar and bi-carb. I also make my own laundry detergent which not only cuts down on waste and chemicals but saves me a bundle.

      4. I always reuse the plastic bags (the small fruit and veg ones) when I do the shopping. And take my own shopping bags to bring it all home in.

      5. I use cloth nappies and when I'm out I'll put them in a plastic bag. I'll wash the plastic bag with the nappies and put them back in the nappy bag for reuse next time I go out.

      6. I also use cloth wipes.

      7. And cloth pads

      8. I empty the vacuum cleaner bag rather than using a new one each time

      9. I take my lunch to work in a reusable container.

      10. I carry water in a Sigg water bottle rather than using plastic.


      • #48
        Originally posted by JimJamsMum View Post
        I also make my own laundry detergent which not only cuts down on waste and chemicals but saves me a bundle.
        Sounds interesting, can you please tell us how. Is is grey water safe?, not that i use grey water yet, but it is on my to do list, just have to find the funds!


        • #49
          Originally posted by shanz View Post
          Sounds interesting, can you please tell us how. Is is grey water safe?, not that i use grey water yet, but it is on my to do list, just have to find the funds!
          I assume it's greywater safe. I collect my laundry water (not from the nappies!) and put it on my vegie garden. I've been doing it for years and we're all still alive

          Here's how you make your own laundry detergent:

          What you need:
          - a big (at least 10L) bucket with a lid
          - a bar of soap (I use sunlight)
          - 1 cup washing soda
          - 1/2 cup borax
          - water

          Grate the bar of soap into a saucepan and add enough water to cover it. Put it on the stove and heat it, stirring, until the soap has dissolved.

          Once the soap has dissolved, pour the solution into the bucket and add the washing soda, borax and 5L water. Stir well until everything has dissolved. Add enough water to make up approx 10L and stir again. Use about 1 cup of solution per wash. Although I have a front loader and use a bit less than this. Everything comes out nice and clean although greasy stains tend to need some pre-treatment. It is soooo much cheaper than store bought detergent.


          • #50
            Thank-you so much for that recipe!
            I am going to make some this afternoon.
            A friend and I were about to buy some washing powder by Tri-Nature in a bulk pack but I think I'll hold off now and see if I can do my own.


            • #51
              Ok, so today I made a batch of the laundry detergent mentioned above but somehow I mustn't have let the soap dissolve properly at the beginning because it has chunks of soap all through it. Is there a trick to it? I am wondering if I put too much water in at the stove-top step.


              • #52
                The end result is always gluggy but you shouldn't have chunks of soap through it. I don't think it is possible to put too much soap in the stove top step. More likely you got a bit impatient and it didn't all dissolve. Make sure you stir it while it is heating. It will froth up quite a bit but if you take a spoonful of the solution and examine it, you won't find any bits of soap floating in it. I hope this helps, not sure how else to describe it.


                • #53
                  yes, I think I was just too impatient and didn't wait for it to dissolve completely. I am still using it though and it is wonderful. Everything is so soft when it comes out of the machine.


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Susan Mac View Post
                    We occasionally have coffee and raisin toast at Gloria Jeans, and I've noticed that the plates and cutlery they have are really good quality, so they go in the bottom of the pram and come home to my picnic gear.

                    I'm not sure how that is a positive thing?!?!

                    I suppose it keeps the slave factories inChina pumping out their pottery and toxins to replace the plates that are stolen from Gloria Jeans.


                    • #55
                      ^^ the alternative is to throw them out.


                      • #56
                        If they are such good quality plates then surely they would be washed and reused.

                        Or are they paper plates?

                        Even so, it is still theft. If they are paper plates headed for the rubish bin, why not ask to take them?

                        Doing this may even encourage them to think about recycling.


                        • #57
                          they are plastic. They come home to my 'picnic/bbq/unbreakable things for kids' stuff to be used until they die.
                          I don't consider it theft, because the establisment is a take away place. It is entirely set up so that you can eat at their tables or take your purchases elsewhere.

                          but it is a good point, maybe i should write to them and suggest that they make an eat in option with reusable cups and plates.


                          • #58
                            I don't have time to make washing liquid, however what I do use in our household is of great importance to me. Hence I use a brand called Earth Choice. It is bio degradable, enviro friendly and grey water safe (our new home will be set up for grey water to use on my organic gardens). I dont use quite as much as the bottle says, but still find it a FANTASTIC product at around $2-3/litre depending on the product you are getting. They make a dishwashing detergent, clothes detergent, woolen wash, fabric softener and floor + surface detergent.
                            We use organic soaps and bathe baby in an organic herbal brand called Pure Earth.
                            When it comes to gardening I dont use any chemicals and only water with the bore at appropriate times
                            Can somebody please tell me what exactly is Borax, what is it composed of because the name sounds nasty and chemical to me.


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by OnceAMereHumanNowAMum View Post
                              You make it yourself! It takes about 15 mins in total, not including leaving it to sit overnight, and each batch lasts me a couple of months.

                              We buy pure soap bars from our local chemist @ $2 for a pack of 6-8, depending on what's there. I use my old food processor to grate the soap to a powder then add boiling water to dissolve - this makes about 2 nappy buckets full of detergent. I leave it overnight then bottle it (in my handy recycled laundry detergent bottles lol). You use one cup of soap per wash.

                              White vinegar for the rinse is ridiculously cheap, especially if you buy in bulk. It doesn't make your clothes smell like vinegar, just cuts the soap suds, leaving your clothes smelling perfectly clean, and it prevents soap scum from building up in your washing machine (which can be a problem when using pure soap).

                              I also make a small batch with some sard wonder soap grated in, for hubby's extra dirty clothes like overalls.

                              I found this tip on another baby forum, and initially just used the soap to wash bub's clothes with, then ended up using it for our clothes as well. It's a lot cheaper than using pre-flaked pure soap (such as Lux) and the water is then safe to use on your garden and lawn. We run a hose directly from the washing machine to the grass, so we don't even have to think about it, let alone carry buckets out there.
                              Hi there,

                              Could you tell me if you can use this recipe in a front loader??

                              Thanks so much for addding it


                              • #60
                                Citrus vinegar is great for cupboards etc, (sorry if this has been posted before) fill a bottle with white vinegar and use the peel off oranges or lemons, (put in with the vinegar) and let stand for 2 weeks, strain, and use to wipe down cupboards, benchtops etc, vinegar works as an antispetic/antibacterial and the citrus leaves a lovely fresh smell.

                                A simple furniture polish - 1pt citrus vinegar mixed with 1 pt olive oil.

                                Also used for windows, 3tspns citrus vinegar with 1 litre of water.

                                Bay & Rue leaves in cupboards deter cockroaches.

                                to deter ants mix 1cup flour with 2cups Borax, in a screw top jar, punch holes in top and sprinkle around the foundations of the house, or if u find a hole where they are coming in squeeze lemon juice in and sprinkle peel around the entrance of the hole, powdered charcoal always helps.