Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just call me Mama "Green"...

So, I will admit it, I'm not a tree hugger...Gasp! I have not been a fan of all the "Green" PSA, news reports and global warming. I have boycotted products that adorn the words, Organic, Free-range, environmentally friendly, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeding my kids foods that are soaked with sodium nitrates, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, etc. I do read labels...a lot. I feel like I'm a pretty informed mother. I try to choose healthier version of most anything. I choose to cook meats and whole chickens that are antibiotic and hormone free, and I make homemade chicken stock so not to waste any opportunity. We try not eat overly salted and overly processed foods. We eat whole wheat bread and I use whole wheat flour and brown sugar as opposed to the highly processed white versions. However, I do not automatically buy anything because it has been marketed to me as healthier, or because it came from a store named "Whole Foods". I have nothing against these types of stores or brands. I simply get angry when foods and products that are "better" for us are so much more expensive than their less healthier, non-environmentally friendly counter parts. I coupon and I buy on sale. I would consider us to be a very frugal family and we definitely work inside of a budget.

Last week, I was looking through my blog roll and I saw someone write a post on home-made cleaning products. I have been a die-hard fan of Clorox, Windex, ALL laundry detergent and Lysol for many years. I added vinegar and water to my cleaning arsenal a few months ago and have had great results. So when I saw her post, I was intrigued. She had recipes for just about everything from toilet bowl cleaner to laundry detergent. I jotted down some of the ingredients and mixtures. I went to our local Kroger Marketplace because they have an organic section and knew some of my items were specialty. I was surprised to find almost everything I needed at Kroger's.

The product I was most excited about trying...homemade laundry detergent. I brought in my bar of soap and grated it with vigor, poured in my washing soda and Borax. I shook my glass jar to mix my ingredients and ran upstairs to try my first load. I even used distilled white vinegar as my fabric softener. I washed the DIRTIEST items I could find. You know the ones that you might have to wash twice to make sure they are clean. I had 2 towels that had been used to clean up puppy and Big Brownie pee-pee from the floor that were ready to be washed. I added some other towels that had been used to clean up messes, not just clean bodies.

I WAS SHOCKED! They were so clean when they emerged from the washing machine and they smelled so wonderful. I would even venture to say it did a better job than my traditional laundry detergent. It is pretty cost effective as well. Borax was $3.99 a box, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda was $2.79 a box and I bought a vegetable based bar of soap that was $2.19 a bar. While I do use coupons when buying laundry detergent, this recipe cost about the same per load. But the catch for me, I know what is in the detergent. Did you know that commercial detergents do not list hazardous chemicals in their ingredients...because they don't have too? That was astounding to me and scary at the same time. What else may I be using to clean my house or the Brownies toys that could be harmful not just to the environment, but to us in our own home?

So, I know my clothes are getting clean and I am now using a "Green" product. Today, I'll be making my own soft scrub and using my vinegar and baking soda to clean the bathrooms. Still not a tree-hugger, still skeptical to all the hype surrounding anything "Green", still upset to pay more for "Organic" foods, but happy to be doing my part to help the environment and most importantly, my Brownies. Yep, don't call me Mama Brown today...call me Mama Green! :)

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/recipe-index

scroll to the bottom of the page to see her recipes for homemade products. Unfortunately, I can't remember the blog name that I found last week. If I find it, I'll post it too.

Found it...http://thepleasuresofhomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/05/making-your-own-cleaning-products.html

1 comment:

almost five said...

I'd love a link to the information you found... sounds awesome and just what I need. Great job, Mama Br--... err, Green! :)

Hope you can come to the strawberry patch Friday! Miss you!