• DIY,  Economy,  Energy

    Week 48: Retrofit Your Home

    It’s worth taking some time to explore the different ways that you can save energy and money by making changes around your home. Some changes can be quite large and costly, but others can be small and easy to do. A lot of the smaller changes can add up over time! Sealing Air Leaks: One of the biggest changes you can make if you live in an older home is to find air leaks and close them up. Air leaks can steal your heat in the winter and make heating your home a real challenge. Make sure that doors and windows seal properly and be sure to test your insulation before…

  • DIY,  Education

    Week 46: Plant Trees

    This week won’t be for everyone but it’s something everyone should consider if you have the space. Trees do some pretty amazing things and planting them on your property around your home can have some seriously awesome consequences. Trees are beautiful: everytime I catch my 2 year old gazing out the window, I ask him what he’s looking at. He always says trees. And it’s true, I also often find myself staring at the branches and leaves and the beauty they provide. Aside from random adoration, the beauty factor also increases your property value.  Trees provide shade: In the summer, trees can help cool your house and give you a…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic

    Week 40: DIY Body Care Products

    I’ll be 100% truthful here: when it comes to things like makeup and face creams, I’m no expert. In fact, I haven’t worn any makeup in over 2 years. I will go so far as to advocate that less is best for me and my skin, and if you are feeling bold and want to stop using makeup, moisturizer, or other specialty products, you might just find out that you love it. That being said, you are your own boss and whatever makes you feel like a million bucks is what you should do! But how about ditching all the extra plastic, harmful chemicals, animal tested products, and cheap extras…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic,  Zero Waste

    Week 31: DIY Toothpaste

    Ok folks – another super simple DIY recipe that will blow your mind. I only started this one last month and I’m loving it so far – Toothpaste! Why toothpaste? Your usual store bought brands have a bunch of extra ingredients that some people say aren’t great for our health. I found one site that claimed that one tube of toothpaste has enough sodium fluoride to seriously harm a toddler.Yikes. Plus the plastic packaging, plus the money you can save, plus how easy it is and how good it makes your teeth feel… convinced yet? Here’s the recipe: Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Optionally add essential oil of…

  • DIY,  Food,  Mason Jars

    Week 27: Learn to Can Food

    Now that you’ve got your backyard garden planned, the next thing you’ll definitely want to take up is canning. Canning food is a great way of preserving fresh food to last year round (or even many years). Once you get the basics down, it’s fairly simple. It’s a great way to eat sustainably even when fresh food isn’t in season. The most popular way to can food is the hot water bath method. Basically, you put your cooked food into a jar (making sure it’s hot!) and the place the jar in a big pot of boiling water for a specified time. You’ll need to make sure the recipe for…

  • DIY,  Reduce Plastic

    Week 25: DIY Deodorant

    This week I’m going to give you a challenge – try making and using your own deodorant. This is a zero waste strategy that I started about two years ago and I haven’t looked back. I was super skeptical at first but this recipe got me through the hottest days of summer better than most off- the-shelf deodorants. So why DIY deodorant? There a few reasons: Less waste. Plastic applicators are an example of single use products that accumulate in our landfills. The DIY approach means you can use one of those amazing mason jars you’ve been saving up! Save money. This recipe literally costs pennies a day. It’s so much cheaper…

  • DIY,  Food

    Week 24: Backyard Chickens

    My partner and I bought a house in 2013 and just happened to inherit some backyard chickens. It was such a wonderful experience. I had been wanting to get chickens for a year or two but didn’t quite know where to being. Being thrust into chicken ownership was honestly the easiest way to get started. The real truth? Chickens are easy pets. They are pretty self sufficient, require little attention, and give you fresh eggs every week. Once you get into the daily routine of feeding them and opening and closing the coop, the benefits definitely outweigh the chores. There are a lot of great reasons to keep chickens. The…

  • DIY,  Food

    Week 23: Grow Your Own Food

    Gardening! How I love you! I’ve had a long love for gardening but am still learning so much every year. Starting a backyard or balcony garden is easier than you’d think and the rewards are well worth the small effort! Reward #1: Let’s start with the obvious – you’ll have your own produce come harvest. Not only that, but I think you’ll find that the taste of your produce will surpass even market food. Don’t ask me why – homegrown food always tastes better. Reward #2: No GMOs, no pesticides, no big corporations. Just clean, honest, good food that came straight from the dirt. Reward #3: Connect with your land. You’ll learn about your…

  • DIY

    Week 21: DIY Hobbies

    We all look for different ways to unwind. Hobbies are a healthy way to relieve stress and relax with some self care. One of the changes that really inspired me to become more environmentally friendly was when I started picking up hobbies that taught me how to make things on my own. I found that there was a mental switch when I started to learn how to produce rather than consume. There is a rewarding feeling when you look at an object that you made yourself rather than one purchased at a store: a feeling of accomplishment that beats out “shopping therapy” any day. Here are some examples: knitting, baking,…

  • DIY

    Week 20: Learn to Fix Things

    One way to keep stuff out of the landfill, save money, and learn new skills all at the same time is to learn how to fix items that fall into disrepair. Household items like appliances, clothing, toys, and tools can often be mended to “like new” status with a little time and energy. Today’s economy requires consumers to continually buy new things. It seems that the shelf life of everything from washing machines to shoes is made to fall apart faster and faster each year. Designed or planned obsolescence is actually a thingwhich makes me so sad. This is when product designers purposely design a product with a limited lifespan so…