One small box fit it all….

I am still on my new clean and healthy home kick, bear with me. One very important thing I must address is the concentrated packaging. When I shop at Costco to supply my family of 5 with certain foods and other items as needed, I always feel so guilty. The detergents and cleaning products are priced about the same as the grocery store would be with coupons and if I catch a good sale. Financially, it made sense and saved me the time of shopping around- until I found my new favorites of course. The huge Costco packaging, although recyclable in most cases, is still a large piece of plastic that had to be produced, shipped to a store taking up large amounts of space and weight in a large truck/train/boat or wherever it comes from, and stored in my home. It also contained chemicals so I had to keep it out of kids reach.

I groan and bear it.

This product is concentrated. One 8 oz. bottle will make (6) 16 oz. bottles.

So no- I didn’t order six bottles of some cleaning solution because then I would feel like that was just wasteful, too. I ordered one small bottle of each type and mixed it with water in a spray bottle. The water didn’t need to be shipped- so that saved a ton of packaging space and let’s not forget delivery truck emissions. I will feel so much less guilty when I re-purpose, or recycle this small bottle. An added benefit- there’s no harmful chemicals! This is helpful because repurposing becomes oh so much easier.

I am seriously into this stuff. It’s kind of ridiculous because I barely even tried a dozen of their products, there are 450 or so more to try!

Like I said before, I was skeptical, I always am. I take every day as a new day and if I decide it’s not worth it- I will let you know that too. My brutal honesty is both my blessing and my curse I guess.

Dr Vandana Shiva is a leader in environmental politics, and an excellent researcher/scientist/scholar/pioneer. You can read more about her here: http://www.vandanashiva.com. She writes about the enormous greenhouse gas pollution that is due to shipping, among many things in her book “Soil Not Oil.” One obvious goal in this book is to make us aware of how our habits and routines can change, positively affecting the earth with simple lifestyle modifications. Local, local, local is a big theme in her writing.

I have been aware of this for several years, and try my best to not only grow as much of my own food that I can, but also to support local companies whenever possible. Sometimes the local specialty/artisan products are much more expensive and therefore cost prohibitive, but I will always look for a product that comes from a closer location if available.

This product ships from a state 10 hrs away, and they have a 2nd location for the eastern/midwestern U.S. that is also about smack dab in the middle of that shipping territory. Although not located in my state, I don’t blame them as they are actually able to ship to the Pacific coast and Canada from their western territory location. Once a month, a truck delivers a small box to my home. I can live with that considering how frequently people order one item from Amazon and that same truck is driving down my street daily. Also, now I don’t frequent Costco as often to “stock-up”.

I am sharing this with you because I care about the earth, and about health. The more people who are open to trying to change their habits will also benefit our society and culture. I dare you to look in your cabinets and see how comfortable you really are. I wasn’t and I knew I had the power to make a change, and I did.

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Clearing the air

I love having a clean home but I dread cleaning it sometimes. It’s not even the work, as many of you know I like to work. It’s the chemicals. After studying environmental science for many college years I am painfully aware of the damage chemicals cause not only to the environment but also to my family’s health. I have made my own cleaners and found it to be much more expensive or not as effective because simply locating the items, plus, I don’t have time for it anymore.

I was referred by my friend (also my physicians assistant) to this online shopping club that has a really inexpensive annual fee ($19), and everything they sell is non-toxic and safe for your home. You don’t have any minimum purchase requirements but you do get a significant discount if you order a minimum every month. I will refrain from naming the company, keep reading.

With that said, I am extremely tired of being marketed to by all the moms out there trying to earn an extra buck slinging something… some product, some concept, some this or that. I turn on my auto-pilot filter and begin ignoring them because when you have 1 firm income to rely on, anything extra is difficult to budget in. I am always very skeptical of marketing and sales pitches- and I research everything to death. I wouldn’t waste my time to inform people if I didn’t think they would benefit- how silly am I to be excited about cleaning products?

*The catch here- these are all things I am already using, but didn’t realize there are better products for better prices.

I struggled to decide whether to join because it seemed too gimmicky, and once I read a wellness guide and researched more and more and more…. then I couldn’t decide which products to try first. I went through my home and decided to simply replace the things I use heavily, or things I am almost out of. I placed my order Wednesday evening, and then called Thursday morning to see if it was too late to change my order (because I realized I should just try a whole cleaning supply pack instead of pick and choose). It was too late because my order was already on a truck, good news for expedience, bad news for mind-changing. It arrived Saturday morning.

This is a list of everything I bought, before shipping and sales tax it was about $70. I paid $84.72 exactly including shipping and CO state sales tax. I am telling you because I was skeptical of what it would cost myself- this is my gift- I am taking the time to inform you.

Cleaning supplies

  • (6) 16oz. Glass cleaner
  • (6) 16oz. Tub and shower cleaner
  • (6) 16oz. Daily shower spray
  • (1) 16oz. Toilet bowl cleaner
  • 48 load liquid laundry detergent
  • (20) whitening laundry pods
  • (6) 16oz. prewash stain treatment
  • (100) dryer sheets
  • (3) 2.4oz. wax melts

Skincare

  • 6oz. insect repellant
  • 4oz. Men’s deodorant (not for me of course)

All of this cost exactly $84.72

So far I have tried everything except whitening laundry pods and prewash stain treatment.

I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t scrubbed the tile in my shower for an impressive 2 months (at least). I sprayed the tub and tile, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I rinsed it with a cup of water and it was like magic, you can see where it did and didn’t get. I did not scrub at all! I followed up by spraying the rest and letting it sit. The soap scum literally just disappeared. Previously, I would use Method Daily Shower cleaner (which is supposed to be all plant-derived ingredients), but the fumes would make my throat close up-  my lungs felt so contaminated afterwards I would have to close the bathroom door and turn on a fan.

So far I am sold. The products clean extremely well, the price is very affordable, and I can breathe afterwards. I feel comfortable with my kids cleaning their own bathrooms now, their lungs are safe!

If you are looking for a safe, affordable, option for your home- this is the best deal I have found.  They also have many other products I haven’t even touched on- vitamins, supplements, (2) skincare and makeup lines- I will definitely be trying these, weightloss meal replacements, many other cleaning items including sanitizers, essential oils… so many options!

When you are ready to get away from the chemical frenzy of so many products, but you don’t have the income to buy expensive “all natural” products either, this is something you NEED!

Let me know when you are ready and I will share what brand it is…..

 

Don’t Assume Another Intends to Offend

Conflict is inevitable when there are multiple different interests at play.
The best thing we can do is try to look beyond the current persuasion and think kindly of others.

How often does something happen and your first instinct is that the other person sucks. It can be something so trivial as being cut off in line at the store; or a passing comment made by a stranger, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t understand their situation as clearly as you think. There might be some very justifiable explanation for their actions, something you can’t even think of- maybe because your mind is clouded from your own busy day. It could be a bigger deal, like working with an uncooperative neighbor to pay for a fence, something that consumes hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars. Are they really just trying to get the best out of you? Resource sharing is a consistent conflict, we all want to make sure we have enough for our own personal security.

We can’t live our lives taking things so personal, assuming another person intends to offend us. How miserable to think poorly of others on a regular basis. To judge them as if they are judging you poorly. We will never fully understand other humans, only ourselves. It is up to us to assume there is no offense intended, unless of course, they make it clear that is the intent (which is not the topic here).

People get offended easily and it is much easier to blame someone else. Take ownership, be the better person, and try to understand where they are coming from. We have to each reach further than half way across the aisle to cooperate fully, leaving some wiggle room for those who aren’t quite there yet.

Be the example by choosing to see others, and their intentions, positively.

Leaders initiate opportunities.

Being a leader means you have to try first.
You initiate.
You can visualize what questions to address in order to be successful with your goal.

Where do leaders get this?
Some are driven by an internal fire to fulfill a quest, or a vision of a better future. That can be simple, as long as you know where you are going and your intentions are positive.
How do leaders do this?
Initiate conversation, open the airwaves with those around you. Most people will be surprised that if this is done cautiously and with respect for your surroundings, there are opportunities screaming your name around every corner. Create a vivid and in-touch community through your dealings.
And please, don’t just facebook status update all the crap you are selling. That is not engaging.

Example please?
Offer to volunteer, it may or may not be needed. Yesterday my offer was taken! I am happy when my local library asked for my help (after I offered of course) with the work of organizing some of the functions I actively participate in. Instead of being a patron, now I am an involved community member. A program I support is enriched through the fruits of my labor, this is better than only voting to increase the tax funding… my time adds value too. I can also bring together a few others who regularly engage in the same functions to see if they want to partner the work, or brainstorm with me, or help in the process of creating the event. I have casually accepted a potential leadership role in my community because of initiation.

Leadership is not waiting for someone else to do it for you.
In August 2011, when the first round of national budget talks fell through, my facebook status originated from frustration with all of the rhetoric from media and lawmakers. It went something like this, “Why do news writers assume it is the governments job to create jobs? Are we not ambitious enough as individuals to find and create our own opportunities?”

As you can imagine, this garnered some back and forth, but my thought is still the same. Regardless of regulations, or other strategies politics has to manipulate society according to the benefit of one party or the other… we have a collective interest to do better for ourselves and the nation as a whole. So get out there and get your skills, and get to work making your work. Don’t sit behind a desk at home, filling out mindless applications for nowhere jobs, you can do so much better than that.

 I am a leader and I am proud of my accomplishments.

So, here I am. Creating my own opportunities. It is not easy to make the first move, take the risk of putting yourself out there. If you do it, the right way for you, it will carry you forward. Not every attempt will be successful, learn from the experience and move forward.

What are you doing to initiate your opportunities??? Please share if you care….