Greeting Thrifty Sisters! I hope that you each had a very joyous Thanksgiving holiday full of family and friends and lots of laughter and memory making! For those of you who traveled, I hope that you all had safe travels. This past weekend certainly has provided some “exciting” driving weather.
Last week, I was doing that glorious chore of cleaning bathrooms. While I was cleaning our bathrooms, my mind wandered to the cleaning cloths that I was using. Sure, the micro fiber cloths are great. Manufacturers have created a variety of cleaning surfaces, which clean like champions, leave glass surfaces lint free, they are reusable and last forever. However, they do have an initial cost and they are not free of reliance on oil products, therefore leaving a footprint.
As I was buffing and shinning various objects in the bathrooms, I happened to pick up a white t-shirt rag from my rag pile. It brought back memories of my parents using old white t-shirt rags for a variety of cleaning needs. These t-shirt rags do a great job of cleaning and shining, are fairly lint free, and duh… are free for the taking once they graduate out of one’s dresser drawers. And no dependence on oil products, as far as I can determine. So if you are ready to toss out old white t-shirts any time soon, consider keeping a handful for rags. They dust, buff and scrub like their microfiber counter parts, but are cost effective cotton will eventually biodegrade in a landfill. I have no idea what the average life span of a microfiber cloth has in a landfill – did I mention they seem to last forever?! For those who want to turn to a simpler way of life, I think returning to the t-shirt rags are a good step in that direction.
And don’t forget, if you have too many t-shirts that are just not worthy of donating to a thrift store, some thrift stores actually collect fabric to recycle. Find out if your local thrift store has this option! If the fabric is in good shape, there are oodles of ways to make your own crafty upcycled items from bags to pillowcases, to dresses! Pinterest probably has thousands of ideas, in case you are looking for inspiration.
Yes, these are the thoughts that roll around in my head as I do mundane chores. I question the eco-friendly value of many things. Sometimes this is where my greatest money saving epiphanies occur.
Speaking of making things more eco-friendly, I found this charming article to help give us some new ideas on how to green up our kitchens and not break the bank. In fact, there are some very interesting statistics and suggestions on how to save on both your environmental impact, and impact on your wallet. And, with Christmas around the corner, some of the suggestions may spark some great gift ideas for the hard-to-shop-for people on your list! The full article can be found at this link:http://www.care2.com/greenliving/6-easy-ways-to-have-a-greener-kitchen.html
“6 Easy Ways To Have A Greener Kitchen” by The Green Divas , November 24, 2012
1. Use Cloth Napkins
- Paper products currently account for one-third of the municipal waste in the U.S. – great case for using cloth napkins and dishtowels
- Paper products: paper v. cloth napkins – manufacturing cloth napkins takes a little more energy, however to wash and reuse them multiple times makes up for it and saves a LOT of trees
- you can also easily make your own from remnants
2. Buy More in Bulk
- Buying bulk for dry goods can save on packaging AND money! Example: Organic dried cranberries on average are 98% less expensive than their packaged counterpart
- Between a quarter and a third of all domestic waste is packaging: much of it food packaging
- To buy bulk goods, find a food coop or buying club near you at LocalHarvest.org
3. Recycle Even More
- About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%
- Recycle as much as you can
- Try avoiding buying food and products with lots of packaging
- Buy food and drinks in recyclable packaging such as glass jars or tin cans
- Buy bulk
4. Use Only Eco-Friendly Sponges and Dish Towels
- Most sponges are plastic and contain dyes, and synthetic disinfectants like triclosan, which has been determined to be a health hazard to humans and ecosystems by the EPA
- Use a sponge made from natural and sustainable materials
- Cellulose sponges – made from wood fibers – they biodegrade in landfills and go through a far less toxic manufacturing process
- Landfills are filled with paper towels and there no way to recycle or reuse them
- It takes about one year for the paper to biodegrade, the thicker the towel the longer
- It’s cheaper to skip the paper towels
5. Remember to Use Reusable Shopping Bags
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures a year
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and it’s floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It weighs 3.5 million tons and is 80% plastic
- If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth’s equator 776 times!
6. Composting is Easy
- Compost is excellent for garden soil
- If you don’t have a garden, look for community compost program
- Fruits and veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells (rinsed and crushed), rice and pasta
- Reduces your garbage output significantly
Aren’t some of those statistics shocking? If each one of us Thrifty Sister made a small change, we would make a huge difference!
So, speaking of gifts, I have seen on face book several people posting that they have received, or really want the new Death Star waffle irons. What a clever idea for a waffle iron! How have we gone this far into the Star Wars obsession and never had a Death Star waffle maker?! Brilliant! I love Star Wars, this would be awesome, BUT, for the record, I already own my grandma’s waffle iron. It makes 4 adorable heart shaped waffles. For my family who reads this newsletter, I do not need, nor am I hinting at the Death Star Waffle Iron for Christmas.
However, many people want this waffle iron, and I can totally appreciate the cool factor. There also seems to be new cooking trends using waffle irons. There are hundreds of waffle iron recipes floating around cyber space, and these are just so neat! With the upcoming winter storm approaching my neighborhood, I might just make a trip to the store to stock up on some items to use in these non-traditional waffle iron recipes!
Here is a link to 27 recipes: http://greatist.com/eat/waffle-maker-recipes
And apparently waffle irons are not just for breakfast foods: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/12-recipes-you-didnt-know-you-could-make-in-a-waffle-iron.html
And there you have it, my Thrifty Sisters. May you enjoy mulling over the reinvention of the t-shirt rags (if you are not already doing so). May you have a splendid time thinking of how to green up your kitchen (did anyone get any cute “kitchen basket” gift ideas from that list?) And may the force be with you as you make some epic new waffle iron meals for your family! Keep on keeping it thrifty and fun!