Friday, February 27, 2015

Fight rising hydro costs!

Take control of rising hydro costs: Use less!

I’m sure you have heard a million times to use less power during peak period; by making small changes and adjustments to large appliance use,  you can really see the difference on the bottom line of your monthly hydro bill. However running the dryer is one of the biggest contributors to your total power usage regardless of what time you use it.

Every fall when it starts getting too cold to hang laundry on the line I forget how much of a difference it makes and slip back into using the dryer, then I get a huge hydro bill and bust out my indoor drying rack. For an extra ten minutes of my day I can max out this bad boy and save money while reducing my footprint and help save the world.

I have made it work for me by doing a load of laundry every night (after 7pm of course) this is how I stay on top of the unstoppable growing laundry pile. It needs the time to hang and dry so you cannot expect to do a bunch of loads at once.

The size of the load matters, although I can get a pretty large load on this little wire thing! I try to do a ¾ load to make sure I have the space. To max it out start on the middle and bottom racks hanging medium stuff, move onto the top racks that have enough space to hang longer/larger items, and then use all of the small socks and things to fill in the leftover spaces. I throw heavier things like jeans on the back of my dining room chairs and I use the dryer for sheets, towels, and diapers.

I guarantee this will lower your hydro bill and reducing hydro is an important part of fighting climate change.

You can purchase one of these racks at any Home Hardware in the Kawartha’s for $16.99!
Julia Taylor

Monday, February 23, 2015

Animals need to eat clean too!

Have you ever read the ingredients in animal kibble?
This is our 7 year old black lab Hali drooling for her dinner. We switched her from kibble to a raw diet when she was about 1 year old.

When she was a pup and had her first shots she had bad reactions with spells of seizures. One month and $1000 later we had no answers to what exactly was wrong with her and/or what we could do to prevent them. It was around the same time I became aware of weird ingredients in my food and decided to read the label on her kibble, well no big surprise it had weird stuff too, so I started researching and found that a raw diet seemed to be the healthiest most natural diet for our best friend and first child.

Along with the seizures Hali also had terrible breath (not too unusual) and stinky ears mites all the time. When we made the switch the terrible smells went away, as well as the seizures, and we are always getting compliments on her coat and physical shape- she looks incredibly healthy.

We feed her 1lb a day (recommended for her weight). She gets chicken necks/backs one day, and 'dog meat mixture' the next day, costing us about the same price as a vet recommended high end kibble and providing all of her dietary needs (bone, meat, and organs).

We get it at Nesbitt's Meat Market in Lindsay for $2-$4 per pound. It also uses up some meat/parts that may otherwise go into the trash, so it reduces waste. Speaking of less waste, we never have to clean up poo in the back yard, we rarely see it. It just vaporizes-like magic!

There is a few other local retailers K9Raw (website also has allot of info about going raw) and Meat and Bones.

Dogs need to eat clean too!

Julia Taylor
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Second Hand Wedding Dress- Heart the Planet

When I was planning my wedding 4 years ago I took into considerations the waste and environmental impacts of the event. One of the ways I tried to reduce my impact was to purchase my wedding dress second hand.

Some people might not be into this, but it saves you cash, and we all try to do that when planning these elaborate events. If you think of it, it is such a waste, you pay allot of money for the dress, wear it once, and than what? Some people preserve them. I'm not sentimental, I actually think it is a little weird and have a word for collecting material things-hoarding. Some people do a photo shoot and trash them, sounds super fun, but the dress is garbage after that. If your lucky enough not to have anybody spill a rum and coke on you and you get it dry cleaned in time to get the stain off, you can resell. (That happened to me, my dress currently sits in a chest awaiting my daughters dress up years because of stains.)

I had to go out of town to purchase the dress because at the time there was no local consignment retailer. I had a budget of $1000, but truthfully I wanted to spend only a couple hundred, I just said $1000 to not sound cheap. I ended up buying this beautiful designer dress for the $1000, but it was originally purchased for $6000 dollars! Making me look quite expensive! I even won a photo shoot with the consignment shop and had some fun, creative pic's done with the dress. So all in all it was a fantastic experience, oh and it was the first shop I went to and the third dress I tried on!

The shop I went to was Gown and Glory Consignment Boutique, it was really nice and the service was excellent! There is a really nice shop in Peterborough now too called Menzies House. Kijiji is a good source to if you don't mind trying on a dress at a strangers house.

Please consider buying a second hand dress if you are planning your big day and if you are not into it consider re selling your dress, just make sure you have it dry cleaned right away to get any stains out!

Julia Taylor

Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Mow Lawns

No Mow Lawns

Save money, reduce your Co2 footprint, and do less chores with a No Mow lawn!

 A 'No Mow Lawn' is a one that requires very little cutting, maintenance, and water yet still looks like a traditional green grass lawn.

When I heard about no mow lawns I wondered - why are we spending our spare time and money cutting the lawn every week? 
If I had a no mow lawn I would not have to purchase gas, fertilizer, or hydro and water to irrigate. I will not have to spend valuable spare time cutting the grass every week, not to mention the mower will need less maintenance. I will also be an environmental steward. Cutting less grass means putting less green house gasses into the atmosphere. Lakes and drinking water will benefit from little or no fertilizers, and most no mow mixes provide nutrition for pollinators.

That is why I purchased white clover to seed our lawn this year. With many other varieties available like ‘mini mow mix’ or ‘flowering lawn’ and  ‘eco lawn mix ‘ I chose the clover because it specifically says do not fertilize or apply pesticides ,is very reasonably priced,  and is drought resistant. We will seed the yard in sections starting with the hard to mow parts and can expect to cut back on mowing as early as next year. After a few years of seeding it will establish itself into a fancy eco friendly low growing green carpet. Clover is also a favourite forage crop for honey bees!

So let me just recap that- if you chose a no mow lawn you will be...saving money. Doing less chores. Saving the planet. Saving the water. Saving the bees and your yard will always be GREEN!

Sounds pretty smart to me!

Check out OSC to order your own or other varieties here

Julia Taylor@soGreenithurts



Chemical Free Home-Home made laundry soap

Home made laundry soap- Roughly $2 for 7 Litres.

Full recipe by David Suzuki's Queen of Green here
Ingredients at Jo Anne's Place in Lindsay

Help protect the local lakes and your health by going chemical free in your home with this easy to make, super inexpensive, quality laundry soap. It takes ten minutes to make and is great for cloth diapers. All the ingredients can be found in the City of Kawartha Lakes!

Here is what you need...

1 cup of Soap flakes
1/2 cup of Borax
3/4 cup of Washing soda
7L of water

A jug or pail big enough to fit 7L- a  lid would be nice but not necessary. I use a reused cat litter jug.
A wide mouth funnel. I use my canning funnel.
A pot big enough to fit 7L, although there is a way around it that I will explain.

Heat soap flakes with 1L of water until dissolved.(high heat)
Add 3L of water, borax, and washing soda, stir and keep warming after a few minutes add 3L of water and keep stirring. Pour into you jug/pail.

If you have a pail you will need to stir it every so often until it cools and gels, if you have a jug with a lid you can leave it until you need it and just give it a good shake. You may need to give it  a good shake every so often if it separates.

If you don't have a pot big enough to heat all of the water and ingredients at once just heat the first litre with soap flakes and add the rest of water, borax, and washing soda into the pail and stir it for a good few minutes.

I have tried adding essential oils while making the recipe as well as directly into each load of laundry and it really doesn't make a difference, if I ever figure out how to add a nice scent to my laundry I will let you know!

I purchased ingredients for roughly $30 and it lasted me 3 years and I use cloth diapers so I do a lot of laundry. Big time savings with this soap as well as protecting health and the environment by going chemical free and reducing packaging waste!

Julia Taylor @soGreenithurts