So here is a great option for indoor drying with 50 feet of drying space! The top folds down for a flat area for a sweater, etc. It is called the Robbins Lumber HG-305. Available from GAIAM.com as well as other companies if you care to search.

Now that we have solar panels I am even more aware of the electricity drain from using the dryer. I don’t put many of my clothes in the dryer as it is, but, my wooden drying rack is getting warped and it is not very feasible to have an outdoor clothes line, although I am looking at this, too, $41 at Target:

 

According to LaundryList.org about 5.8 percent of residential electricity use goes towards the clothes dryer, according to DOE EIA statistics from 2001. If all Americans would use the clothesline or wooden drying racks, the savings would be enough to close several power plants. From their site:

 

Clothes Dryer
Do Not Use a Clothes Dryer…………………… 23.6 million (21.2%)
Use a Clothes Dryer……………………………… 87.5 million (78.8%)

Electric…………………………………………….. 67.2
Natural Gas………………………………………. 19.4
Propane/LPG……………………………………. 0.9

These figures do not take into account the millions of Americans who do their wash at commercial Laundromats and multi-family housing locations. The number of American households with a washing machine at home but no dryer is 4.3 million (or 3.9%). We assume that this is roughly the number of hard core air dryers, who use clothes lines and drying racks exclusively.

 

 

 

 

 

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I love this concept. Electrolux plans to retrieve plastic floating in the ocean and recycle into vacuum cleaners and more. We have to remember every moment that we cannot throw things away- there is no away.

Via: Flossie! thank you!

Can Less Be More

August 17, 2010

Do we need all our stuff? How much stuff do we really need to live? What does one really need? Just received the link to interesting site via Josh. Kelly Sutton’s site where he has listed all of his possessions and is selling everything off except what he can fit into 2 boxes….

He says on his blog:

Inspired by a a book or two, I’ve decided to try to see if I can rid my life of most of the clutter. The goal? Condense my life into 2 bags and 2 boxes.

How will I do this? It seems simple to just say: get rid of everything. To realize how much junk I own, I have put myself through the misery of documenting every single possession of mind, no matter how insignificant. This gives me a solid metric to measure my progress against. I will be explaining the finer details of this in future posts.

The 2 bags and 2 boxes principle will hopefully allow me to live anywhere and move instantly. This is the Cult of Less.

“On the whole, it’s led me to cherish my few purchases more. Every possession also requires a certain amount of upkeep, and I find myself with more time and less possessional guilt. Every thing owned begs to be used constantly; every second not utilized comes a shred of buyer’s remorse. Everything I own I use at least once per month, save for my winter clothes.”

I say, all well and good if yu are young and it is feasible to live that way. Everyone in the US particularly accumulates lots of stuff. I feel burdened by the house and the contents that have attached themselves over the past 25 years. But as someone replied:

“This is a completely crap and meaningless “trend”. There’s no real sacrifice involved whatsoever, and the people involved seem to enjoy the illusion of asceticism without the actual hard work involved. If you’re happy only owning five pairs of underwear or whatever, more power to you… but to blog about it as some great emerging movement or philosophy is a waste.”

I could do without the potted plants, but they do give me oxygen and bring life into my home. I could without the art on the walls, but most of the art in my house was created by people I know and it enriches and inspires me to have it around me. Do I need 2 pianos? No, anyone want to buy one? It’s not easy to sell a piano. I also don’t need more than 1 cutting knife but I have 4 or 5. I don’t know that I will go minimalist, but I certainly could as Josh recently suggested: hire someone to help me, put up a tent in the backyard and bring it all out into the daylight and then make some choices……Perhaps it would be comforting to have a list of everything I own in one place?

I am up to my ears with information about chemicals in shampoos. You need a degree in chemistry to even read the ingredients let alone understand the list. Not only the ingredients, there is the plastic bottle quandary, too.

BUT, wait a minute, shampoo is soap. There are natural soap companies all over. Soap making is an leasy local business.

It is easier than you think to buy shampoo without:

  • detergents
  • sulfates
  • petroleum products
  • parabens
  • pthalates
  • synthetic preservatives
  • artificial colors
  • artificial fragrances
  • foam boosters
  • propylene glycol

You can use a shampoo bar and that is just what I’ve been doing. So, unbeknownst to my bestest friend, T, I have quietly become a fan of shampoo bars- I like the Liggett’s brand, there are countless others and now I have decided that I am going to make some.

Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft is an all natural soap company. Their site explains much about the soap making process.

The great thing about soap is that there are many small companies spread out through our communities. Here in Litchfield County we have GoatBoy Soaps. You can buy their hand made soaps at many retail stores as well as at the Litchfield Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

I think this is a great idea for a business. T was thinking of starting a gluten-free cupcake company called “Cuppies”. But after eating beaucoup de cupcakes all last winter she seems to have changed her mind. At least she isn’t talking about it much. Well, you can’t eat soap. Whaddaya think, T? we could call it “Shampoo on a Rope”, or “Bar of ‘poo”. Only kidding.

The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises “valid concerns” about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in a growing number of liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels and even socks, workout clothes and toys.

They are taking a fresh look at triclosan, which is so ubiquitous that is found in the urine of 75 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Recent scientific studies raise questions about whether triclosan disrupts the body’s endocrine system and whether it helps to create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. An advisory panel to the FDA said in 2005 that there was no evidence the antibacterial soaps work better than regular soap and water. They are changing their tune.

In a previous post 11/08, titled The Germs Are Coming, I looked at the issue:

The Townsend Letter presents a very compelling look at the oversights of the EPA and FDA with regard to our safety from overexposure to triclosan and other antimicrobial agents. Some hazards include the chloroform toxic gas that is created when using antimicrobial dishwashing or hand soap with chlorinated water! Dr Stewart Levy in a paper presented to the CDC, suggests that these heavy hitting products are not useful in a healthy household and after years of overuse and misuse of these drugs, bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance, which has become a global health crisis. The “increase of surface antibacterial agents or biocides into healthy households may contribute to the resistance problem”.

The known health hazards are numerous and include:accumulation of residues through skin and mucosal absorption, residues can be found in human fatty tissue and breast milk traceable to use of products containing triclosan. Although it may take years for the EPA and FDA to regulate this toxin, we can easily elect not to use them and change the future of the health of ourselves and our families. 4 major grocery chains in the UK have banned the sale of products containing triclosan.

Go here to read the summary of the findings of the risk assessments.

So Long Fruit Flies

August 3, 2009

fruit_fly_mont-droso04

‘Tis the season, and once those little fruit flies get a foothold in your kitchen it’s alot of work to get them out, right? They have a 10 day life cycle, can drive me crazy. They like organic food just fine. Here are some great ideas on how to rid your kitchen of fruit flies, from wikihow.com.  There is even a video! Google is great, right? I am going to do the simple remedy tonight- a glass with something yummy in it covered with plastic wrap and little holes punched in so they can get in and dine and they can’t get out. Let you know how it goes.

Dr Hauschka Disappoints

March 31, 2009

I am very interested in using simple, clean and non-toxic skin care products. I am getting very close to cooking up my own. Using Environmental Working Group’s safecosmetics.com I have found that many of my favored organic companies aren’t as squeaky clean as I require. Check out your brands, and if they don’t feature yours you can just enter in the ingredients and see the ratings for each one on a scale of 1-8, 8 being hazardous to our health.

Here is an example of Hauschka’s Hand Cream (I loved that hand cream, especially the little samples, so easy to travel with…)

picture-11

Okay, so what to do. There are other brands to choose from. What I am using now is Nikken’s True Elements. It is largely organic, certified by Ecocert. Ecocert is an independent organization that conducts inspections and certifications to insure organic integrity. They are a European company accredited by many groups including USDA for NOP Certification.

All True Elements products are made from the flowers, vines and herbs that grow in the Valaisan Mountains of the Swiss Alps. Subjected to extremes of temperature and humidity over the course of centuries, these rare plant strains have developed an unusual resistance to the effects of environmental stress. Sounds good to me. Using Safecosmetics site we found most of the ingredients to score 0 which is the best! and there were a few 1’s and 2’s mostly ingredients at the end of the list- which means there isn’t much o it in there!

true-elements-group-shot

If you want to order some, write a comment and I will offer it to you wholesale!