A Year of Drops: Get Crafty

by Katie LaFond

Step 11: Get Crafty

  • Learn to cook, sew, knit, spin, make soap, make detergent, make candles, keep bees, can food, make cheese
  • Slow cookers and pressure cookers simplify a lot of home cooking and
    Photo by Tabatha Alcina, used under a Creative Commons license

    Photo by Tabatha Alcina, used under a Creative Commons license

    allow you to make your own “convenience food.”

  • Keep your meat bones and use them to make broth. You can keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to make broth. Also consider keeping onion skins, carrot tops, and other food waste that can add complexity and nutrition to your broth
  • Keep in mind that in any area where you know how to make your own, you’re a more informed consumer
  • Split the work up and share your responsibility with your housemates or family
  • Create reminders for yourself so you can keep up on periodic tasks: google calendar alerts, sticky notes…
  • Organize your house to make it easy to do all these things: keep baskets of rags in your kitchen and a couple of recycling buckets handy so you can sort as you go.  Hanging them vertically on the wall with hooks can be super handy.


This is part twelve in Katie’s thirteen-part series in walking lightly on the Earth.  Read more:  introduction, step 1 (recycle), step 2 (reuse), step 3 (reduce), step 4 (compost), step 5 (drive less), step 6 (local food), step 7 (buy local), step 8 (garden), step 9 (environmentally-friendly products), step 10 (reduce energy consumption).

A Year of Drops: Environmentally Friendly Products

by Katie LaFond

Step 9: Look into Environmentally Friendly Products

  • Be aware that being “eco friendly” is now a fad, and a marketing scheme. Don’t be sucked in.
  • Many times, you can make your own cleaning products. Baking soda, washing soda, borax, water, and vinegar are great natural solvents. (But be careful when mixing baking soda and vinegar, unless you’re doing a science fair project!). Here’s one resource; there are many
    Photo by Arria Belli, used under a Creative Commons License

    Photo by Arria Belli, used under a Creative Commons License

    online.

  • Try castile soap in the shower, as hand soap, and as dish soap.  You can even use the bars to make your own laundry detergent!
  • You can make many personal care products using recipes found online.  This lets you know exactly what’s in it and avoid ingredients derived from fossil fuels.
  • If you have a septic tank, avoid using products that will kill the natural flora like bleach. The flora will break down your waste naturally, allowing it to cycle back into the ecosystem.


This is part ten in Katie’s thirteen-part series on how to walk lightly on the Earth.  Read more: introduction, step 1 (recycle), step 2 (reuse), step 3 (reduce), step 4 (compost), step 5 (drive less), step 6 (local food), step 7 (buy local), step 8 (garden).