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Going Green Gradually update

lovely, but what's it called? (new garden, dedicated to women, Portland State University, July, 2009)

I have been making some changes on the going green gradually front, and I have not noted them as they've been happening, so here is an update.

First and foremost, I stopped washing my hair! I refuse to call this it's popular name, as it is rather gross ("no-poo" for those who haven't heard it before). But, here's what happened - I found myself in the not uncommon position about 5 weeks ago of having not washed my hair in 3 days. I was about to wash when I just stopped and realized it was the perfect time to start this stoppage (I'd planned on waiting until Tristan was older). My hair did it's adjustment, getting oily as a reaction to the constant stripping of natural oils over the years, and then it looked great after about 2 weeks. Then I made the silly mistake of using vinegar (apple cider vinegar) straight on my hair - remembering reading somewhere about that and being too lazy to research it again. Well, apparently, I now know, that doing that causes another oil reaction to the vinegar, so my hair got a little oily again (and very easy to comb my otherwise curly, difficult to comb hair). Then I read on the blog These Days in French Life (one major source of inspiration for me) to use a little diluted baking soda as a shampoo replacement and a little diluted vinegar as a conditioning replacement (although she doesn't describe it quite like that...) anyhow, I used the baking soda and it truly is a shampoo replacement. My hair looks better now than it ever has, and I feel much better now that I've nixed the shampoo and all its cancer-causing agents and environmental poisons. Not too mention the cost of shampoo and conditioner! This I deem a permanent change. It took me awhile, psychologically, to be willing to do this, but now that I have I'm very happy about it. Using a bristle brush every night brings the natural oils down, and if you have hair that frizzes or curls easily in the humidity, as mine does, this is your natural de-frizzing gel! (I read somewhere the recalling of Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie brushing her hair 100 times every night...now I know why).

Clothes are still going on the line. My mom pointed out that my initial savings may have been because of the seasonal change. Some of it probably was, but I know we knocked off a good chunk of our gas bill because of the clothes going on the line rather than the dryer.

Our compost hole is pretty much filled up and we started a new one, hopefully using our compost in a small upcoming garden.

We have started ordering small boxes of fruits and veggies from a small farm called Capay Farms...will be delivered to our door along with some neighbors' boxes as well. 

Our tomatoes are ripening and we are eating them heartily! (little orange pieces of candy, really, that even Tristan likes! Yay!)

I continue to make my own cereal from organic ingredients bought from our local co-op. 

Am on the lookout for homemade detergent recipe (Nicola...?)

I am getting a lot of inspiration from the blogs These Days in French Life, The Well-Rounded Child, and my current book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I am excited too, as I am now so much more willing to make changes as I see that what I do is mostly out of habit, and once a new habit forms, it too becomes easy. Like the clothesline and compost.



gardenmama said...

It is so exciting to read about the changes you are making! Your right so much of it for me too is just things I do out of habit. We switched to using vinegar in cleaning recently and it has been wonderful!
Oh, yes I remember Laura brushing her hair 100 times before bed : ) Little House on the prairie has certainly played a factor in my life! Good luck on your journey, it sounds great!

Anonymous said...

You impress me and inspire me. Thank you for sharing all of this!

leaning apple mama said...

one of my favorite things about reading blogs is finding a whole world of like minded people who are able to connect and inspire one another because of the *greater* blogosphere. i am deep in the throes of the little house series right now...sometimes i tell my husband i was born in the wrong era...but not really, I just love living the *hard* way. i love reading about your changes...it makes me think beyond what we already do!!

nicola said...

oh heck! i am sorry! i replied to your question on my blog and didn't come post here to be sure you would see it! yep, here is the link to my post about "detergents"
(there are several posts right around the time of that one, sept 2008, you might also be interested in, as well as any/all of the ones with the label "earth," which you can get to from my labels links.)

also, thanks for the links. i am very curious about this no-shampooing, because that had not occurred to me! we have switched (or been switching) to more natural shampoos and am hoping friends who make soap will want to sell me shampoo bars (i am not yet able, timewise, to learn soapmaking, although hope to be one day), but skipping it altogether had not crossed my mind!

GOOD FOR YOU on all these changes. it feels so good to take steps to improve one's health, finances, and environment!

lastly, i have a half written post for next week with some green product and book recommendations!


gennysent said...

If even one person is inspired enough to make a change, I have done my job...as I am inspired by others, I hope to inspire others as well. This is such a wonderful community of like-minded people and it's so great to be able to share information and ideas in such inspiring ways. I love coming here to see everyone's wonderful comments and any changes you all have made in your own life.

I am not sure where to get Borax Nicola, but I will look into this...it sounds rather Dr. Seuss-like :)

gennysent said...

I hope to find a series of LIttle House on the Prairie stories that are more boy-oriented! I loved the Little House series and I may share it with Tristan in hopes he will enjoy it too.