Friday, July 16, 2010

"living better than ever in an age of less"

I just finished reading this book by John Robbins. It addresses our relationship to money, and gives lessons and advice on how to become more aware of our use of money and how to become more free and wise with it. He gives suggestions on ways to reduce our needs and expenses and live more happily with less.

"Money, it seems, is a little like beer. Most people like it, but more is not necessarily better. A beer might improve your mood, but drinking ten beers not only won't increase your happiness tenfold, it might not increase it at all."

I particularly appreciated a section on household cleaning products. Many of the manufactured products are expensive and filled with toxic ingredients. By switching to using vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and borax, we can eliminate the toxins we are exposed to, save money, and have just as clean a house.

He particularly recommends Dr. Bronner's soap, which is made from organic and fair trade plant products. It can be used for soap, but also as a dish soap when diluted 1 part to three parts water.

Sprinkle baking soda in a sink or counter or stove top as a safe alternative to Ajax. Scrub, then rinse away. It will also clean your drains. Follow with hot water. Even a toilet can be cleaned by emptying the bowl and then sprinkling baking soda. Wait a while, then scrub and flush.

Vinegar can be used as a fabric softener. Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water for one load.

I have heard of using vinegar as a hair conditioner too. Try one part vinegar to 4 parts warm water. Rinse well afterward.

To clean windows use 1 part vinegar (white is fine) to 3 parts water.

Pure vinegar can be sprayed on moldy areas. Wait a few minutes, then scrub and rinse or wipe clean. It should prevent recurrences.

Add half a cup of borax and half a cup of baking soda to a load of laundry (in addition to a regular detergent, I guess) to clean clothes better.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a gentle alternative to bleach. You may need to repeat treatment to get it whiter. (I tried this once and didn't get a perfect white on the first try, but next time I'll repeat.)

I'm excited to try using these products.

As a side note I tried using baking soda as a shampoo on my hair but it was too harsh. My hair started falling out. Perhaps my solution was too concentrated. For now I'm back on regular shampoo.

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