Tea n’at

I’ve never been an herbal tea drinker (well, for a short time Honeybush tea tasted good then it started to taste like elephant hay) but I figured eventually I was going to plant a tea garden so I might as well figure out some stuff I liked.

I was looking around for loose leaf tea and spotted a spearmint/lavender combo that sounded interesting. I’ve had 2 cups so far and decided I like it with a spoon of honey.

Makes it taste like Wrigley’s spearmint gum… which is oddly satisfying.

Working through the house

I’m working my way through the house and the products that I use regularly to see if there is a better option for these things. Coincidentally, I started with food stuff and the kitchen in January and moved on to the bath in February. This chart showed that too so I might use it for a template, but we’ll see.

A Year of Zero Waste chart by Green Indy

I’ve been “greener” for a long time with lots of products (some met my modest needs, but just can’t withstand the more in depth cleaning requirements of cats and boys, so I had to switch to something with more oomph and less green…sigh) Method’s cleaners have done great for a long time for me, not being too toxic to have around kittens that lick everything, but I’m starting to see if I can get away with less packaged products. They did a good job with selling refills and not making it a total PITA to get. Selling it at Target was helpful, however Target changes up its lineup occasionally which throws a monkey wrench into the works. In any event, I’ve been looking around to see what I will be able to change to with confidence when my pantry runs out.

Something concentrated that I can dilute is good. I do use Castile soap for a lot for things as well as vinegar with orange peels for some other things (but not all things). I’m hoping this will be enough for the general cleaning.

I want my cleaning basket to look like this (spoiler alert; it won’t LOL):

Image credit: Michelle at nnuulloo

For the bathroom, I’m finishing up my existing stocks of shampoo, toothpaste and soap while inserting a test product in the mix as I find things to test. Face soap is the one that makes me a bit nervous. Dove plain white soap is great on my skin, but it comes in a box with plastic wrapping. Sigh. [EDIT: the single bar packages are in compostable cardboard so I can get a single bar at a time plastic-free! Excellent!] I’ve heard some good things about goat milk soap and I think I saw some available in bulk at Whole Foods so I’ll get a bar and use it to see how it works on my skin. (Bonus if B likes it as well. His skin is even more particular than mine so swapping a known working item can be tricky. If you swap to something greener and have to buy all sorts of medicine to counteract its effects, you’re doing it wrong.)

Shampoo bars I’ve talked about, but conditioner bars I haven’t found locally so I might have to order and test that.

Toothpaste tabs are on the way and I need to work my way though the tubes I have left. I can’t wait! I read somewhere that there are mouthwash tablets, too, excellent!

I’m headed out on a quick trip in a couple of weeks, so all my non-liquids will make it easier to pack. Very pleased!

Things I accomplished this week Feb 3 2019

  1. Found toothpaste tablets for a reasonable price that, while it isn’t local and in bulk, it still comes in compostable packaging. This will be great for travel, too. Will let you know how they taste etc.
  2. Have been saving my compostable stuff in the freezer and I’ll set up a compost bin soon (is raining this weekend and B’s bday) so, next week…soon.
  3. Organized my lotion bar and self care supplies. So far I have lip balm, lotion bars (shaped like toy story aliens), and hair leave in conditioner. I gave lotion bars to Mama and the kid for xmoose and an alien to my friend.
  4. I’m test driving a new deodorant that has refills for it. I just got it, so thoughts later.
  5. Bulk shopping at Sprouts and Whole Foods hasn’t been too bad. There are a few things I haven’t found that I would like to get, but it’s a start AND I can use my mason jars and not use plastic bags to carry the stuff home.
  6. Using local and pasture raised milk, eggs, and butter. Might see what the local farmers market has.
  7. I’m buying various fruits and veggies and just eating those throughout the day. Oh avocados, how I 💚 you.
  8. Made a yummy pot pie using leftovers and stuff from the pantry so things wouldn’t get wasted.

This week’s reductions

Little differences I’m tried to make this week:

  1. Bought bulk bin black eyed peas, used my reusable produce bin bag which I 💚 (link below)
  2. couldn’t find bulk adzuki beans for the dal makhani, but found a can of them so it would be more recycle-able
  3. got a brioche from the bakery @ Whole Foods instead of a loaf of sliced bread and put it in my produce bag (nom, made French toast for B today with it.)
  4. Reducing amount of dairy I’m using, NutPods makes me giggle but tastes pretty good in my coffee
  5. I found that my pasture raised (not just free range) egg place also does pasture raised moo cows for butter, switching to that next
  6. Started a compost container (reusing a pokebowl container) for the freezer for when I organize a compost bin this week for the porch (gonna try to compost what I can of the foods and food containers I get. Also the dirt will be great for my tomato plants!)
  7. Used up the 2 aging tomatoes from the food at home in the dal makhani I made last night (also going for reducing meat consumption around here a bit.)
  8. Switched to a shampoo bar for my hair full time (I’ll use up my last bits of liquid shampoo and conditioner eventually, but I didn’t just throw them out.) and got a bottle of apple cider vinegar for the rinse. I did buy a plastic bottle for the shower because I don’t fancy my clumsy hands dropping glass and breaking it. (I’ll refill it from glass or bulk if I can find someplace…) I already travel with a shampoo bar and I like it just fine.

Phew. Looks like I did a lot, just gotta make it repeatable.

On the list for future changes:

  1. More reusable produce bags, there’s also a mini produce stand bag (which is what I have now) but I’m getting this next:
    ChicoBag Produce Stand Complete Starter Kit – rePETe Mesh & Hemp-Cotton Reusable Produce Bags with Pouch (Set of 3)
  2. Safety razor, but I need to make sure I can maintain it well. My bathroom is awfully steamy since I am still working on replacing the vent fan that broke and requires cutting into the damn wall to extract. Pesky cheap builders from the 70’s. Grrrr.
  3. A dish scrubby, sans plastic, with replaceable heads.

What do you find maintainable that is good for the environment? (Aside from nagging giant corporations who cause 90% of the pollution regardless…)


(If it doesn’t render:”I’ll take a thousand migrants willing to walk 2,000 miles across a desert in hopes of a making a better life in America over one privileged smirking insolent snot-nose MAGA hat-wearing teenage dipshit asshole any day of the week and twice on Sunday”.)