Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ceramic Tile Note Pad

Most notes I write on paper don't really need to be kept or transported away from my house. Most of them are little reminders, phone numbers I need to have temporarily, tally marks for something I'm working on or just a quick doodle. So why use paper? Instead, I came up with this simple ceramic tile note pad and have one by my bed and another in the kitchen. At first I just used the tile and marker. Then I got fancy and made a little cloth backing for it, with a loop to keep the pen. It's a perfect solution for a temporary note or for my daughter trying to explain some mathematical concept to me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shampoo Bar

One of the things I really wanted to learn to DIY was shampoo - I hate buying then having to recycle those darned bottles. So here are the things I've tried that didn't work:

1 - the "no poo" method. This involves washing the hair with a mix of baking soda and water, then rinsing with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water. I tried this for a few months. It was a disaster. In my online research it said to just wait it out, that my hair was somehow addicted to shampoo and had to adjust to going natural...but that never happened for me. My hair was a greasy mess and I never got out of that stage. I only wash my hair a few times a week, so I just didn't find it believable that it was "addicted". Anyway, that was a total bust, even thought I wanted it to work, and even toted around that stuff when I travelled, etc. From what I can tell, this method works best for folks with frizzy or curly hair, and I'm the total opposite. 

2 - castile soap - I won't bore you, but it didn't work either. I may as well have used thousand island dressing. 

So - because my goal was to find a way to avoid purchasing the plastic bottles of stuff...I found a really great little all natural shampoo bar at my local Natural Grocer's store - and it works great! The bar is wrapped in paper, which is biodegradable, and claims to last as long as 24 oz of shampoo, which for me is a really long time. So, mission accomplished!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Paper napkins and towels

A roll of paper towels lasts me 18 months - I know this because out of curiosity I've written the date purchased inside the tube. That's great, but I know I can Do Better. It turns out that most of my paper towel use happens when I'm out and about. For example when I use a public rest room and dry my hands after washing, or when I'm at a restaurant and they don't use cloth napkins (I'm known to prefer a hole in the wall over a fancy restaurant any day, but there are down sides). So, I was intrigued to learn that in Japan people carry their own cloth hand towels to dry themselves with. The founder of People Towels has nice little write up on this. According to them, the average American uses upwards of 2,400 paper towels a year. Easily convinced, my first thought was to purchase some little wash cloths, they are inexpensive enough. Then I remembered, I have more bandanas than I know what to do with. So now I carry a bandana with me, it's folded and put in a pocket of my bag. I change it weekly, or more often if needed. It's used in restaurants as a napkin, and in bathrooms to dry my hands. It's an easy enough committment and easy to keep up with. 

If you're not convinced to carry your own little bandana (or towel, or a cute vintage hankie!) at least consider drying your hands in a scientifically proven efficient manner (oooo, fancy!) as shown in this brief explanation. Shake and fold people, shake and fold.