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Tip for the green witch


Guest Bean Sprite

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Guest Bean Sprite

I am a homesteader and live extremely green, but would love to hear what others do to be eco-friendly, or maybe just ideas they have.

I'll share mine if you share yours...:cauldron:

Just teasing, truely I am interested in finding out your thoughts, as I notice it is a fascinating topic.

Plus, I challenge everyone to be as green as you can, so lets see it.

Be creative. Get the juices flowing.

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Seeing I live in Chicago, I try my hardest to be as green as possible. I use canvas bags when shopping, no plastic. Once in a while I do need the large paper bags to pick up doggy doo in the yard. I have started my gardens already this year, soil is ready to go, just need to get over the frost at nite to plant. I burn candles at nite as often as possible to avoid using the electric. Now that the weather has warmed up some, the Harley is out and running which gets much better gas mileage than my truck. BUT I am thinking about a bicycle to ride to work seeing its only 1 1/2 miles away. I recycle cans, bottles and papers are either recycled or I learned how to make starter pots for seedlings out of paper. Several years ago I tried to compost but the neighbors got really snotty, but I may try it again (at least I don't use chemicals on my grass like they do).

All my appliances are energy efficent. I wish I could do something else with my garbage, but the city makes you use those big plastic bags. Other than that, I can't remember what else I do. If I think of anything else I'll let ya know!!

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Guest Bean Sprite

Have you thought about doing a worm composter in your home? There's no smell and the worms eat the compost for you.

We use cloth napkins, reusable cups, homemade cleaners, recycle everything ( and I mean everything), carpool, energy efficient appliances, CF lights, working on mini turbine, solar heater, use old sheets as weed mat, toiletpaper tubes for plants, canning jars as little green houses, save bottles for homemade pop and wine, pasive condensation for home cooling, trade clothing, buy used, use canvas bags or ones made from T-shirts, have a composting privy (toilet), use grey water to feed the garden, we make all of our food and eat out only 2x per year, cook on the fire pit when it's warm, use fallen wood or brush for fuel, have a biomass stove, crank lights, use ratty socks to dust, no television forage the wild foods and hand dig our massive garden instead of tilling.

I am exhausted just reading this.

You can visit:

www.lilliput-primitives-company.com

for more tips and to share yours.

The t-shirt bags are nice. Just sew the bottom or trunk of the shirt, and cut of the sleeves. walla! A canvas bag for free.

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Cool , I don't know if you have them in the US but Bokashi bins are great because you can put everything in them , even meat scraps and they don't smell !!{haven't tried neighbours that annoy me , but that might happen one day :evillaugh:}

We unfourtunatly don't have the space for composting toilets etc but we do as much as we can with recycling , buying old clothes , making soap etc and every computer we've ever had has been rebuilt by the OH using parts from the tip {apparantly surprisingly easy but we got a shock when one hard drive was an accountants and had all his client's bank details on them :naughty:}

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I try to be as green as possible ? I recycle EVERYTHING, from paper to clothes and furniture etc... if it can be repurposed, I will figure out a use for it. I also purchase most of my cleaning, beauty, and food products from environmentally sustainable companies, and have replaced all the conventional light bulbs in my home with energy efficient CFLs.

 

For my freelance business, I employ a paperless work flow system to cut back on paper waste, and encourage my clients to go with recycled papers and soy inks for print jobs.

 

Since I don't drive a hybrid, I make sure to keep my car in tip top shape to help lower emissions. I keep my tires properly inflated and stay on top of those yearly car inspections to keep it running clean. I also avoid hauling around extra unnecessary weight. Basic things like this can help lower gas consumption and improve over-all car performance.

 

I also frequently visit my neighborhood farmer's market to buy locally grown foods.

 

Trying to do whatever I can to help reduce my carbon footprint.:thumbsup:

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Guest Bean Sprite

We built most of our house with reclaimed lumber and used nails. We ride our bikes more often, we don't shop at Wal-Mart. We garden organicaly, My books are bound eco-friendly, We save neighbors dryer lint for the birds to nest with, We wash clothes by hand instead of the washing machine, witch we do have we just don't ever use.

We dry the clothes on the clothes line. Not only are the appliances we use energy star rated, but compact, so we only use what we need. We have reclaimed the heat from drying clothes to heat and humidify the house in the winter.

 

Make a scoop for your dog food: cut the bottom off of a pop bottle, then cut the area below the neck half way to the center, then cut towards the open bottom on both sides, so that you are left with a handy scoop.

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When can I come down and send some timw with ya? I was talking with my neighbor tonite and he said we can do alot of what you do here in the city. He works for the city and knows the rules and regs. here.

 

I gave him a copy of the response I had and he is going to check everyhig out. We may be able to go greener.

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Guest Bean Sprite

Most definitely you can do these things in the city. It's called an urban garden, or urban eco.

We don't have qa bunch of land, we just make the most of our land through urban gardening and eco.

I recently wrote a whole book, that will be a series, about it because there is the public mindset that if they live in the city that they can't be more ecologically sound, but it fact some of the best places for wind turbines, solar panels, and gardens is on the top of high rises.

You can have your own urban garden on your porch or balcony in pots with trelises for the plants to climb, and worm composters in your home that you can compost in without having to have a big compost pile, or a rotating composter on your porch for all your organic dirt. You also have the luxery of buying locally and from the fresh markets in your area, instead of places like Wal-mart.

You also have resources available to you like your local Freecyle.org on the web, for trading your unwanteds for free, and curbside recycling.

My disadvantages are having to drive 30 miles away to recycle my goods, but I do it. I just have to save up and make the trip worth it. Buying locally is tough, but we do it. I just wish we had a farmers market.

Everything is so far apart here.

I'm hopeing that the book will take off so that We can purchase the farm we want to start a free teaching eco-farm, that people can visit , learn and participate in.

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Guest Bean Sprite

I told you I would share a tip for a response, so:

Use your grey water! Grey water is water that has been use for showering, washing dishes, and brushing teeth. If you are going to use it, keep in mind to use eco friendly soaps and detergents.

Save the water by putting a bucket in the shower with you, or a shallow pan in the sink to do your dishes or brush your teeth and wash your hands. Grey water can be used to water your plants, clean stuff off, or to use in the washing machine for your dark load of clothes ( for this you don't want to use dirty dish water), or even to flush your toilet. By doing this, you can save on hundreds of gallons per month in precious fresh water, and your water bill.

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I save and crush all my egg shells and keep coffee grounds for my garden(containers). The roses also like it very much. I filter my water for my food plants, because I am going to eat them, but the other plants like the grey water and the dish soap keeps the bugs off just about everything else. I drive no more than twice a week, and include my recycling run in those trips. But shredded recycled newspaper works in the pots to keep the bugs away as well, and I don't use it for my veggie and herb pots.

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This weekend I'm going to start a compose, again, screw the neighbors. Most of your suggestions I'm going to put to use. I want to pick the dandelions from my yard, but my neighbor on each side have that TruGreen chemicals sprayed. I'm hoping that it doesn't filter into the back yard, they only do their front yards, so I can use the plants. I know it doesn't effect my vegie garden, but not sure on the weeds.

 

For recycling clothes, I usually give to Amvets, including shoes, pans, sheets and anything thats useful for someone else. Especially when the kids were growing. It was hand me downs to the youngest then to Amvets or Purple Hearts. We did recycle my hubbys old truck when it died!!!

 

My friend that was here last nite, his girlfriend cans and she said that she would help me out. Usually I just put stuff in baggies and throw them in the freezer. This year I plan a full pantry.

 

If your book has been published, let me know where I can get it. I think 4 or 5 copies for gifts would be nice.

 

:chakrahearts:

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I'm presuming canning is the same of pickling/preserving??? having a :blondmoment: , I'm sure I remember there being some good recipes on here and I'll try and post a couple more at work tonight . Its a v.v.v good thing to get into ! Very :witch_bounce:inducing !

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Guest Rebie

I do a lot of the stuff already mentioned. Some I just can't, or haven't started yet but plan to. My family is trained to keep our planet and energy in mind. Sometimes they forget, but I remind them. Being a tight wod helps because it is actually cheaper to do this stuff. LOL

Rebie

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Guest Tiger Lady

I bought bean sprite's 'green on a string'. I'm very new at being green but I'm extremely excited. I've been wanting to become more vegan with my products - hygiene products, cleaning products, not so much my food (I like my meat). And what better way to make sure its not tested on animals and its biodegradable than to make it myself.

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Guest Bean Sprite

Now if your mom will just give it back to you so you can actually use it yourself, huh? (lol)

 

I think she wants a copy too.:lolol:

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I guess you could say that my house is "reclaimed" because I saved it from demolition. No one wanted the creaky old Victorian-- except me. :Spider-1: I don't really consider myself green so much as frugal. I just follow the old adage of "waste not, want not." I think watering the lawn to make it green, and then mowing it weekly is absurd. Last year, I didn't water it OR mow it (I can get away with that because I live in the country) and it was filled with native wildflowers and butterflies from April to October. Far more interesting than a patch of artifically green grass, in my opinion.

 

The house has no air conditioner, and I don't miss it. I open the house at night during the summer, and close it during the heat of the day, and it stays very comfortable. I wash my clothes and dishes by hand, I sweep the floors instead of vacuum, and I don't watch television. I have a large veggie garden, orchards, and herb gardens, so I do a lot of canning, as well as store produce in the root cellar over the winter months. I also enjoy foraging. Wild grapes and wild plums make the most incredible jams, and I love to cook with leafy greens like lambsquarters and nettles (which are ready for harvest before the garden is even planted). I use old mayonnaise jars to store my dried herbs, and save tin cans for painting, organizing the garage, and various other uses. My clothing also has a life cycle: good clothes eventually become work clothes, and when the work clothes finally wear out, they are used as rags. Obviously, I don't like to throw things away if they can be used for other purposes. I even saved the large foundation stones from an old grainery that was torn down, and built a stone circle secluded in the trees behind the house. I've really enjoyed it. :)

 

I have enough dry wood around to heat my home for several lifetimes, so I would love to get a wood burning stove. I know it's not exactly "green" due to the air pollution, but it certainly is thrifty. One of these days, I'd also like to have a milk cow and maybe some chickens, although the chicken coops do need a little work. Hopefully I can work on that after I'm through restoring the house.

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I'm a green witch - got my besom out of the closet! :witchbroom:

 

 

No actually we recyle paper, bottles, plastic, all metals, clothes and shoes. Use to have a compost pile, gardens and I canned a lot, used reusable bags for the groceries. Old clothes became rags, usually grease rags, husbands hobby is working on cars. I make my own soap and lotions. We just moved into a apartment complex and many of the things you could do with your own place you can't do at the apartments. I have this tiny patio and they have these shrubs in front of it which faces the north, so I am not sure what I can do here. I hope to at least plant some herbs in pots. I don't use the air conditioner if I can get away with it. (When I was a child I was stuck in my bedroom for a year because of my allergies, the doctor actually came to the house to give me allergy shots every day, wasn't allowed out because the rest of the house didn't have air conditioning, wasn't used for cooling used to condition the air.)

 

I planned on living at my dad's house but things didn't work out that way. But even with gas prices so high I will be going over there alot - he has almost a acre of land and I want to make a veggie and herb garden down there, and see how green I can make it there too. Other than going to my fathers I don't go anywhere. I make a trip and do as much as possible when I have a drive. :flyaway:

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Guest Bean Sprite

Plant your tomatoes and peppers in hanging buckets!

We have done this for years now and the tomatoes in the buckets are even better than the ones in the ground. You don't have to worry about bugs, or tomato cages, because gravity does the work for you and you can plant an herb on top of the bucket.

-get clean 5 gallon buckets and cut a 3 inch hole in the center of the bottom.

-cut a piece of felt the size of the bottom of the bucket and place inside, cutting an (x) shape in the hole area.

-gently feed your plant seedling through the (x) in the felt, then fill the bucket the rest of the way with dirt.

-Hang your bucket from a swing frame or your porch.

-you can plant an herb on the top part of the bucket now.

-water and fertilize from the top, until water pours from the bottom.

 

This method takes up less room in your garden and the plants are more healthy, because all the vital nutrients are leeched towards the bottom of the bucket when you water your plant. We bring some of our buckets inside to grow during the winter for tomato and peppers year round.

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Guest Gabriella

I buy my clothes from charity shops, so my washing at 30 once a week, avoind the tumble dryer like the plague, reuse and recycle wherever I can.

 

My biggest downfall is the computer. I need it for uni but wish I didn't have to have it on so much!!!

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I do what I can but I have to keep on top of my family.

 

I have a carbon filter fitted in my car and I separate everything for recycling.

 

However I wash at 40 sometimes 60 (sheets and towells) and use my tumble drier when its wet or cold outside.

 

I don't have air con, but I have (economy) 2 fridges, a freezer, 3 computers, 2 TVs and I love to buy new clothes. Any clothes that are worn get used as rags the rest goes to charity when I have a clear out.

 

We are thinking about getting solar panels for our roof soon so we can generate our own electricity .. but that's about as green as I can get right now, which is still alot more than most people (present company excluded :)

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Guest Tiger Lady

I want to add that I really like the detergents and cleaners that bean sprite helped me make. Everything feels clean without the worry of toxins in the home that could hurt my little ones.

 

Some of our little contributions is making sure everything is energy star and we did cut the cablevision 9 months ago. I try to make conscious descions on traveling plans. I make sure if I go out, I go everywhere I need to in that particular area so that i won't be needing to go back out the next day.

 

I would like to figure out composting and I'm on my first year of veggie gardening. Change is sometimes hard, especially for me. But i'm trying.

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I raise chickens for their eggs. I have a garden where I grow most of my herbs and some of my food. I also do alot of foraging for foods.The rest of our food I buy locally as much as I can. I do some canning, but I do alot more dehydrating.

 

I use canvas bags when I remember to bring them. And when I do end up with paper or plastic bags I reuse the paper bags for many different projects and donate the plastic bags to thriftshops.

 

I try to remember to fill up a water bottle and bring it with me rather than purchase bottled water at events and on trips etc.

 

We don't have trash pickup, so our garbage accumulates rather than dissapearing every week, and that has made us very aware of what garbage we are producing. Between the compost, the chickens and our two dogs - they deal with alot of our kitchen and yard refuse. I also recycle as much as I can.

 

I buy alot of my clothes, household items etc at thriftshops and yardsales. I am a bit of an artist, and I like to make use of items in ways they were not originally intended. I also donate anything that has a thread of use still left in it back to the thriftshops rather than putting it in the trash.

 

My husband is a mechanic, our vehicles were bought in need of repair and he "recycled" them and they get good gas milage.

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Guest Tiger Lady

This is really cool to see what everyone is doing to go back to being green. In my personal life, of course bean sprite is the exception, most everyone has a gas guzzler and thinks the whole "green thing" is a phase.

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Guest Bean Sprite

Gas is redidculously high here, and projected to be at $6 a gallon by the end of the year:soapbox:.

We too have chickens, and love them as pets too.

I'm getting to the point of wanting to buy one of the donkeys down the road as transportation, plus farm help. I wish this was a joke, but it is not.

We do ride our bikes, but things are very far apart here, so it is not always practicle.

I have thought about putting a solar motar on the bikes, or getting an electric mopped for longer trips. They are pretty afordable.

 

 

Tip:

Reuse your glass jars!

Use jars with lids as storage for your small things. The lids can be screwed to a board that can be mounted above your work space for easy retrieval.

Beer, pop and wine bottle can be used to bottle your own brews, pops, ales, etc.

They can also be use to heat your water. Cut the bottoms of the bottles off with a glass bottle cutter, sand the edges off, and string a hose through the openings, until you have a long string of bottles. Lay the hose in a sunny area to collect heat.

You can also use these cut bottles as little green houses to force your garden with outside. I use them to also protect my plants from frost as well as to get an early start.

I have already gotten my first harvest from the garden and my beans are almost ready to produce because of this.

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