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Thursday, October 19, 2017

24 Life Changing Alternatives to Cable (Part 2)

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.



Today we're talking more about a both budget-friendly and eco-friendly choice. Making the choice to get rid of cable will save you money, give you time for meaningful activities, and could positively impact the environment as well.

Advanced Cable Cutting:

In 2016, the average time spent per day watching TV was 2.7 hours daily.  If you wanted to use that time to do more budget-friendly and eco-friendly activities, you could and better yourself instead of zoning out. Here are 24 non-cable options, in no particular order:

anderson-craig-firns-green-jennings-kichakov - references

Read a book- Yes, I'm serious. You can get much deeper into a story by reading a book than by watching a movie. Reading is more active and movie watching is more passive. If you read a used book in the daylight, the only carbon footprint is from manufacturing and shipping the book to where you bought it from. If you buy it used at a local used bookstore or thrift store by biking, walking or taking public transportation, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Exercise | Tom Corson-Knowles

Exercise- The time you spend watching cable could be spent making your body stronger, more flexible, healthier, more in shape, or healing old injuries. You won't remember every show or movie you watch, but your body will show you the results of every workout you did. The carbon footprint varies by how you exercise whether that's in a gym, a workout video, or going for a run/walk.

Everybody's Hobby - Wikipedia

Work on a hobby/Pinterest project- How many "when I have some free time" projects you do you have waiting for you to finish? If you spend your leisure time doing those "someday" projects, think of how much more you could get done. Your time spent would be physically visible, but watching your favorite show won't be. The carbon footprint varies by what your hobby or project is, some use more resources than others.

Learning Online | Use a computer to take online classes and … | Flickr
Learn a new skill/take an online class- Have you ever wanted to learn to cook? (Earn 25% cashback on every course on Udemy.) How about how to take nice photos? You can spend your leisure time learning those "someday" skills that you always wanted to learn, but could never find the time. The carbon footprint varies by what skill you learn is, some require more resources than others to learn.

File:Scrabble game in progress.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Play a board game- Instead of watching TV, trying playing a board game with family or friends. If you buy the board game used, (Earn 2% cashback if you shop on Ebay) and play in the daylight, the only carbon footprint is from manufacturing and shipping the game to where you bought it from. You can even make your own board game as a fun activity and save yourself the shipping footprint by using what you have. If you buy it used at a local thrift store by biking, walking or taking public transportation, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

Walking the dog | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Nature walk/walk your dog- Instead of watching TV, walk around your neighborhood, with your dog if you have one to walk. Stop and smell the flowers. Observe the beauty of nature in all of its forms, the soil, rocks, plants, and animals. Feel the sun, wind, rain, or snow on your face. Get to know your neighbors a little. Other than the clothes and shoes you're wearing, your carbon footprint is zero. Your body thanks you for the mild exercise and tuning into the world outside your door.

Decluttering- Instead of watching TV, take some time every day to go through and get rid of stuff you don't need. You can even make cash by selling it! You can even be proactive and stop things like junk mail from entering your space in the first place. Carbon footprint varies by method of decluttering, but the less stuff you have to maintain, the less time you have to spend caring for your stuff. You can also share your "may be useful someday" with someone who needs it now.  You now have more time for the treasures you decide to keep.


Hike- Similar to a nature walk, hiking is great for your health, tuning into nature, and turning off your TV.  Hiking doesn't have to be far from where you live or really rigorous. It's just a chance to get outside of your little bubble. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method to get to your hike. By biking, walking or taking public transportation to your hiking spot, your carbon footprint will be incredibly small and your wallet will thank you.

Couple Learning Programme (former)/Culture Exchange ...

Learn a language- Instead of watching TV, try spending time improving your mind and expanding your possibilities. Being bilingual helps you to delay signs of dementia, can open up more job possibilities, can expand your friendship/communication possibilities, and may even help you earn more money. There are endless possibilities on ways to learn languages. While my life is crazy right now, I'm simplifying and focusing on what needs to be done. Once I'm able to make time though, this is how I'm going to become fluent in a second language.  Carbon footprint varies by education method. Most language programs rely on some form of media, if not multiple forms, so electricity and internet are usually contributing.

Barbeque, go to the park, or have a picnic- On a day with good weather, you can enjoy the outdoors instead of watching TV. Spring and summer are great for cooking outdoors to avoid heating up indoors, but Autumn and Winter can be great if you live in a good climate for it. I grew up in Las Vegas and Winter was often the best time to be outside because it has such hot summers. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method, but could be tiny if you walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation to a park or stay home.

Nurse Media Journal of Nursing

Journal- Instead of watching TV, write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  This can be therapeutic for you and helpful for gathering family stories down the road. Carbon footprint varies by what you use to journal in and when you journal. If you make a journal from one sided paper or homemade recycled paper, then your manufacturing footprint will be much smaller. If you only journal in daylight, then your footprint will be reduced further.

Our "new" piano from 1886

Play an instrument
- Instead of watching TV, you can use your time to learn and play an instrument. Mr. Greenie received a long desired used piano for his birthday and has been using his free time to practice. There is something so much more peaceful about listening to a piano being practiced in the background rather than a TV blaring. Carbon footprint can be reduced by buying a used instrument, but bringing it home may add to carbon footprint if it needs to be delivered. Used lesson books can also reduce footprint, but getting them home or having a teacher can add traveling miles to footprint.

Visit a friend or neighbor- Instead of watching TV, you could be visiting the friend, family, or neighbor you haven't been able to find time for. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method. If you walk, bike or take public transportation, your footprint can be reduced.

eastcoastlife: Old Friends, New Friends - PhotoHunt

Bake or cook a meal from scratch- Instead of watching TV, you can have more time to learn how to cook and cook healthier meals from scratch. Your waistline will thank you, your wallet will thank you, and they'll much less stress going zero waste and plastic free when you cook from home. Carbon footprint varies by packaging, transportation, and cooking fuel source.

Call or Skype a family member- You can use some of your TV time to connect with family.  You know they miss you! Carbon footprint varies by energy source for calling, internet, and electricity.

forgiven - home

Serve someone in need- Instead of watching TV, you could be giving back to your community and feeling great. Opportunities abound, so search for areas that interest you or play to your strengths that you can give time in. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method and how service is rendered.

Get family photos done or find your ancestors- I don't know about you, but I never seem to find time to get a family portrait taken. By using the time that would have been spent watching TV, you can save memories of your family. You can also use that time to connect with family who have passed on. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method for photo taking and printing on non-photo paper (you can't recycle photo paper). Footprint also varies by energy source for internet and electricity.

Do that chore you've been putting off until you got some free time.- If you use your TV time to get things done, you can accomplish those extra chores that never seem to get done. Carbon footprint varies by resources needed to complete chores.

File:Dinas camping - geograph.org.uk - 1731943.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Go camping- Instead of watching TV, head out into nature for a bit. Even a one night trip can be fun. Carbon footprint varies by camping equipment and transportation method. You can buy your equipment used or share it with your neighbors. You can bike and take public transportation or carpool to reduce your impact.

Go to a museum- Take a walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation to a museum and your impact will be reduced to the ticket printing resourcing. More importantly, your mind will be expanded and some museums are free and require no ticket.

Ride a bike- Instead of watching TV, just go for a bike ride. You will enjoy better health and see the world more clearly by slowing down to look at it live, with no glass between you. Carbon footprint can be reduced by buying the bike used.

Square Foot Gardening | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Garden/Go to a U-pick farm and harvest your own food- Instead of watching TV, you could have more free time to garden or pick your own food from a farm. Carbon footprint varies by transportation method and gardening supplies. If you bring pots back to gardening centers, start your own seeds, and compost instead of buying bagged dirt, your impact can be reduced down to transportation.

Go fishing- Instead of watching TV, try catching your own food. You'll gain a greater appreciation for how your food gets to your grocery store and you'll enjoy getting outside more. Imagine how fresh your fish will taste! Carbon footprint varies by kind of equipment and transportation method. You can buy used equipment and bike, take public transportation, or carpool to reduce impact.


List the things you're grateful for/prayer of gratitude- Instead of watching TV, stop and think about all that you've been given. You can make a list to reflect back on later or pray with gratitude for all that you have, or you do both. Carbon footprint can't be calculated, as gratitude can stop you from wanting any number of things.

Hopefully this list helps you find enough alternatives for watching TV that you can ditch cable/satellite. See Part One for more ways to quit cable, but still watch shows and movies. This list could also be used to show kids things to do if they're bored.

What are some other eco-friendly things you can do instead of watching TV? Share in the comments section below.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Podcast Episode 007- How to Completely Change Your TV Viewing: Part 1

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.



In this episode, we're talking about a both budget-friendly AND eco-friendly choice. Making the choice to get rid of cable will save you money, make your entertainment more mobile, and could positively impact the environment as well. See the blogpost for the options and links mentioned.



Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

Please Subscribe/Follow, Rate, and Review on your favorite podcasting platform. 
Whether that's I-TunesSoundcloudGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher Radio, make sure you don't miss a thing and that more people can find us too! Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to Completely Change Your TV Viewing: Part 1

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! We try to support small business owners on Etsy and Ebay sellers first, and then bigger companies that offer the most zero waste products. Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting. 



Today we're talking about a both budget-friendly AND eco-friendly choice. Making the choice to get rid of cable will save you money, make your entertainment more mobile, and could positively impact the environment as well.

First let's talk about cable/satellite. As of December 2016, cable/satellite customers pay an average of $100 a month for their channels. I can think of a lot of things I would rather spend that on! Keep in mind that every time you move, you have to stop your service and have someone come over and install your service again. Depending on your situation, that can be a lot of carbon miles for every install in addition to your move. If you want to save your money and make your entertainment more mobile (you can take your service anywhere there's WiFi), then keep reading.

Here are the more affordable alternatives to cable and satellite from the least eco-friendly (Beginner) to more eco-friendly (Intermediate). Read 24 Life Changing Alternatives to Cable for the Advanced options to be even more eco-friendly and save even more money. If you would rank them differently, or if you have other options to add to the list, let us know how and why below in the comments.

Beginner:

Amazon Prime


Amazon Prime includes free shipping, movies and TV episodes, music streaming, unlimited reading for select magazines, ebooks and comics, unlimited listening to original audio books, free game content and a free Twitch channel subscription, and unlimited photo storage. While much of Amazon Prime's services are digital, their shipping service obviously is not. You can try their service for free for one month and then it's $10.99 a month.

Every time you order something online vs buying it local, your item's carbon footprint increases with both the driving and the packaging (which is very hard to work with sellers to reduce packaging. Listen/see how to reduce packaging when buying online). That being said, Amazon can sometimes be one of the only places you can find a particular product and the shipping is one of the biggest reasons to get a Prime account in the first place. Also, keep in mind that any product you buy in a store will have some kind of carbon footprint, whether from shipping it or manufacturing it, or both. All of Amazon's digital products, including the streaming service, will require electricity in some form and internet to run, which creates its own carbon footprint.

Netflix Media Center
Netflix offers both TV shows and movies through streaming and a DVD subscription service. The DVD option isn't very eco-friendly with all of the shipping miles and packaging waste. I recommend just using the library for DVDs to keep it local, plus it's cheaper. You can sign up for streaming through here and receive a free month trial and then it's $7.99 a month (1 screen)-$13.99(4 screens). The DVD option is $7.99 a month (1 DVD at a time)-$11.99(2 DVDs at a time).  Or better yet, use your smartphone to earn points with Giftloop toward a Netflix subscription (or other giftcards/charity donations) by charging your phone, letting ads and videos run, answering surveys, and trying new apps.

Public library for movies ,older TV seasons, CDs, and unique streaming

File:Stevenson Washington public library interior.jpg ...

This is a gold mine! Not only is this free, but then you don't have to bother owning, storing, and caring for all of the movies you don't watch that often. Skip all of the commercials and give yourself the option to watch old favorites, binge watch when you want to, and save money on cable/things you aren't seeing advertisements for. Most library systems allow you to request materials, even if they don't have them yet. They will often buy based on patron suggestions.

The only carbon footprint is from manufacturing the CDs/DVDS/Blu-rays, sending requested materials from library to library, the BPA-lined printed hold slips (similar to receipts) and any driving done to pick up the materials. You can lessen the impact by biking, walking, or taking public transportation to the library that has the materials you want, versus having everything held at the library of your choice.

We create a list of movies when they come out in theaters and get on hold lists as they come out on DVD. We save money on going out, we can usually add subtitles, pause for bathroom breaks, have whatever zero waste/plastic-free snacks we want, and watch on our own schedule. We also borrow CDs on occasion to for a change of pace.

Intermediate:

YouTube
YouTubeBrasil - YouTube

Besides being able to learn new skills and information from free videos, YouTube can also offer full length movies, some are free, but some are digital rentals/purchases, starting at $1.99. Look for your favorites and enjoy the digital age. Pay only for what you want to watch, no subscription fee needed.

One of our favorite kinds of channels to watch are movie review channels, where they note all of the plot holes in movies. Since YouTube is all streaming, the carbon footprint comes from using the electricity and internet to stream.
Hulu lets you stream both TV and movies, including sports channels, kids channels, etc. Earn $15-$25 cashback when you sign up through Swagbucks. You can even stream live TV, as well as Hulu originals and exclusive TV and movies. These can be streamed to various devices. Comes with a first month free trial, and then starts at $5.99 a month. Since Hulu is all streaming, the carbon footprint comes from using the electricity and internet to stream.
How To Cut Cable And Still Watch Your Favorite Shows
SlingTV is an internet based pick-and-choose your live sports and TV channels.  It has no long term contracts either. This is the closest thing to cable, but with only the channels you want and none of the fluff. You can also use on phones, tablets, computers, or internet-connected TVs. Free 7 day trial and then starting at $20 a month. Since Sling is all streaming, the carbon footprint comes from using the electricity and internet to stream.

TV antenna for local channels

We've been using our antenna for about a year and it works great. Ours has about a 30 mile range, which is one of the lowest ranges available. You pay for it once, other than the electricity to run the TV and don't need to pay for any subscription service. You don't even need the internet! No repairman has to come and fix it or install it (Mr. Greenie installed it fairly easily), and nothing has to be shipped once it's installed, so there is a relatively small carbon footprint, from having it shipped and using the electricity. The antenna we use is easy to install indoors or out, some are for one or the other. We have the news channels and a few others, for a total of about 30 channels. This doesn't include any sports channels, which is problematic for major sports fans.

Listen to podcast/radio


By switching from viewing TV shows to listening to podcasts or radio shows, you can switch to more unique and sometimes educational entertainment.  Both podcasts and radio shows are free, unless you subscribe to an upgraded podcast experience. All you need is a way to listen to them. You can listen on a traditional radio station on your car radio, a radio, a computer, or a device, such as your phone (with a speaker or headphones in the headphone jack).

You can listen to a podcast directly on a website, on most devices with apps, on a podcast platform (such as I-Tunes, Google Play, etc.), or in some newer models of cars. I like listening to podcasts when I wash dishes, laundry, or other similar housework that I'm moving a lot in the same space, but not easily able to actively watch something. the carbon footprint comes from using the electricity and and internet to stream (for podcasts and listening to radio on the internet.

Thanks for reading through your alternatives to cable! Reminder to check back for the blog post on the Advanced options to be even more eco-friendly and save even more money.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Podcast Episode 006: Broken Crayons Begone (Responsibly)!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.




In this episode we'll cover:  How to recycle old crayons, step by step. See the blogpost for how to make your own beeswax crayons from new beeswax or old beeswax crayons.


Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

Please Subscribe/Follow, Rate, and Review on your favorite podcasting platform. 
Whether that's I-TunesSoundcloudGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher Radio, make sure you don't miss a thing and that more people can find us too! Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Guest Post from Demi Giles: Q&A about Going Green

Last week I received a guest post request from Demi Giles of Clean Start Cleaning Services, which is a UK cleaning company that uses natural cleaning products. I was more than happy to support another small business. Demi is a big advocate of going green. She truly believes that this is the right thing to do so we can take care of the environment and she is trying her best to spread the word. She believes that using non-toxic products is an important step for achieving this. Here is her article answering some basic questions on how to go green. Thanks for reaching out Demi!

carpet_cleaning_service01
Questions and answers about how to go green

More and more people consider going green. Some are driven by healthy benefits and other just want to be part of this modern tendency. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle, however, can significantly improve your physical and mental well-being. There is so much information about going green that it has already become a global push. We are constantly encouraged to buy luxurious “green” and food products. The lack of knowledge allows companies to misuse this term and increase the amount of their customers. In its genuine content, going green is pretty simple and doesn’t require any extraordinary knowledge or efforts. 

Top Q&A about going green 
What does going green means?
Before turning this practice into a lifestyle, one should be fully aware of its meaning. In this diverse world, going green has numerous definitions. Personally, I accept it as pursuing new knowledge and implementing ecologically responsible practices in your household, which will improve your well-being and the one of the people around you, as well as contribute to the preservation of the environment. Yet, everyone has their own definition of going green and what works for one person may not work for other people. By making your own research, you will find the necessary information and form your own opinion about going green.  
How can I be green at home?
Very often people think they need to implement a lot of changes and this makes going green seem overwhelming. Yet, when we break the things down, it turns out that creating an eco-friendly household is not so tough. It takes some small changes to make a significant difference. We will go beyond saving electricity or recycling and highlight the replacement of professional cleaning materials with green ones. In their haste to ensure a healthy living environment, people store a wide selection of commercial detergents, full of harmful chemicals. The refusal to buy such products is a great way to go green. 
Are green cleaning products efficient? 
You may be surprised but every area of your home can be cleaned completely only by the means of green cleaning products. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon, for example, are excellent natural disinfectants and can help you eliminate every tricky stain. You can create numerous green receipts to clean the kitchen, floors, windows, furniture, etc. The best part is that they actually work and won’t expose your health to risk. 
Is going green cheap?
Creating your own cleansers is really convenient. All the necessary ingredients are already in your cabinets and you don’t need to purchase any additional things. As long as there is salt, vinegar, baking soda and olive oil in your home, you always will be supplied with the necessary cleaning materials. Swapping the commercial cleansers with natural will significantly decrease your cleaning expenses. 
What are my benefits from going green? 
This environmentally responsible practice has numerous merits. To begin with, cleaning your home with non-toxic cleaning materials means a healthy living environment for your family. You don’t need to worry that the used cleaning products may trigger allergies or other health issues. Then, we come to efficiency. Professional cleaning products are not always as useful as the TV commercials promise, while the natural are always a reliable solution. 

Your personal contribution to preserving the environment is indisputably the biggest benefit of going green. By applying non-toxic cleaning practices you encourage other people to do the same. 
As you see going green doesn’t require any special preparations or products. In fact, it will make your life easier. Plus, it gives a wonderful feeling to take care of the environment.

~Demi Giles

Monday, September 25, 2017

Podcast: Episode 005

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.




In this episode we'll cover: a definition of what a share economy is, why one would use a share economy, who can use a share economy, when to share, and where one can use a share economy. Read How to Start Share Epically! for the written version.




Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

Please Subscribe/Follow, Rate, and Review on your favorite podcasting platform. 
Whether that's I-TunesSoundcloudGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher Radio, make sure you don't miss a thing and that more people can find us too! Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Getting Smart With Worm Bin Composting

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! We try to support small business owners on Etsy and Ebay sellers first, and then bigger companies that offer the most zero waste products. Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting. 


Picture this: A composting system that you can use indoors or outside, requires no turning, and composts in a few weeks rather than a year. If this sounds like a dream come true, then say buh-bye to stinky garbage and hello to vermicomposting!

Vermicomposting goes by different names. It is also referred to as a worm farm and worm bin composting. Worm bin composting is the magic of Nature's recycling program. By feeding your little quiet colony the food scraps you would normally haul to the trash can: you create compost, you save money on trash bags you don't have to buy anymore, and you save your time hauling stinky trash. No more veggie scraps means no more vegetable scrap smells in your trash cans.

The best part about worm bin systems is they can go indoors or outdoors, so they can be in apartments, under a desk at work, in houses, closets, basements, garages, or outdoors (with proper temperature variations). You can set a worm bin close to your kitchen, so you can drop in your food scraps as you make them.

Now that you know how awesome worm bins are, let's go learn how to start & use a worm bin-

1. First you need to figure out how many composting worms your family needs to keep your food scraps in check. Next, make/buy and assemble a worm bin. The video below shows how to set up the worm bin our family is currently using made from 100% recycled plastic. It's what we can afford and works well. The only differences between our assembly and the video below are: we keep the drainage cloth in, we put the extra trays aside for easier worm feeding and management, and we put the bottom in a container so that any leaks are caught.



2. Purchase the composting worms, not regular earthworms. Composting worms are better at breaking down food scraps and earthworms are better at breaking down things that are already decomposting. Composting worms are called red wigglers or redworms. We bought from this colony and love their little efforts.

3. Fill the bottom feeding tray of your worm bin with 2-4 sheets of dry paper or a piece of cardboard. (non-glossy junk mail works great for this).

4. When your worms arrive, spread damp (just wet enough to have water come out with squeezing, no more or less) shredded paper, decayed leaves or grasses  (not green), or compost for worm bedding on top of the paper.

5. Check moisture levels and adjust accordingly. Gently empty bag of worms on top of the bedding. Cover with a piece of damp paper and let worms adjust by maintaining the dampness with water for the first week or so. (They eat the paper scraps, so you aren't starving them.)


6. Once the worms are adjusted and starting to break down the bedding, add one handful of (preferably chopped small) food scraps in the corner of the worm bed. Acceptable food scraps are: vegetable scraps, low-acid fruits, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, grains, and starches. You can also add shredded paper, natural fabric, sawdust, cardboard, hair, and decayed leaves/grasses. Mix the food scraps with the bedding. Cover the bedding and food with the damp paper again.

7.  Watch your worms acclimate to their environment and adjust accordingly. Add more food scraps when they have eaten about half of the scraps and bedding. You don't want anything to rot, smell, and attract pests.

8. Add another tray when the first tray is 2/3 full. If you have any issues, here are some articles for troubleshooting issues. We've had our bin for over a year and a half, and the only problem we had was gnats once. We checked out the manual that came with our bin and were able to solve the gnat problem quickly. These are the easiest "livestock"/pets we've ever had and they make "trash" into compost!

Shared at:

Bouquet of Talent PartyInspiration Galore Party ProjectNifty Thrifty PartyInspiration MondayMakers Make PartyMix It Up Monday,Creative CornerCreative GalleryA Round TuitThe Scoop Link PartyClever Chicks BloghopLou Lou Girls' Fabulous PartyProject InspireTotally Terrific Tuesday Link PartyHome Away From Home PartyInspire Me TuesdayLove Learn BloghopShare It TuesdayUrban Naturale Blog HopCreative Muster PartyHomestead Blog Hop,Wow Us WednesdaysWonderful Wednesday Blop HopHomesteader Blog HopWine'd Down Wednesdays,Wise Woman LinkupWow Me Wednesday, Artsy Fartsy Link PartyThink Tank Thursday Link UpThis is How We Roll ThursdaySimple Homestead BloghopWhat to Do Weekends PartyPretty Pintastic PartyHome Matters PartyFriday Feature Linky PartyFriendship FridayDear Creatives LinkupSimple Saturdays BloghopDare to Share LinkupSaturday SharefestShare One More Time PartyCreate Bake Make Party

How do you compost? Let us know in the comments below!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Podcast: Episode 004

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.


In this episode we'll cover: Which is better, liquid hand soap or bar soap? How to recycle your bar soap scraps, make liquid soap from bar soap, and make foaming soap from bar soap. Read How to Pick the Best Kind of Soap for the full written version.



Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

Please Subscribe/Follow, Rate, and Review on your favorite podcasting platform. 
Whether that's I-TunesSoundcloudGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher Radio, make sure you don't miss a thing and that more people can find us too! Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to Start Sharing Epically!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! We try to support small business owners on Etsy and Ebay sellers first, and then bigger companies that offer the most zero waste products. Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting. 



Today's post is an introduction to sharing economies and how they can be used to make extra cash, save space, save money, support local economies, and grow closer communities.

What is a sharing economy?
This term is apparently highly debated, but the basic concept is that people borrow or give away from each other directly. What people decide to share is usually expensive or rarely used enough to make you pause before you just buy it. It can include loaning money, digital products, or physical products. It is similar to trading or bartering, but can also include giving things away for free.

Not all sharing economy businesses rely on regular workers to sustain ...

Why use a sharing economy?
A sharing economy is great for saving money on buying new. It is also great for not wasting space and money on buying things you aren't using frequently. It can be a great way to support individuals rather than corporations. It's great to build community by getting to know people outside your normal circle.  It can be a great way to make a little income from things you aren't using all of the time. It can also be a great way to get things for free if you use certain sharing economies.


Who can participate in a sharing economy?
The answer is simple- You! Yes, anyone with internet access can be part of a sharing economy. Most online sharing economies require login information, such as an email address, name, and password. If you are part of sharing economies that buy and sell anything, you will also be required to enter payment information.


When do you share what you have and when do you use what someone else has?
You share when you have something you use infrequently. You use what someone else is sharing when you need to use something short-term. For example, our little family is blessed with free produce frequently. We can't eat it all at once though. I felt like we needed a dehydrator, since it preserves food in a way that preserves the most vitamins (including vitamin C) and minerals. When I looked up the prices of dehydrators though, it wasn't in the budget. This included used on our local classifieds too.

So I asked my local Buy Nothing Project group if anyone had a dehydrator. One of my neighbors said she had one that she wasn't using and brought it over! She only asked that if someone needed to borrow it, that I would lend it out. I agreed, and now we can eat our produce at a reasonable pace, and dehydrate the rest for later. We waste less food now, because we preserve any excess for Fall and Winter. Our dehydrator can dry fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, and craft projects. If we ever get any extra meat, we can dehydrate it and save on freezer space and energy.


Where do you share?
You share online and anywhere in the world! If someone is traveling and needs a bike to get around while they're in your city, you can lend the one that is just sitting in your garage. They have a bike for the short while they're in town and your bike gets more use. If you need a ladder occasionally, and your neighbor has one, you can borrow it from your neighbor and not have to store it or pay for one you don't need all of the time.

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What are sharing economies you've used and what were your experiences? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Podcast: Episode 003

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting.


In this episode we'll cover: How to get rid of junk mail from your inbox. How to make money from your mailbox and inbox. How to make useful products from junk mail.  How the Zero Waste Week Campaign works for our family this year. Read Never Worry About Junk Mail Again! for the step by step process in written form. 




Check out all of the Little Urban Greenie's Small Steps For Earth podcast episodes here!

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How to Pick the Best Kind of Soap!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links that support our current homesteading needs and the cost of building this business at no additional cost to you! We try to support small business owners on Etsy and Ebay sellers first, and then bigger companies that offer the most zero waste products. Read the full disclosure to learn more and find out what your purchases are supporting. 



"Oh, I wish I was a little ______ of soap; oh I wish I was a little ______ of soap! For I'd slippy and I'd slidy, over everybody's hidey; oh I wish I were a little ______ of soap!

Today we're talking about soap and how to choose the most affordable and eco-friendly option for your family. So, ultimately the question is:
Which is better, bar soap or liquid soap? 

Short Answer: It depends on what you mean by better. 
Homemade bar from scraps
Homemade liquid hand soap from scraps





















Which kind of soap lasts longer? 
According to this article, we use about 7 times more soap when we use liquid soap vs bar soap. Score? Bar soap, 1-0. If you want to get the most use out of your bar soap, then try these 8 ways to make soap last longer.

Which kind of soap is cheaper?
Bar soap is cheaper than liquid soap per oz and don't forget how much more we use liquid soap. This effect is multiplied several times when you offer foaming soap vs bar soap, particularly to small children. A 4 oz bar of soap can be as cheap as as $.50. A 7.5 oz bottle of liquid soap usually costs around $3. That's over 3 times more expensive!

Story-time to show the foaming soap appeal: For the market research portion of this post, I decided to make my own foaming hand soap. We still have about half of a bottle of foaming soap from the previous owners of our house. I decided to use it up and reuse the container for the homemade foaming soap once it's empty. I move the bars of soap around and collect the small soap scraps for later. I place the foaming soap in the main bathroom. 

UG1 notices the change and asks why (She's 4, enough said.) I say that we're going to use this soap in the main bathroom until it's gone. She tells me she has to use the bathroom now. I obviously let nature dictate this scenario. Once she's finished she says she has to go again. Now I intervene and tell her only to go when she actually needs to. I then let her know the big secret that drinking more water makes you need to visit the restroom more frequently. She's now perfectly hydrated throughout the day and uses the main bathroom as much as possible. Oh, and her hands are ALWAYS clean. Foaming soap wins the appeal, but bar soap wins the score for cheapness. Score? Bar soap, 2-1.

Which kind of soap produces more waste?


Liquid soap requires manufacturing and shipping a new plastic bottle every time you buy, then requires resources to have it recycled, and finally gets thrown "away" where it degrades very slowly but never fully breaks down. Bar soap and DIY liquid soap (from bar soap) need less packaging, either paper, a sticker, or nothing at all, especially if you buy it locally. If it has a paper wrapper, it can be recycled several times before being composted. If it has a sticker, than the non-recyclable sticker is still less wasteful than an entire bottle for liquid soap. Bar soap scraps can also be made into another bar of soap, liquid soap just clings to the bottle. Bar soap wins the score for less waste. Score: Bar soap, 3-1

Which soap saves you more time?
Interesting thought, right? If you make your own liquid hand soap and use the homemade liquid as concentrate for foaming liquid hand soap, then you will save money. One batch of liquid soap refill is enough to make 64 bottles of foaming hand soap. (Which is over 5 years of foaming hand soap for as little as .50.) 

If you buy liquid hand soap, you spend time driving to the store, shopping for, and unloading a liquid soap refill every month at home. After refilling your soap bottle, you also have put the refill bottle in the recycling bin and take all of your recycling to the curb (which takes up more space and thus requires more frequent recycling hauling too). 

If you make one batch of soap concentrate for foaming hand soap, you spend time driving, buying the bar, unloading it, and making it every 5 years (maybe 2 years with small children who get kicks out of using the foaming soap), recycle either one piece of paper/sticker every five years or get your bar unpackaged. Much less driving, shopping, unloading, recycling and hauling time. Bar soap/DIY liquid soap win the score for time savings Score: Bar soap, 4-1

Keeping that in mind, here's how to recycle your bar soap scraps, make liquid soap from bar soap, and make foaming soap from bar soap: 


How to remake bar soap from scraps




















    Soap scraps

    a little bit of water
    a mold
    a cheese grater
    a cutting tool
    a pan for melting

    Grate your scraps of soap and cut up the remaining scraps into chunks.
    On the stove, melt your grated soap by adding a small amount of water.
    The soap will start to clump and become sticky as it melts.
    Scoop the melted, gummy soap into your molds.
    Let cool and remove from molds. Set the molds aside and let them cure for three days or until the soap is no longer tacky.

    How to make liquid soap-

    A 4 oz bar of soap

    A knife, cheese grater or food processer

    Four cups of Water (1 cup for every oz of bar soap)

    A pot

    Empty foaming soap dispensers or other liquid soap dispensers



    Grate or finely chop a bar of soap into flakes. 
    Bring water to a boil on the stove.
    Then, turn off the heat, and add your soap flakes. Stir to melt the soap. Continue stirring until the mixture is fully combined. At this point the mixture will be very liquidy.
    Allow the mixture to cool for at least 15 minutes. Then, stir it again. The soap should be slightly thicker now.
    Allow the soap to cool for another several hours or overnight.
    Stir to check the consistency. If it seems too liquidy, reheat it and add more soap flakes. If it seems too thick, reheat it and add more water. The moisture content varies from one brand of bar soap to the next, so you'll probably have to do a bit of tweaking to get your recipe just right.  Label the container you store your liquid soap in.
    If you don't have foaming soap dispensers, then pour your soap into your soap dispensers, and enjoy. 

    If you have the foaming soap dispenser, keep reading:



    Fill the empty dispenser about three-quarters of the way full with clean, warm water. Warm water helps to get the soap mixed in.
    Pour one tablespoon of liquid hand soap into the container.
    Screw on the lid/pump and shake vigorously to mix the soap and water together.
    Pump the dispenser a few times to get the foaming started and enjoy your cheaper, plastic-free and less wasteful soap! 

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    How do you waste less soap in your family? Share your tips in the comments below!

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