Author Archives: Carin Lynn

Tip of the Week – Oxygen Bleaches

It’s laundry time again & you have a nasty stain on your bright white shirt! Instead of using a chlorine bleach, which is extremely harmful when released into the environment, think about using an oxygen or hydrogen based bleach.

What are Oxygen Bleaches?

Oxygen bleaches are materials that release oxygen for cleaning and bleaching of stains and dirt upon adding to water. There are three types of oxygen bleaches sold in the consumer market, hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate. While hydrogen peroxide is a liquid, sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate are powders. Sodium percarbonate is used in deck, carpet, household and laundry cleaning products. Sodium perborate is also a powder and is used mostly in automatic dishwashing and laundry products as a hot water bleaching agent. While sodium perbcarbonate has the highest solubility in water, sodium perborate is more storage stable in detergent formulations.

Powdered bleaches are made by treating natural soda ash or natural borax with hydrogen peroxide. These materials can absorb the oxygen while remaining free flowing solids. Upon dissolving in water, they release the oxygen. Pure sodium percarbonate contains about 13-14% oxygen and sodium perborate contains about 10-15% oxygen. They are currently being manufactured in the United States, Korea and China. While Asian bleaches are generally lower in cost, the US produced bleaches are the most consistent in composition and performance.

Homemade Cork Stamps

Got any extra wine corks sitting around your kitchen?

I sure do! I always collect them, but I never know what to do with them. Until I ran across this awesome little craft site that gives a great step-by-step tutorial on making cork stamps from old wine bottle corks. Not only is this a super fun crafty project, it is also a great way to recycle & reuse what some would consider to be trash.

Step 1
Draw your design on one end of your cork using a fine point Sharpie.

Draw design on your cork
Step 2
Using the tip of your craft or exacto knife, stab around your design. Insert the craft knife 1/8″ -1/4″ deep.

Cut design out using your craft knife.

Step 3
Carefully cut around edges, being careful not to cut off your design. But if you do mess up, just slice it off and start over!

Cut around edges.

Step 4
Pull off excess cork from around your designs.

Remove excess cork from your design.

Step 5
Presto – you are now ready to stamp away! Roll the stamp around a little to get full coverage.

Stamp away! Homemade cork stamps

Ideas are just swirling in my head – Thanks to Amy over at Craft Chi!

Product of the Week – Disposable Biodegradable Tableware

Jaya Biodegradable SilverwareAs you are shopping for your Forth of July parties, think about buying disposable biodegradable tableware & cutlery.

Jaya Biodegradable has a great natural alternative for styrofoam and plastic silverware. Their forks, knifes, and spoons are made from sugar cane fiber that is a waste product of the sugar refining process. Their products are heat resistant to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, microwave safe, freezer safe and non-toxic. They also cut as well as any plastic fork.

EarthShell has an awesome alternative for styrofoam and plastic plates & bowls. Their dinnerware is made from renewable resources such as corn and potato starches and abundant limestone. Plus they are much sturdier than paper plates and microwave safe too.

Celebrate the Forth & the earth this July by buying biodegradable tableware.

Tip of the Week – Park Your Car In The Shade

When it is hot outside try to park your vehicle in a shady spot. This will help you save on fuel in 2 different ways.

The first is the obvious of keeping your vehicle cooler, which means you’ll run your air conditioner less, resulting in a substantial savings. The second is that it helps decrease the amount of fuel lost to evaporation. That’s because gasoline evaporates rapidly, even escapes from a closed tank, plus the whole process is sped up by high temperatures.

So on those hot hot summer days…seek out that shady spot in the parking lot & you’ll save!

Look For Milk With No Artificial Hormones Or Antibiotics

cowNext time you pick up a gallon of milk look for the words “no artificial hormones or antibiotics used” on the carton.

That’s because in 1993, the FDA approved the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), otherwise known as bovine somatotropin (rbST), in cows. Farmers inject this synthetic hormone into the cow to increase their milk production. Note that this same practice has been banned in Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

According to the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, cows injected with rBGH tend to have a higher instance of udder infections called mastitis. As a result they are treated more often with antibiotics. This increase in drug use can contribute to the growth of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, a major public health concern.

Milk from the cows that are injected with rBGH are not marked or labeled, therefore dairy farmers who do not use rBGH voluntarily and proudly label their products with such wording as “no artificial hormones or antibiotics used.”

Product of the Week – Seventh Generation Natural Dishwashing Liquid

Seventh Generation Dish Liquid I absolutely hate doing the dishes. My skin gets so dry and sometimes even cracks. I recently started using Seventh Generation natural dishwashing liquid and can’t recommend it enough. It gets my dishes sparkling clean with its safe non-toxic formula that is even tough on grease but yet it is still gentle on my skin. And the best part of Seventh Generation liquid is that it is super eco-friendly, because they use ingredients that do not pose any chronic health risks & are safe for the environment.

Seventh Generation Natural Dishwashing Liquid is…

  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Non-toxic & biodegradable
  • Free of phosphates
  • Safe for septic & greywater systems
  • Not tested on animals
  • Kosher-certified

Lavender Floral & Mint
Aqua, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide MEA and coceth-7, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, citric acid, essential oils and botanical extracts* (citrus aurantifolia, lavendula angustifolia, mentha spicata, mentha piperita, cananga odorata), hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (preservative, less than 0.05%). *d-limonene is a naturally occurring component of these ingredients.

Lemongrass & Clementine Zest
Aqua, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide MEA and coceth-7, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, citric acid, essential oils and botanical extracts* (citrus clementina, citrus aurantium bergamia, citrus sinensis, cymbopogon citratus, carnarium luzonicum), hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (preservative, less than 0.05%). *D-limonene is a naturally occurring component of these ingredients.

Buy Now!

Tip of the Week – Clean Your Microwave With A Natural Cleaner

microwaveClean your microwave with a natural homemade cleaner. It’s simple & easy…Just mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda or lemon juice and 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the mixture for about five minutes or until the liquid boils and condensation builds up on the inside of the microwave. Wipe down & presto…Your microwave is as good as new!

Live Green by cleaning Green!

Tip of the Week – Water Your Garden In The Morning

watergardensThe best time to water your garden is usually in the morning to maximize the efficiency of water used. This is because mornings tend to be cool, without strong winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is much less, than it would be during the day when it is hotter. What about the evening your say? Well, the evening is typically cooler like the morning, but plants then can stay damp over night and are more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases.

Bamboo As A Fabric

Bamboo - Sustainable ResouceBamboo is an excellent natural sustainable resource used for many different uses including food, building materials, and even some medicinal applications. One of my favorites is to use it as a fabric.

Bamboo fabric is made from the pulp of the bamboo grass, and is remarkably strong & resilient, yet amazingly soft & silky.

Bamboo fabric has many benefits to the one wearing it, including the following:

  • You Stay Dryer – Bamboo fabric has the unique ability of wicking. It will pull moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate and in turn keeping you dry. Bamboo fabric is 3-4 times more absorbent than cotton.
  • You Stay Cooler – Bamboo fabric has a natural breathablity keeping you around 2 degrees cooler in hot weather.
  • You Stay Fresher – Bamboo fabric is antibacterial & antifungal, keeping you fresh and odor-free for longer than cotton. But how can a fabric be antibacterial? Scientists found that bamboo owns a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostasis bio-agent named “bamboo kun”. This substance bonds tightly with bamboo cellulose molecules during the normal process of bamboo fiber growth. This natural feature is retained in fabric form. Tests have shown that there is over 70% death rate after bacteria was incubated on bamboo fiber fabric. In addition, tests by the Japanese Textile Inspection Association found that, even after fifty washings, bamboo fabric still possessed these functions.

Bamboo fabric in addition has many benefits as a textile in general, including the following:

  • Softness – Bamboo fabric is extremely soft making it very comfortable to wear directly next to the skin.
  • Durability – Repeated tests have show its strength, and also that bamboo fiber has a high abrasion-proof capacity and also tenacity.
  • Sensitivity – Bamboo fibers are very smooth & round causing very little irritation.

Bamboo fabric also has many benefits for the environment, including the following:

  • Sustainability – Bamboo is sustainable, as it is the fastest growing plant in the world.
  • Biodegradable – Bamboo fiber is 100% biodegradable.
  • Natural – Bamboo thrives naturally without using any pesticides or fertilizers.

Because of all these reasons Bamboo is growing in popularity at a rapid rate.

Live Green by wearing Green…look for clothing made from bamboo fabrics.