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Earth Day Every Day

Our everyday choices make a big difference! This month to celebrate Earth Day, I’m reflecting a bit on choices we can all make in our homes and communities every day that impact the environment.

Being a green family has a lot of different components. We try to eat locally (and are really spoiled with the amount of food that grows close to home for us!) by shopping at year round farmer’s markets and purchasing our beef in bulk from a local grass-fed beef ranch. In our county, recent legislation banned single-use plastic bags (yippee!) so we make sure to bring our reusable bags with us everywhere we shop. I always make sure to have ChicoBag or two in my purse because they fold up so small. We have chickens who we feed non-GMO food and we grow a garden every year to not only have delicious food right in our backyard but to teach our kids about the cycle of planting, growing, and harvesting, and to get their input on what fruits and veggies we should try.

When it comes to products, there are several things I love to make on my own. Lip balm is number one. After learning a few years ago that the average woman consumes a large amount of the lip balm/lip stick she puts on her lips over a lifetime, I realized how important it is to make sure it is healthy. There are several natural options out there, but I found a recipe that uses beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, and sweet almond oil (all things I’m okay with eating). I love using essential oils to provide fragrance, and sometimes a touch of honey for a bit of natural sweetness. As a bonus, there are no yucky petroleum products in these homemade lip balms (do you really want the stuff that’s used to build roads going into your digestive system!?!) In addition to keeping things natural on our lips, using natural products on our skin (our largest organ) is important. There are myriad recipes for homemade body butter and even sunscreen out there. I love creating products with shea butter or cocoa butter for moisture – and just keeping a jar of coconut oil on the counter for dry skin also works. If you’re unable to make your own, purchasing sunscreens with a mineral (not chemical) sunblock is important. My favorite is Elemental Herbs – I always have their Sunstick in my purse for unexpected sun exposure!

Finally, keeping the air and surfaces in our home clean is super important. We spend a lot of time in our homes, but using traditional products can make it a toxic environment. With spring cleaning gearing up, think about greening the products used to clean your home. Various essential oils have natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antibiotic properties to clean and disinfect while staples such as vinegar, lemon juice, and castile soap are inexpensive bases to help blast away germs. Once the initial investment of these products occurs, you can use the basics to create a multitude of recipes that clean well, smell great, and keep your family and home healthy. Below is one of my favorite natural recipes to blast away germs – we use it to clean our bathrooms, disinfect doorknobs and light switches, just about everything!

Happy April and enjoy going green for Earth Month!

Germ Blaster

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Unscented)
  • 1 Tbsp. tea tree oil
  • 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil
Directions:
  1. Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Give it a little shake before using. Spray away those germs!

 

Written by Marta Block, MS, LMFT. Marta lives with her family in Atascadero, California.

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on

Thanks for all the great tips and the easy directions to make everything.

on

Great tips- Thanks for sharing!

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