Coming out in the Wash (Again): Part 3

Adulting is annoying. It’s really just cleaning things around the house until you die. Trying to make it sustainable can often seems like more effort than it is worth.

Nevertheless she persisted. Continue reading

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A Year of Living Sustainably

Or the little greenhouse that could

It’s January. It’s that time to make promises that seem great in a post toasting haze and reflect on how your old ones went. Last year I didn’t really make resolutions. Not any big ones so instead this will be a reflection on my larger goal. If my tagline and badly updated bio aren’t all an obvious indicator, I am always trying to live more sustainably. Part of this incorporates self-sufficiency. I think sometimes self- sufficiency is seen as cutting yourself off from the world, just me here alone making my wine coolers for one. But really in my journey to be that neighbour who is just throwing food at you every time you pass the door (in a nice way) there have been a lot of peeps helping me out. Doing it myself comes on the back of lots of help. This is a post about community, sustainability, and a successful year in the garden told through the medium of making passata.

 

 

Zero Waste, Zero miles and all the delicious.

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Hierarchy of Hippy Hair-care

What would I be if I didn’t blog my utter failures? It’s not all happy hippy floating around here. Sometimes you almost wax your eyebrows off making a homemade mask (Shout-out Mies who was right there trying to frantically scrub it off)

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Shortly before disaster!

This is a story of failure, even if honestly it was the best choice. So as haircare hippys, we like to confuse people with weird abbreviations, like poo for shampoo. Shampoo, low poo, no- poo- what the poo? Confusion for days! This post is dedicated to green hair care and demystifying some of those random words thrown about to scare you. There will be awful selfies and stolen (with permission) product pics.

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My Drunken Kitchen- Home brew edition

So this weekend I had a glorious Sunday where I was surprisingly, not working. I had a lie-in. Well ish. As in I stayed in bed reading up on bamboo and didn’t bother putting on pants. I even had time to update you all. A good friend had her hen party this weekend so I blocked it off to celebrate with her. Now of course, when one thinks of an Irish hen one imagines a lot of drinking. And seeing as this week I had no wildflower walk to prep for I thought I would share another foraged recipe, with alcohol for the weekend that is in it.

Introducing Gorse wine!

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Bubble, Bubble, Toil (-et) and Trouble

And now for a not so regularly scheduled update. This post is, as always a little late. I had promised to have it up the week after our last festival where I gave a workshop about how to clean your house. Mainly using what you have lurking around your kitchen. Anyway! It is here now!

I have always tried to be a green cleaner. Over the years I have tweaked and experimented and I like to share my findings. It scares me how few people are aware that most of their cleaning products carry serious warnings. On the label! It’s always thought to be a journey to sustainability and I still have so much to learn. Even when it comes to the things I am great at. Despite all this experience I have hit a road block. I am currently planning a tiny eco- house. And part of any eco house is a compost toilet. No brainer! Here lies the problem.

How do you clean/ deoderise a compost toilet?

Because this is a bathroom. Here the idea that all bacteria must be killed, it must smell like a herbal essence ad looks, wins out for everyone. Nature and fish be damned, no one wants their bathroom to embarrass them. Right now I am friendly. Nothing that I don’t have in my kitchen and a few essential oils. Right now I have a wet toilet though. I use toilet fizzies.

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Toilet fizzies disinfect and deodorise my toilet, as well as tackling that limescale that comes with a wet toilet in a hard water area. The fizzies can be used like a pumice stone by employing the toilet brush before it completely dissolves. No need for heavy cleaners or massive amounts of elbow grease. Win! Honestly, the idea of using a pumice stone makes me nervous, although I have in the past. I’m back with my parents though now, saving for that tiny house and the toilet is not mine to scratch. I’ve never had an issue but there is a first time for everything and it is probably better it is not my ma’s toilet. When dropped in the toilet they fizz. It’s kind of entertaining to watch and the smell is better than what was there before. Baking soda is a deoderiser and whatever scent you are adding should also be killing the baddies in your toilet.

The recipe is simple.

1 part citric acid (half cup)

2 parts baking soda (1 cup)

Essential oil of choice (about 30 drops)

Enough water to form a loose crumb (less than a teaspoon)

The brackets make about 12 tablets when pressed down hard into a silicon ice cube tray.

Some notes on this. Firstly think outside the box on what essential oil to use. My go to are lavender or lemon:

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Lavender doesn’t maybe seem like an obvious choice for a bathroom but it is antimicrobial. As is lemon. More importantly I like the smell. I can use the dried herb or zest to boost the scent more naturally and to make them prettier in the jar. FYI, I am that person who gifts these! Bathrooms don’t always have the most storage but these can be left on the cistern. There they will look pretty and gently remind people to drop one in if the bathroom smells like someone just died in there. So go forth. If like me, you hate the scent of eucalyptus/tea tree then what do you like? Is it also good at killing off nasties that may be lurking? Then see does it work in the bathroom.

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So the consistency of how much water to add. Too wet and they won’t fizz and you will have a mess. (It will still smell amazing just use immediately). You should add just enough water so that it sticks together when you press it but still looks dry.

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Confused yet? It takes a bit of trial and error but you will get there. Honestly I have been making them at least once a month forever and I still get it wrong sometimes. Don’t panic! Press it hard into your trays, leave to cure for 24 hours and voilĂ . Toilet tabs. In a variety of fun shapes- lemon scented citrus slices anyone? Flowery lavender?

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Note the lack of fizzing over here. They were a great batch!

When they are ready pop them out. A silicon tray makes this easier. I have never gotten them out of a sturdy one with out destroying them and making my counter a powdery mess. Think scenes reminiscent of Scarface but lemony fresh. Store them in an airtight jar where moisture won’t be making them fizz prematurely. How you encourage people in your house to use them is up to you. We do frown upon torture though…….

Now to research my dilemma. How do you keep a compost toilet smelling lemony fresh? Feel free to help me out!