Clean Solutions for Spring Cleaning

 

 

Dear readers, This article is too good to not pass along. Short and helpful it gives us practical items to use for cleaning home and office.

Many of us choose to use safe cleaning products.  We want our homes to be toxic free not only for ourselves and children but for our pets too.

Dr. Mercola’s site: mercola.com has a great article today offering:

How to Clean and Sanitize Without Harmful Chemicals

Some common household items, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice can get the job done just as well — sometimes even better — than their toxic counterparts. Here’s a simple starter list of what you need to make your own natural cleaning products:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Organic essential oils (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spray bottles
  • Micro fiber cloths

For a great video on how to use these ingredients and other tips for cleaning your home without hazardous chemicals, please review the article: How to Keep Your Home Clean Naturally. For example, vinegar combined with hydrogen peroxide works exceptionally well as both a disinfectant and sanitizer.

Cleaning mirrors and windows is as easy as adding a quarter-cup of white vinegar per quart of water. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mixture if windows or mirrors are really dirty, but be very careful not to use any that contain harmful antibacterial substances.

Most people know that baking soda is an ideal means to absorb odors in your refrigerator, but did you know it’s also a real powerhouse when it comes to cleaning?

Half-a-Dozen Uses for Baking Soda

Here are half a dozen examples of how plain and simple baking soda can replace dangerous commercial cleaning products in your home:

  1. Use as a safe non-scratch scrub — for metals and porcelain.
  2. To clean your oven — simply sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then cover the baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste. Let the mixture set overnight. The next morning the grease will be easy to wipe up because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
  3. To unclog a drain — pour 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 – 1 cup of vinegar in after it. Cover the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. If it bubbles like a volcano, it means it’s working as planned. Flush with a gallon of boiling water.
  4. Deodorize dry carpets — by sprinkling liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes, then vacuum.
  5. To rid your garbage disposal of foul smells — add vinegar to water for ice cubes, then let a few of them get chopped by your disposal.
  6. To clean your silver — boil 2-3 inches of water in a shallow pan with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for 2-3 minutes more. Remove silver from the pan and wipe away the tarnish with a clean cotton cloth.
Lemon juice or lemon essential oil are two of my favorite cleaning products that I keep handy in the kitchen.  A few drops on a sponge  leaves a refreshing smell to any kitchen counter or sink. Lemon oil or juice also deodorizes  a sponge. These products are safe to clean a pets cage or litter box.

Spring cleaning happens indoors and out. The above offers great advice. Dr. Mercola’s list of products to keep in our homes are easy to obtain and easy to use. So grab your your shopping list, add what you need and know you are protecting your family’s health. Here’s to spring cleaning….

Enjoy this beautiful day. Judith

 

Earth Day: Precious Water, Symbol of Life

 

My podcast guest this week, Grandmother Nancy Andry, shared her story, her wisdom and spoke about women as caretakers of the water. She is one of the singers, sharers, and promoters of the Algonquin Water Song. This incredible gift, the Algonquin Water Song is for us. Please listen to the recording and sing the song every day. We have misused our water, shown great disrespect for water as evidenced by the level of pollution that exists on our planet.
In the past 12 years, drinking water used by 49 million residents of the United States has been contaminated with bacteria, radioactive materials, and arsenic in levels that are both illegal and incredibly unsafe. 

Water, a powerful symbol in every culture, is our lifeblood. Water is connected to healing, cleansing, and renewal. I ask that you remember to give thanks for every drop of water you drink, bath in, wash in not just during Earth Day Celebrations but every day. Today I am adding the River Song sung by Brooke Medicine Eagle, and, a song for and with the creatures of the Oceans by Dr. Leesa Sklover, also a podcast guest.

Water is crucial to our existence on this planet. Please share these beautiful songs and sing the water song every day. Did you enjoy these songs? I hope so. We’d like to hear from you. Enjoy. Judith

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Grandmother Nancy and the Algonquin Water Song

Description: This Algonquin Water Song expresses loving gratitude for the water and raises the consciousness and connection of women with Mother Nature’s greatest gift. The song is easy to learn, and our hope is that millions of women will sing it, raising their own connection and awareness of the water they interact with daily even in the shower or at the sink. Sing it 4 times, facing each of the 4 Directions. We believe this is a powerful step to change, leading to both a spiritual as well as the environmental shift on our planet.

This song was written by Irene Wawatie Jerome for Grandfather William Commanda’s 2002 Circle of All Nations gathering. It is recorded with permission from the Wawatie and Commanda families and the Circle of All Nations Foundation and the Elders in Canada.

Please note: This information and use of the water song is shared here with permission. It is my intent to honor our elders and their teachings. Honoring our water is needed and timely. Women traditionally hold the water. It is with gratitude I share these messages, song, and information.

About My Guest: Grandmother Nancy is of Algonquin and French heritage and has followed the Red Road since childhood. Seeking out elders willing to teach, her first two mentors were Lakota, one an author, one a medicine man. An Ojibwa medicine woman, then a Mi’kmaq grandmother later adopted her. Community elders gave her permission to pour lodges since 1991. She served as a facilitator for a Native Women’s Circle in federal prison for 17 years.

A Sundancer and a Sacred Pipe carrier, she is acknowledged as an elder and a grandmother in her communities in Canada, where she was given instruction to bring out and share certain teachings. Grandmother Nancy is a well-known storyteller, sharing legends from many different Nations in schools, health facilities, and the pow wow circuit. She was a staff member of the Joined Nations of Connecticut, a youth organization for those of Native heritage. She has given talks in Calgary, Canada, St. Croix USVI, and at various centers in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. She also owned and operated an equestrian business until retirement, and now incorporates Horse Medicine in some of her lectures about Native culture.

Transcript: #59 Grandmother Nancy 

Algonquin Water Song: click on this link to view the short video with the Algonquin Water Song. I hope you enjoy it. It brought me to tears. My heart sends a big thank you to our elders who share this wisdom. It’s timely and it’s special. Remember all comments are appreciated.

Enjoy, Judith

Blog: Beauty and Magic of Pollinators.

I couldn’t resist this video. The photographer shares his lifetime of work capturing pollinators on film. He reminds us that when we see something that is beautiful and touches our heart we are more apt to care for it. My podcasts seek to remind us that we are nature and what we see in nature is in us, whether looking for a medical cure, protecting pollinators, looking for solutions to climate changes, or social changes. It’s all there if we look more deeply and let nature guide us more. Let’s “get out of our cleverness”, says Janine Benyus, co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute and open our hearts to more compassion for nature’s intelligence. This short film is spectacular and inspiring. Please share and comment. It’s always appreciated.

My podcast guest this week, Vicki Wojcik, program director at the pollinator partnership reminds me that pollinators are losing their habitat. It doesn’t take much to bring them back. “If you plant it they will come.” Pollinators are diverse species that are often specialists and need specific plants to thrive. What new plants are you adding this spring? Do they favor pollinators? Don’t forget to check their regional guide too. I recommend you visit their site for more detailed information.

Enjoy spring. Judith

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Vicki Wojcik, Pollinator Partnership

Description: Pollinators are ecosystems service providers. We know they are hurting from the loss of habitat. When they disappear, become extinct they are gone for good. So many of them are endangered today of becoming extinct. So what can we do?  “Build it and they will come!” Vicki reminds us that every garden plot contributes to habitat, food, water, and shelter. Everything basic they need we need too. So, can you help our pollinators and add more flowers, shrubs, trees? I hope so. Check out Pollinator.org for regional planting guides for suggestions.

About My Guest: Vicki’s interest in pollinators was sparked during her undergraduate days with the opportunity to travel to Brazil to participate in a field course in pollinator ecology field research course in Brazil and has continued ever since. Her graduate research focused on understanding how native bees use habitats in cities. This focus on pollinators in human-dominated landscapes has continued throughout her career and has grown to include agricultural lands, industrial lands, and the impacts of climate change. Vicki is currently the Research Director at Pollinator Partnership she oversees the research program, keeping on top of new and emerging pollinator issues.

Transcript: Vicki Wojcik 

Earth Day: We make a difference with every choice we make.

 

 

 

Earth Day is upon us, April 22nd is the official date. We have many reminders, events, that highlight ways we can do more to reduce, recycle, repurpose stuff. My recent podcast guests, students from the University of CT and others, changed the motto to REFUSE, reuse, recycle. They had suggestions to go along with this reframed motto:

 

  1. When shopping in a supermarket and veggies come wrapped, remove the wrapping and leave it there. Eventually, supermarkets will stop offering styrofoam packed items with plastic wrap.
  2. Reverse bag: forgot your bags in the car? I do this all the time. So? Have checkout baggers place items in your cart and you can bag it when you get back to your car.
  3. “If you plant it, they will come.” Buy a native plant from your plant nursery/garden center. Plant something different to increase your backyard diversity. Better yet try removing a portion of lawn and plant wildflowers or a butterfly garden/pollinator garden. Have you considered planting another tree? One oak can support so much wildlife and they need our help right now.
  4. Make kablooms for Easter gifts, table favors. Buy heirloom seeds, mix with clay and soil, form into balls. They can be tossed onto vacant lots, placed in pots, left in a side bed. Great gifts for the gardeners in your family, but cheap seeds will not yield good results. Buy from reputable sources.
  5. If you are drawn to native American culture, listen to the Algonquin water song: our water needs us today to stop pollution. Everything you plant, including trees help absorb water runoff and that means less water gets washed down our storm drains.
  6. Everything we do affects the next seven generations, every thought, word, and action. Weed your mind of negative thoughts, water and grow gratitude every day, feed your mind and heart with love and kindness.

This earth is an amazing place. We live here and so do countless other species. So many of my podcast guests remind me that she is intelligent and we are surrounded by genius. Many of our fellow species are hurting from the loss of habitat and pollution. Now is the time for practical action and profound inner change so we value her once again. If you haven’t done so, check out my podcasts where I interview a variety of folks with great suggestions for holistic living here on the planet we call home.

What one action can you do today, and make it a part of your daily habits that is sustainable? Share your ideas with us. We appreciate all your comments. Remember we make a difference with every choice we make.  Enjoy. Judith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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