Monday, June 6, 2011

Even With the Best Intentions...

This weekend was a busy one as more furniture was moved into the apartment. We aquired a free hutch, 2 free desks, and a free dresser. This week we'll also be getting a free table with 6 (free!) chairs. I'm pretty happy about it because I get good quality furniture for free and I reduce my impact by not buying new!
I purchased some plants for my little backyard box garden on Friday. Our local garden center takes back the plastic containers and returns them to the growers. They also take back other plastic and cardboard for recycling. I was told they sold "scoop your own" compost in bulk so I returned the next day to buy a large box full but when I arrived was told that they only sold it by the bucket load (as in tractor bucket, not a hand bucket). I have a VERY small space to garden in and a "bucket load" of compost would be WAY too much for me. If I known this ahead of time I probably could have made arrangements to share a bucket load of compost but since I didn't know and I needed to get my plants in the ground I ended up purchasing 2 bags of plastic. I was disappointed. I now I have 2 plastic bags and I'm not sure quite what to do with them. I will probably use one to kneel on when gardening. Maybe I'll put one down under my compost bucket to keep the moisture off the wood. At least growing my own tomatoes will cut down on the need for tomatoes to travel to me!
On a related note, I ran out of conditioner a few days ago so I decided, after doing some research online, to give the cider vinegar rinse a try. I will have to try tweaking it but so far my hair looks very very greasy and smells of vinegar. I have very, very thick and wavy hair that is naturally very dry. Finding a good conditioner has always been a challenge for me. I'm not sure what to do! My plan right now is to use my old conditioner bottle to make up a concoction with vinegar, water, and some raw honey. I will see how this works. I will also be looking at some local co-op and health food stores to see if there is a plastic free and environmentally friendly option that I can purchase. I will also have to do more research online to see if there is a better option. I have tried straight avocado before. I don't think that really did anything as my hair was very dry after using it. I'm worried that, at least for the time being, I may have to go back to a conditioner in a plastic container. I will have to keep looking though!

My mom stopped by the apartment this weekend. She was impressed by how "green" it is. She also said "thank goodness for people like you who are willing to spend the extra time and money". I don't want to push the issue so I just said "you'd be surprised but I'm probably saving money and it really doesn't take more time". I'd love if I could convince her to try some greener practices but I know that shoving my green ideals down people's throats doesn't get anywhere. She asked my boyfriend what he thought of my "green-ness". I was glad that he said he thought it was great and it really hasn't effected him and it's inspired him to be more aware of what he buys and uses. He also reminded my mom that I am not forcing him to be green too.
He is making better choices though, without my pushing. He bought a small (plastic) container of lemonaide mix which will probably last him 6 months instead of buying soda. He never really used to buy much soda but he would buy juice or gateraide maybe once a week. He makes a batch of rather watered down lemonaide and it lasts him a week or more. He just likes to have something other than water or milk to drink. I love that he prefers the local milk in glass jugs over commercial milk already so he doesn't even have to think about that decision. He did buy a yoga ball to use as a desk chair. I found one for myself at the thrift store which I'm pretty sure was never removed from the box (or the person kept all the plastic packaging). I sit at a desk all day so at home I think sitting on a ball is much better for my posture!

One of these days I'll be able to post about just 1 topic at a time...there's too much going on right now though!


  1. Well - I could write a novel about shampoo and conditioner alternatives. It took me lots of experimenting to figure out a system that worked for me, but I am now nearly 3 years without shampoo and my hair has never looked better!

    I wash with baking soda (a very weak solution) and rinse with either citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). I'm not a big fan of the smell of vinegar, plus we have really hard water and I needed something stronger to get out the soap scum that the baking soda leaves behind.

    I'm not sure how well a vinegar rinse would work with shampoo... I think it's mostly designed to get baking soda or soap based cleansers to rinse clean. Not sure what it would do in conjunction with shampoo.

    I use a few drops of jojoba oil to condition the ends of my hair... it works great but you have to use it really sparingly... like seriously only 2 or 3 drops... comb it in, let it sit a minute or 2 then rinse it out. If it gets REALLY dry I'll sometimes put a little coconut oil just on the tips.

    The other thing I learned the hard way is to avoid any products that use silicone (any ingredient ending in "cone" "xane" or "zane"). Apparently they don't "play nice" with the natural stuff.

    Good luck with it and let me know if I can help!

  2. After doing some research online I think my main problem is that I used far too much ACV. I think the honey, ACV , water mixture should be a big improvement. I think I'm going to try it this evening as I don't want to go to work for a second day as a total grease ball. I will also be skipping the shampoo and using baking soda in hopes of really getting the grease out.