Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel
I did it. I ran out of the VIP dish detergent and took the plunge and made my own. I had a chunk of homemade soap that I made a long time ago, which I purposely left after I made 4 small bars of handmilled soap using left-over Sweet Birch essential oil, some lavender oil and a bit of tea tree oil to fill out the quantities needed. So I now have 4 bars of sweet smelling olive oil base (Castile) soap, and a bottle of homemade dishwashing soap.
This is what I did:
Grate unscented solid Castile soap. Put into a double boiler (that’s a pan resting inside another pan with boiling water) and add some distilled water, heat it up and the soap will start to melt. Add a small amount of glycerine. Slowly add more distilled water until it seems to be the right consistency. Regularly stir gently until everything is dissolved. The more water you pour in, the more runny it becomes, so err on the side of caution. Remove from heat and cool. Add a few drops of essential oil (I had some lavender and tea tree oil lying around, so I used it). Pour into a reused dish detergent bottle.
This soap works great! But it’s a little drying on the hands, so keep a bottle of hand lotion nearby to use after you’ve done the dishes.
We’re almost out of laundry detergent, so I’ll be making a batch of that soon, too. I’ll be using Sunlight Pure Soap, as I have a bar in our cleaning closet. I’ll let you know how that works.
As well, I’ve ordered three pounds of green coffee. Yes, green. Not like “environmentally green” coffee, although it happens to be that as well, but green, as in green beans. I’m going to roast them myself! My mom has told me that my grandfather would roast his own coffee during the war, and I’ve learned that it’s a fairly recent thing to buy pre-roasted coffee, generally a post-war invention. I’ve also learned that roasted coffee only keeps for about 3 days, because even minute amounts of oxygen will cause the coffee to become very bitter, very quickly. Freshly roasted coffee is apparently quite sweet, without that bitter taste we’ve become accustomed to. I’ve ordered the coffee from Toronto. I found the company through the EcoLogo program, and here’s their link, if you’re interested: Merchants of Green Coffee. Their Online ordering doesn’t work, so you’ll have to call their 1-800 number to order in person. They’re very friendly and knowledgeable. I’ll be roasting in my oven, and although it will take more electricity to roast coffee in my oven than if I bought a coffee roaster, I think it’s better than the alternatives for the following reasons: a home coffee roaster is quite expensive, it contains a lot of plastic, and I don’t know how long I’ll be keeping this venture up for, so if I bought a coffee roaster it could be a waste of money and the resources used to make it.
Finally, the Suzuki Foundation has a video I’d like to share. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t support the video player, so please click on the link below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Pondering the Plastic Puddle