You can view the chart and other tips and tricks at this article:
3-in-1 Household Items to save money and avoid toxins
Here is a great chart and article on natural household items you can buy and use them in a variety of ways at home. This isn't the end all be all of lists, but if you're looking to save money and take a step in the right direction this is a great place to start.
You can view the chart and other tips and tricks at this article:
3-in-1 Household Items to save money and avoid toxins
You can reduce cost and damage to your hair by trying this method for a chocolate color. This also helps to reuse your coffee grounds. I would love to hear from anybody that has tried this. Does it work well and last long?
Here is the article to learn how:
Dye Your Hair Using Coffee
Photo courtesy of: Renée Na'Vi
It never gets old. Our tireless efforts to regain nature back by reducing how much we consume and tax it. Even though its been heard a thousand times, I've take a few moments to collect a few websites to stop unwanted junkmail.
The truth is, we move, get busy, and forget things all the time. A lot of us had the intention of signing up for unwanted junkmail but never got around to it.
Some people still don't even realize there is a way to stop unwanted junkmail. So here are a few websites that can help you with that process. And they are free. I have signed up for a couple of them today and am now spreading the word. I hope you will do the same and pass this blog on to others as a reminder. Its ridiculous how many ads I throw into the recycling bin on Wednesdays. Even if I do give everything a brief once over, its just ridiculous use of our resources.
DMAChoice.org (very fast, easy, free sign up)
DirectMail.com (free and they have opt in/opt out preference list)
If you really want to save a tree a day, start asking people you know to sign up on these lists as well. Start a fun challenge within your social network that gets other people to sign up. Even though this is repeat information, there are still many people on these mailing and catalogue lists. It doesn't cost them anything, and you can tell them it will save them money because they will no longer be influenced by sales ads to buy stuff they don't really need. So we can all save a tree and save some money. Even if they do want the sales ads, most companies have their sales up online and have free email sign up. So spread the word to your friends and family.
Please sign up, or leave a supporting comment.
You might find it odd to see a blog post about smoking on a website about minimalism, healthy living, and being environmentally friendly. The truth is, smoking is most likely not the most healthy thing we could do, but neither is it the most destructive thing. Minimalism is about finding balance and moderation in life. It is a gradual process towards better living, not perfect living. American's are some of the worst offenders for consumerism, addiction, and pollution, therefore we have to strive to find small steps we can take, rather than defeating ourselves before we ever even start, saying we can't do it. It is similar to finding the right foot holds to get you up the face of a rock. These are the ways we can slowly change our country for the better through our spending habits, healing our addictions and polluting less as a default of the former two.
The steps taken to get to a destination are, in our society, often called mundane, simple, childish, stupid, ineffective, ridiculous and so on. We have a self defeating perspective on success and therefore we undermine our own abilities and achievements in life. We often tell ourselves, "This will never work!" or, "I'm no good!" These thoughts hurt us from making any progress at all and set us back before we even begin.
The truth is, any little step in the right direction is powerful. Many people don't realize that just thinking about their goal continuously day in and day out is enough for them to eventually and finally take that little step. We are creatures of habit and it has been proven we cannot take large psychological jumps from one situation to the next. That is why it is so tough for many people to quit addictions like smoking.
On top of that, with neuro-marketing, we are being bombarded in every media outlet, on a daily basis with images and situations that expose our brains to things like smoking. Not only the images of smoking, but also that it is cool, needed, relaxing, and many other things we positively identify with. So if you are working hard to quit, but constantly being subjected to say, a TV show you watch everyday where one of the characters chain smokes, remember News Radio and one of its funniest episodes on smoking? Its good to laugh about these things too. Anyway, if you are watching smoking day in and day out it will train your brain on those thoughts and actions making it harder to quit.
So you have all these negatives working against you when you are wanting to quit an addiction. It really makes it tough to quit, unless you have the sheer determination to quit cold turkey. This is possible and many people have done it, but most people have to go at it slowly. It makes sense though, any success is usually backed up by hundreds of failures. This is because you are having to retrain your brain's neurological pathways to a new action when faced with old patterns of stress and other circumstances that caused you to smoke in the first place, as well as your body has this toxin in it that is now trained to crave in order to function. So you are literally trying to battle the emotional, cognitive and chemical addictions of smoking, while constantly subjugated to your environmental triggers in life. That is tough! Why don't we have support groups for ex-smokers?
Well, here are some tips that might help you on your journey, or someone you know, to quit smoking.
Sometimes you need extra support. Someone to keep you accountable for your goals, that won't make you feel negatively about them when you slip up. Having a sort of vent and confession in a non-judgmental space can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. If you need somebody like this, consider looking around in your community for a trusted friend or family member than can help you. If you are not able to find someone, consider a church or hotline that can help you quit. If you would like someone to work with you one on one, consider a life coach or addictions counselor. I offer coaching, which will help you reduce negatives and increase positives by giving you tools to keep yourself moving forward, while also allowing you to blow off steam along the way. It can be very frustrating at times. You can check out my coaching page for more information. I can work with people from anywhere via phone, skype or email.
Everyone knows the big scam bottled water is. We are spending "X" amount of dollars every month for something that is less regulated than tap water. Below is a video that nicely explains where it comes from and out marketing is used to entice us to buy things such as bottled water.
Buying bottled water can be quite expensive over time taking your money away from more important things going on in your life and your family's life. According to Statistic Brain, bottled water is a 15 billion dollar a year industry.
The environment is sadly impacted because all these plastic water bottles will take at least 450 years to decompose in our landfills. That is IF they aren't sealed up in bags or containers, in which case it would take 1000 years or never according to this post on PostConsumers.com.
Everybody knows these are the problems our world faces so how can we change our living habits to better practices and save money at the same time? Some Americans are living so tight pay check to pay check that they cannot afford a cleaner, healthy lifestyle. Or so they think.
The first step towards better drinking water, less money spent and a cleaner environment would be switching to bulk water and finding reusable water containers to haul around instead of plastic water bottles. This can be achieved by visiting the water centers in major grocery stores and sometimes little huts found around the city. Where I live these can range from $0.25 - $0.32 a gallon. The more water you buy in bulk, the cheaper it is. Purchasing a BPA-free water jug can eliminate toxins from your body and is a good way to buy in bulk.
However, these water mills are a step up from bottled water, they still use reverse osmosis filtration, which causes the water molecules to change their structure. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but what happens is the water's PH balance changes to a more acidic base. This can change the PH balance in our own bodies as well if your diet is already high in acidity or you have illness. So while this step will help you get to the better steps mentioned further on in this article, it should not be seen as a "arriving" at the final solution that could mitigate all these issues we are trying to remedy.
The best kind of solution is finding a filtering system that doesn't change the water's molecules, its affordable, it doesn't store in plastic, and it filters out all the harmful things we are drinking like chlorine and fluoride. You can start a slow transition working your way up to the best systems, and work on saving up the money if you have to, but one of the best out there is the Big Berkey Water Filters. Although some of these systems do come in plastic, they have the option of stainless steel as well as different sizes depending on how many family members you have.
Initially, this set up is very expensive. You do have to buy the set-up along with extra filters if you want to remove the fluoride. But the health and cost saving benefits down the road are worth is. One set of main filters, not the fluoride ones, will last seven years! Depending on how much you use it. When you add up the cost of the system and divide it out by roughly how many gallons of water an average human drinks per day, the cost is less then you pay at the grocery store to refill your own jugs. According to their website, "...including fluoride and arsenic reduction, 1 gallon of Berkey water costs just 7 cents!" You can read it on the front page of their website half way down and towards the bottom to get the full information.
I don't work for any of the companies I review, but I do believe in supporting corporations and businesses that are trying to reverse the problems in our world. I do not know if Big Berkey intentionally set out to give us all these benefits that help the environment as well, but as long as they remain in that direction I will support and recommend them to everybody. They also sell other things on their website such as filters for your shower. I purchased one because the chlorine in my water is so high that it was drying out my skin. The filter has helped with that, as well as my not having to breathe in harmful chemicals while the bathroom door is closed. Check out their website for other things like their water bottles too, and their travel version for camping. If you can't yet afford an expensive set-up, start with something small. Any good water in your body will help.
So far, all my friends can taste the difference of the water and say it is really good. I am so "spoiled" with it now that I won't drink water in restaurants or even other people's houses because I can't stand how it tastes. I don't mind though, because I've done a lot of study on how our food and water affect our brain function and body. This is especially important for people that are suffering from disorders like Asperger's Syndrome, mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, or just general stress and depression.
Taken from GreenDeals.org:
Tip #389: Extend Your Green Reach Beyond Home and Work- Volunteer!
"Look for volunteer opportunities at local nature conservatories, animal shelters, or local or even national environmental agencies. You'll feel great about what you're doing and you'll be helping out a good cause- whichever one you choose."
An issue I ran into with volunteering and living on a minimal income was that I could not afford to pay the fees some places required for my training. When living on a tight budget every dollar counts. A particular shelter my daughter and I wanted to volunteer at requested $40 for training. That is almost a trip to the grocery store for me, and with food prices rising, and I am doing everything to stay organic, I simply could not extend myself for this type of volunteering.
Other volunteering I wanted to do, such as trail restoration and gardening required adequate transportation that I do not have, living without a car.
In these ways we can become caught between "designer volunteering," that is, volunteering at a preferred space instead of showing up wherever is most needed, and "greening" other parts of our life. I had to let the car go because of my financial situation plus it ended up being a contribution to the environment.
When becoming a minimalist, its important to evaluate your situation and needs so that you can not waste your time at places that don't really interest you, as well as fit your financial situation and other circumstances. So, to me, living without a car has come at great sacrifice, but has also taught me to be more understanding of others without cars that we see walking around with shopping carts and lining up at shelters, food banks, and thrift stores.
It even caught my attention the other day that its sad people with a lot more money have access to thrift stores and can buy up all the good items. I think it would be okay to leave the good stuff for the less advantaged people.
In these ways you can start volunteering if you cannot find an organization that fits your needs. Start in your own life. Be more understanding of others and volunteer your compassion more often. Perhaps leave the thrift stores to the poor and needy. Donate your clothing items to homeless shelters instead of Goodwill corporations that dominate the dollars from the local thrift stores that are really trying to help their community. Start teaching others what you learn. Share what you have more with others. The fulfillment from giving is endless.
I live at or below poverty level and gave up a Christmas gift last year and requested the couple donate to a homeless shelter. Wealth is relative and American's are living the most convenient, cushioned, lifestyle in the world. We are also the highest consumers and polluters comparing our population to other countries.
We are all fighting for our country, so start lending an ear, a hand, some love, and a heart to those around you and in your community. Even if no one knows, it still counts as volunteering.
Click picture for photo credit.
Statistics like on the below website can be overwhelming to the point we do not want to look at this monumental American ugliness. If we could just decide to do something about it, things would change for the better. It may not seem like much, but buying one less packaged item per trip to the store can add up over time.
A trick I have used is not using stir sticks when I go to coffee shops. I add the creamer first and when I add the coffee it stirs it up for me. This might not work for everybody, but anything we can do personally, adds up over time, not to mention saves money. Strangely, the more you learn to do without, the more you learn what you're about. Less is more. More space and time for creative passions.
Please consider and add your thoughts on ways to reduce one small thing at a time!
Start making decisions not to buy more things whenever possible. Every time we throw something away and buy a replacement, it fills up our landfills. Try buying refurbished products and learn to fix them. It also saves you money, which makes you work less in the long run.
If your scroll wheel is not working, watch this video on a super fast way to fix it without pulling it apart. As someone commented under the video, I too, almost went and bought another mouse. This works!