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  1. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
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    134
    I think I'm sort of in the middle. I have to say, though, that I totally get the disposable toilet brush. I just cleaned the toilet on Monday and thought about how gross the toilet brush was, filled with crazy germs, but then I soaked it in bleach instead. I reuse containers all the time and use dish towels instead of paper towels for most things, and I don't use paper dishes.

    I think part of the problem with using all rags for things is the washing. When you have to trudge through the snow to the laundromat and put lots of quarters into the machine to wash stuff, you don't always want to have to have a separate load for your cleaning rags (as they are the only items I use Hot for). Plus, everything is a tradeoff. Paper towels create physical waste, washing rags uses water and energy to heat said water and detergents.

    Karikazo has a point about the loss of knowledge about past, less disposable ways of doing things. I suppose if I were to be a stay-at-home girl, I would do a lot of things the slow way but now every spare hour is time I can use to knit or read or sleep, all things I would rather be doing than laundry.

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  3. #32
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    80
    Yeah, I agree maybe the loss of knowledge is a factor. Or a change of priorities enough, that we have better things to do than try to be June Cleaver.

    I would like to be June Cleaver, but I don't have the knowledge, nor the time and patience. The *very few* times I've resorted to cleaning the kitchen floor on my hands and knees with a scrubber, I thought to myself how horrifying that women used to do that all the time! Yuck! I just don't care enough about the floor to do that! That's why I bought the Swiffer, y'know?, it's eeeeeasy.

    They market stuff like that all the time- the microwave? bread machine anyone? food processor? Oh, I got one- how about the Roomba? Implying if you spend enough money, you will still look like June, without the work. Hey, buy some Gladware, if it gets gross you can just throw it away, that's what it's made for. I admit more than once I have tossed out 88-cent cheapie kid's sippy cups that were gross, rather than trying to salvage them- I just didn't think it was worth my time, whereas if I had bought better quality cups, I would have put forth the effort.

    They package food up the same way- precooked in single servings (lots of plastic wrapping) for your total convenience, who wants to waste valuable time actually making pancakes when you can buy them frozen? Even a Kraft Dinner too much work for ya? Now you just need to zap up some Ready- Mac (and if you're like me :wink: you can teach your 6-year-old how to make his own dinner!) Lunchables- that is some severe cheating there, and what a pretty plastic container!

    Okay, I am severly wandering off-topic. The point being, that all that "simplifying" comes in packages, whereas the pure product is not usually packaged nearly as much.

  4. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    SF
    Posts
    16
    Oh, I feel really lucky now that I learned so many useful household tips from my grandma:
    I never use any cleaners from the store, but clean everything with a water/vinegar solution, to which I add a few drops of essential oil for a more pleasing scent (even though the vinegar smell goes away quickly). I swear, nothing cuts through soapscum better than vinegar.
    If something needs scrubbing I make a paste using baking soda. That stuff is so much cheaper and doesn't give me a headache.
    I keep an ssortment of cloth bags in the trunk for shopping.
    My shower curtain is made of thick cotton, it doesn't let any water through, doesn't get moldy like the vinyl ones and I throw it in the wash when necessary.
    I was raised in a house with no running warm water and the wood-fired boilers had only a limited amount of hot water for each family member so I still take really short showers (I just feel too guilty to waste water, especially living in Cali) We also used to collect our food scraps in a pail and give them to the neighbor's pigs. Ah, sweet country life!
    What ticks me off is when my roommates throw milkcartons in the trash without folding them flat. I remember in Europe we used to have commercials on the wonder that is the tetrapack (i.e it folds flat and uses up less space)

  5. #34
    Member
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    Jul 2004
    Posts
    46
    I've been using these great cleaning products Mrs. Myers. I love them they hve great fragrances like Lavander, Geranium, and Lemon. I only wish they sold them in bulk so I coule refill the containers. I think I'll try the viniger anf baking soda stuff when ever I run out of this stuff. I also wash my shower curtain but its a clear plastic liner. I throw it in the wash with some towels on hot and a little bleach, good as new. I don't think I've gotten a new one in years.

  6. #35
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    78
    Quote Originally Posted by chandradi
    Oh, I feel really lucky now that I learned so many useful household tips from my grandma:
    I never use any cleaners from the store, but clean everything with a water/vinegar solution, to which I add a few drops of essential oil for a more pleasing scent (even though the vinegar smell goes away quickly). I swear, nothing cuts through soapscum better than vinegar.
    If something needs scrubbing I make a paste using baking soda. That stuff is so much cheaper and doesn't give me a headache.
    Just wanted to say that the May 2004 issue of Martha Stewart Living has an article on using natural cleaners - what to use, how much, and what for. This is a great reference for people like me who don't know what to do when someone tells me to just use a "little bit" of baking soda or a water & vinegar solution. I always need to know how much water and how much vinegar.

    Also, responding to some other stuff that has been mentioned:

    The only reason why I don't mind cleaning the floor by hand is because I don't clean it that often. I definitely would not want to do all that work on a weekly basis!

    Regarding cloth napkins & rags creating extra laundry: Maybe it's because I am a single-person household, but I've never noticed having any extra laundry to do because of the cloth napkins, etc. They just seem to fit in with the rest of the stuff. As for the rags, they are washed separately, but I try to make sure that I have a decent-sized load before I run the washer. I have a separate laundry basket in the utility room for those. I do agree, though, that there are about 500 more exciting things to do than laundry. :o)

  7. #36
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    NoVa
    Posts
    117
    I use the same cloth napkin just about everyday. while Im washing the dishes I plunk the cloth napkin in the suds, rince and hang to dry in the draining board. The dishsoap helps cut any grease better than laundry soap anyway. Air drying make it a little stiff but for the most part all my laundry is dried on a rack so it makes no difference to me.

    I clean my floors with a rag on my hands and knees too. its not that bad cuz its only in the kitchen and bathroom, carpet everywhere else.

  8. #37
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    54
    A few years ago I worked at a small inn which had hardwood floors. To clean the floors we used a product by Vileda which is basically the same thing as a Swiffer, except the cloths are re-usable. We used them dry to sweep, and wet to mop, then washed/rinsed by hand. I can't find the exact product on the website, but perhaps Swiffer users may want to look into it :)

  9. #38
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    80
    cyan, the thing I was looking at is called a sh-mop http://www.safehomeproducts.com/SHP/ES/SH-MOP.asp, but there are alot of different brands of them, I guess, apparantly Home Depot sells them too.

  10. #39
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    54
    Becky,

    Yeah, that's basically the same product I was talking about :)

  11. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    330
    Stprcsm-your post said pretty much everything I was thinking.

    Here's what I do:
    Wash and reuse ziplock baggies
    Bring my empty shampoo and dishsoap bottles into the health food store and refill them from the bulk area
    I refuse to call things "disposable". Instead I call things "landfill razors" or "landfill toilet brushes". There is no such thing as disposable. We never really get rid of it. It gets dumped somewhere and is waste.
    When I go to a party where I know there will be paper/styrofoam plates and silverware I bring my own utensils, wash them and bring them home. I don't get preachy to the host, I just quietly have my own dishware. I think this says a lot without saying anything.
    I buy things in bigger containers, like Advil, so I don't have more containers to throw away.
    I make my own cloth grocery bags so I don't use paper or plastic ones. They're cute so I often get compliments and that way I can turn
    people onto the idea. I also make them to give as presents.
    For cleaning products I clean with Dr. Bronner's and dilute, dilute, dilute.

    I live very rural and don't have trash pickup. We save up all our trash, store it in an old pickup and when it's full we take it in to the dump. It takes us about a year to fill up the back. It has made such an impact on me and has caused me to consume less. "Living" with your trash really makes you think about it. Having it hauled off each week and never seeing it again makes people forget about the very real problems of overfilled landfills.


 
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