Our Daily Green

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A collection of hints to help nurture a more ecological and economical household with very simple choices. We review products, showcase socially responsible charities, and environmentally businesses. Our Daily Green celebrates love of the planet.

What's a fun way to repurpose household items into toys or crafts?

Do you know any great children's books that teach kids about being eco-friendly?

What organic or healthy snacks do your kids love? Please share a link to a recipe if you have one.

What's a great cleaning product you've discovered?

Kim Urig

I have to tell you, vinegar is nice as is baking soda. I like to try to use natural products. But there are times we need something with a bit more oomph, so to speak. This is when I shout about Bar Keepers Friend cleanser. It's pretty close to natural. It uses oxalic acid, which is an ingredient found in spinach and rhubarb. I use it on my stainless steel and my ceramic cooktop, and I've used everywhere else I would use cleanser. It's bleach free and does a great job.
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Should allowance be tied to chores?

Kim Urig

As noble as it sounds, I've realized the reality is quite different. My children get allowance so that they can appropriately budget their social life and learn how to say yes to some things and no to others. There was a time that my daughter announced she wasn't going to do any chores that week because she didn't need any money. There are chores that are simply expected as members of the family and the punishment is not tied to finances, but rather the "crime". For example, when my daughter didn't sort her laundry, she had to do her own laundry the following week. When the table isn't set, there is no snacks or food until it is. I want them to know that not all labor has a monetary value and that sometimes, you just have to do something regardless of getting paid or not.
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Do you have a recipe for a useful homemade cleaning product (detergent, soap, or other product)?

Kim Urig

Mine is not exactly a recipe but an instruction sheet. I make dryer balls from felted wool sweaters and it eliminates the need for fabric softener or sheets. I originally had another author guest post about them and now have made them for myself as well as my family. So the "recipe" is: One washed, shrunken, and dried felted wool sweater (and you thought you'd never use them) Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide and rolled into balls about the size of a baseball, stitching as needed to hold the strips in place. Once the ball is the size you desire, hand stitch all loose edges in place (I use wool yarn). Wash once and then dry the balls and keep the balls in your dryer. About 10 balls keep the laundry separated and static free.
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How did you know you were ready for another baby?

Kim Urig

My firstborn was walking, talking and had quit nursing. I literally had one menstrual cycle from the time she quit nursing (18 mos) to the time I was pregnant again. It was more that my body knew, not so much that I did. (From Jan 1995 to July 1999, I was either pregnant or nursing a baby). Then I was done.
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What are some fun alternatives to candy for passing out on Halloween? Please provide a short description and a link to an image or recipe.

Kim Urig

We usually have a big bonfire and hot apple cider. We pass out coins for the local ice cream shop or movie rental store. I'm happy to just enjoy the costumes and children. We don't need more candy!
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