Usually this time of year I’d start getting twitchy because we would already be playing the holiday music at work and we’d be getting ready for Black Friday. Six years of Holiday At The Mall, and I was basically ready to take hostages. This year will be different, because I’m not working at the mall anymore. I was thinking of writing up some screed supporting Buy Nothing Day but honestly, with the economy what it is, I think Buy Handmade is a better message.
A lot of people have taken to opening Etsy shops and going to craft fairs, and finding other ways to start their own small, often one person, business. Since I’ve been there, done that I know how hard it is, but it can also be really gratifying. This year, stay out of the malls and stop supporting large corporations that treat their employees like shit and buy all their stuff from sweatshops in China. Instead, go the places like Portland Saturday Market or a market local to you, and shop online at places like Artfire and Etsy. You’ll be directly supporting an individual, not Corporate America. Plus, you’ll get some awesome usually one-of-a-kind unique gift.
Try it. It’s a good plan.
The trick for me, when trying to figure out how to be more “green” and eco-friendly, is balancing convenience and effectiveness with green-ness. Take dishwasher detergent, for example. I haven’t been a fan of powder dishwasher detergent because it isn’t very effective (at least, it didn’t used to be when I tried it years ago) and the gel stuff worked better. So I’ve been buying gel dishwasher detergent for years. But I hate that it comes in big plastic bottles, very wasteful. Plastic is just evil, evil stuff, in my opinion.
Poking around the net, I’ve found a recipe for powder dishwasher detergent you make yourself. It’s pretty easy, just mix up four readily available and cheap ingredients, and voila! Dishwasher detergent that’s cheap and eco-friendly. I’ll be testing it out to see if it actually works. If it does, then yay! I’ll make the switch.
I’ve tried using a variety of eco-friendly cleaners for my shower. Despite what they claim, none of them really work on soap scum without excessive amounts of scrubbing – the same amount needed if I’d used nothing at all, really. So, it’s Scrubbing Bubbles for me, even though that’s not the “greenest” choice. It does come in a metal can, so there’s that at least. It’s recyclable.
Hot water and white vinegar is effective on my hardwood floors, so no need to use special cleansers in plastic bottles. A couple drops of peppermint essential oil helps with the vinegar smell, which isn’t my favorite.
I mixed up a batch of laundry detergent using my handmade soap. So far I’ve only used it on non-clothing items like throw rugs and towels, but it seems to work pretty good.
This page has other helpful ideas. Some have been effective, others not so much (bathtub shower… see above, lol).
A few years back, in February 2009, to be specific, I was active on Twitter – as my cats. Yup, I’m one of those people. In February, a group of like-minded individuals decided to throw a sort of ad-hoc Twitter party, for charity. And thus, the Pawpawty was born. Pawpawties are cool, and I’m proud to say that I (or rather, my cats) have been a DJ at many of them (not all, but we haven’t missed very many!). The Pawpawties have raised $53,417 (so far!) for animal charities around the world! It’s pretty damned awesome to be a part of something so powerful.
This will the the third year that a group of super-cool people associated with the Pawpawties is doing a special thing for Christmas. If you clicky over there <– on the link, you’ll be taken to the page for Santa Paws Drive. Santa Paws Drive is to support animal shelters, both by collecting toys and treats, as well as much needed cash donations for the shelters.
Everyone has their “thing” and doing something real to help animals (forget talk, I want action!) and supporting the Pawpawties and Santa Paws Drive is my thing. If you’re interested, check it out.
I haven’t had a mammogram yet (still too young for them to be required), but I have heard about how much they are hideously uncomfortable, painful, etc. etc. I’m not entirely sure how I stumbled upon this (my usual following links hither and yon), but it’s pretty darn cool.
So, any and all of you ladies who need a mammogram: ask your provider if they use the MammoPad. The MammoPad is a soft pad that cushions breasts from the cold plates of the machine – resulting in significantly less pain and discomfort during the procedure. From the sound of things (and testimonials) ALL providers should be using this pad! So if your provider says they don’t, print off some of the info provided on the website and send it to them. It’s good for their bottom line, after all…
Okay… I don’t have much in the money department to give to charity for Hurricane Katrina but I do what I can. For the rest of September, I will be donating 50% of my profits from Jafra to Mercy Corps‘ relief fund. I picked Mercy Corps because they are headquartered here in Portland and they have a very low administrative overhead (means more of your donation goes to actual relief activity).
I will also donate shipping cost of your order, if you aren’t local to me here in PDX. Let me know if you have any questions about the products or if you have a skin care concern and you aren’t sure which product will address it. I’d love to help