Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Green-Er Future

It's that time, between Christmas and New Year's... a Sunday - My house is a mess with kids' presents everywhere.  My fridge is full of leftovers, and not much else.  I'm running out of staples - like milk, and dishwasher detergent - I live far off from the nearest grocery store, and must make do. 

This year's New Year Resolution is to go Green-er...  Becoming less dependent on mass produced goods and foods, and not hopping in a vehicle spending gas money to drive a long way for a few tidbits - If I can make it myself, I will...

So, this morning, I get up to the massive pile of dishes waiting to be washed, and a freshly made coffee with no milk (at this point, I still can't drink coffee without some type of creamy liquid in it).  Instead of slumping on the couch with a good book, to ignore it - I did some research, to solve my current, basically unimportant-in-the-whole-scheme-of-things, dilemma - No Milk, and No Dishwasher Detergent.

Luckily, because we live way out in the boonies, I've already discovered staples that are required in order to be able to deal with the inability to immediately go to the store if we run out of something.

I Buy Bulk.  Baking soda, rice, oats, natural salts, natural sugars, etc...

First up.  What the heck am I going to put in my coffee?  Brown Rice Milk.

I have brown rice. I have water. I have sea salt, vanilla, and honey... 
Boil up some rice in double the amount of water til soft (about 1 hr.) - add some more water to cover by a couple inches, add a bit of vanilla, sea salt, honey, and let sit.  Blend that up and strain through a sieve... That's it.  Creamy Coffee!  I can also now make a smoothie for the kids, when they wake up - berries, brown rice milk, bananas, and honey.

Now, what to do about dishwasher detergent.  I found a very simple recipe for cheap n' easy detergent for your dish-washing machine (because we are more than people who spend hours doing the dishes by hand).  The recipe:  2 parts washing soda, 2 parts borax, 1 part coarse salt and 1 part citric acid.  And I have a big plastic container leftover from cashews, to keep the mix under my sink. 
Mmmmm Caasheews...  

Anyway, I had everything except washing soda.... Hmm... I just found out that the difference between baking soda and washing soda is a simple change in chemistry.  By heating baking soda spread on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for a half hour or so, extra water and carbon dioxide are released, creating Washing Soda!  How cool is that?

Shake all that up in a large container (whatever large container you have, but, really, you should treat yourself to some cashews!)  Use 1 tablespoon per load.  And, for rinse agent, pour some white vinegar in the little hole meant for that weird blue stuff.

Let the New Year begin!