Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Greening Up...

Before leaving South Africa, there were many things that I did that I suppose you would consider 'green'. I made my own home cleaning liquids, used reusable shopping bags, knitted my own dishcloths, recycled, reused and reduced etc... With the big move so much of that fell by the wayside as other things occupied my mind and time. When I see how many of the things that formed part of my daily rhythm fell away, I realise how very disrupting and traumatic a major move is.

Recently I have been thinking more on the small things that were helpful to the environment and at the same time brought me so much pleasure. As I contemplated getting back into making my own cleaning detergents, I asked myself why I would want to do these things. Why would I want to make my own laundry detergent rather than buy it? Why make my own all purpose cleaner/window cleaner/soap etc... rather than buy it. I can't say that I am particularly motivated by the money savings as I have not yet done accurate costings of making my own, nor have I tracked how long it would last compared to store-bought. This may of course change over the coming weeks. What was it that I was going to gain by making my own? I want to do this for reasons that are real and relevant to me - not just because it's a craze sweeping the blogosphere or any group for that matter.

Am I concerned with doing this for the environment? Well - yes - I am. I do not believe that this world is going to end because of global warming, or pollution, or any of the other environmental horrors we are bombarded with. As a believer, I believe that the Lord will come before any of that can come to pass and that people should be more concerned with the state of their spiritual lives than with global warming!

But - as we have been given stewardship of the earth by God, then we should BE good stewards. That means being concerned with what I am pumping into the water system, with how many plastic bags I contribute to the landfills, with the amount of toxins that leave my home and seep into the air, earth and water table. How much water we use and energy we consume. All these things should concern me and I should do my best to reduce the strain on the planet. YES, I want to do and make all these small things for that reason.

Another reason is simply - because I like to. I get tremendous satisfaction from making my own. If I can, then why not. I enjoy consuming the fruits of my labour. I feel empowered because I know that I can be and am resourceful and frugal. I know a way other than the conventional 'store-bought' way of doing things. My grandmother would always use the phrase, 'store bought!' with much exclamation and horror if she found that we bought what we could otherwise have made. She was from WW2 era - enough said.

So, with my motives sufficiently scrutinised, I am returning to my Eco-loving, green embracing, frugal laundry detergent and home cleaning product making ways. I have ordered my supplies for my laundry liquid and I can't wait to get it all bubbling on the stove and into my very own, prettily personalised containers. (Graphics Fairy has a huge range of beautiful free graphics you can download to make your own labels).

It seems that 2013 is going to be full of greening up, growing our own, crafting, creating and of course learning at home. What exciting times ahead! I would love hear about your green living. What do you do? Do you make or grow your own?


  1. Shirley
    So pleased to have found your blog again:)

  2. I've never ventured into making my own cleaning detergents. I have been recycling since 1989 and where I live now I have to drive everything to the center. I feel so good about that!!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate each and every one left for me.