Clean your house naturally with ‘The Modern Organic Home’

Using just a few key ingredients, this book can teach you how to scour everything from dirty ovens to leather boots to ceiling fans.

The Internet abounds with recipes for homemade cleaning products, but sometimes it’s nice just to have everything in one place. A new book called The Modern Organic Home: Recipes and Tips for Cleaning and Detoxing Your Home is what every green housekeeper should have. Written by Natalie Wise, who must have one heck of a spotless house, the book is a treasure-trove of cleaning recipes.

Wise’s eco-friendly cleaning journey began when she had allergic reactions to many conventional cleaners. That’s when she discovered how many of them contain toxic ingredients. After switching to green cleaners, she grew frustrated with how ineffective they were, and how she often had to “clean up after the cleaning products.”

Eventually, in an effort to cut down on costs, Wise began making her own cleaning products. That’s when she discovered that thorough cleaning really only requires a few basic ingredients: white vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap to start. In the introduction, Wise writes:

“Making my own cleaning products invested me in the cleaning process. It invested me in the health of my own home and self. I’ll be honest my interest was also partly monetary and partly, well, vain. A bottle of the standard tub-cleaning solution is nearly $6 these days, with the commercial organic version more than that. With an initial investment, you can keep your home clean for very little. Traditional chemical cleaners come in garish containers with warning labels all over them. I prefer a small tote full of natural ingredients in glass bottles and shakers, which looks clean and calm.”

The book is divided into chapters for each room of the house. Each chapter includes recommended steps for purging, cleaning, and organizing (a lite version of the decluttering, minimalist books I’ve reviewed before), followed by room-specific recipes.

As expected, DIY recipes tend to be repetitive because they contain many of the same ingredients, just in different quantities depending on what their job is. There are all the usual all-purpose countertop cleaners, microwave and oven cleaners, glass cleaner, scummy sink and shower scrubbers, and toilet bowl cleaner.

But Wise goes above and beyond with a bunch of unexpected recipes. Have you ever wondered how to revive wooden spoons? Try her “Wonder Wax”! Or restore copper pots’ shininess with ketchup, of all things. Use aluminium foil to get rust off bathroom faucets and make a refrigerator shiny again with a dash of olive oil.

She gives detailed cleaning instructions for random household objects, such as kids’ icky lunch bags, backpacks, running shoes, and stuffed animals. Readers will learn how to clean everything from computer screens to lampshades to makeup brushes. There’s an entire section on removing stains of all kinds. In other words, when this book says it’s about the entire Modern Organic Home, it really is.

Perhaps the best thing about Wise’s book is that it’s inspiring. It has certainly infected me with the spring cleaning bug and makes me want to get to work immediately.

The Modern Organic Home: Recipes and Tips for Cleaning and Detoxing Your Home (Skyhorse, 2018) is available on Amazon, $16

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6 ways to clean your home with salt

Did you know ordinary table salt is a wondrous natural cleaning agent?

You’ve probably heard about cleaning with baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. But did you know it’s possible to scour many parts of your home with salt? Ordinary table salt, which you likely have in the cupboard right now, is a surprisingly awesome cleaning agent that’s entirely natural and safe. Cleaning expert Melissa Maker explains several ways in which to put salt to work in your home.

1. Scrubbing a sink: If baking soda doesn’t have quite enough scrubbing power for your needs, mix it with table salt at a 1:1 ratio. That will get your sink sparkling clean in no time. Commenters on Maker’s YouTube video said they use this to get rid of soap scum in the tub. A tip I saw on another green cleaning website suggests dipping a half lemon in salt and using this to clean around faucets; it will get rid of lime buildup and leave them shiny.

2. Cleaning a cutting board: Some vegetables like beets, carrots, and strawberries leave stains on a cutting board, while others, like onions and garlic, leave powerful odors that don’t go away entirely with soap and water. Enter salt, which can be sprinkled over the cutting board and then rubbed into the board in a circular motion using a half lemon. Rinse and set upright to dry. You’ll have a stain free, odorless cutting board.

3. Getting rid of stains: Salt is an effective stain remover. If you spill red wine, blot the extra liquid and cover liberally in table salt. Let it dry, then launder as usual. If you have stained ceramic mugs, sprinkle salt inside, rub it around with a half lemon, and rinse. This same technique works for stained stainless steel (it sounds like an oxymoron, I know), such as a coffee moka pot.

4. Cleaning cast iron: You’re never supposed to do a metal scrub pad on cast iron because it will destroy the seasoning. Salt, however, can give abrasive cleaning power without ruining anything. Melissa Maker gives two suggestions: sprinkle salt into a dirty pan, and either (1) fill with water, heat over stove, and stir with a wooden spatula to loosen food bits, or (2) rub it into the dry pan until all food bits have been lifted. Dump out the now-dirty salt and wipe it with a cloth.

5. Laundry: This tip comes from another green cleaning source and suggests that, in order to get rid of perspiration stains, you mix 1/4 cup salt with one quart hot water and soak clothing until stains fade. Then launder as usual.

6. Cleaning your iron: If you see any gunky buildup on your iron, sprinkle salt onto a sheet of parchment paper and run your iron over it. This will release buildup. Let the iron cool and wipe it with a cloth.

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Meet Carolina Sevilla, The Woman Inspiring People To Clean Up The World’s Beaches

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

After spending almost 10 years working as a diplomat in New York, Carolina Sevilla shifted her focus and made the decision to live a simpler life. She now lives in a little treehouse in Costa Rica and inspires people all over the world to help clean beaches.

Her treehouse is situated on the beach, “It has the minimum of things that you need, and it shows that you need very very less in life. You don’t need much to be happy” she says.

Carolina now works for a New York-based company called Bionic Yarn. She acts as the company’s liaison with local organisations in Latin America, such as Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper, as well as coastal communities to recover ocean plastic. Bionic Yarn then upcycle the recovered plastics, turning them into fabric for fashion, they have collaborated with brands including H&M, Gap and G-Star.

Carolina has also started her own initiative, 5minutebeachcleanup, which focuses on creating awareness about the responsibility we all have to ensure that our ocean shores are trash-free.“Ocean trash is a serious pollution problem that affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies. Trash in the water and on the shore can kill marine animals, injure swimmers and beachgoers, and ensnare boat propellers.” – reads the About page on Facebook.

“For me it’s everything. I have no children and I am over 40 years old, this is my baby. It’s such a great joy to be able to communicate to the world that soon we’ll start to see that the collection of a clothing brand or Porsche car seats will be made with the plastic we take off the beaches of Costa Rica,” Carolina said.

Read more: Meet Daniel Suelo – The Man Who Quit Money (With Video)

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Miami: Dirty Gold, Clean Cash

Miami: Dirty Gold, Clean Cash

January 17th, 2018

I’m ticking Covert Operations on this one, just in case. 😉

Via: Miami Herald:

When Juan Granda ventured into Peru’s Amazon rainforest to score another illicit load of gold, he boasted that he felt like legendary Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

“I’m like Pablo coming … to get the coke,â€� he told two co-workers in a text message in 2014.

A 36-year-old Florida State University graduate who once sold subprime loans, Granda was no cartel kingpin. But his offhand comparison was apt: Gold has become the secret ingredient in the criminal alchemy of Latin American narco-traffickers who make billions turning cocaine into clean cash by exporting the metal to Miami.

The previous year, Granda’s employer, NTR Metals, a South Florida precious-metals trading company, had bought nearly $1 billion worth of Peruvian gold supplied by narcos — and Granda and NTR needed more.




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What’s needed to clean up the fashion industry?

A new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation outlines steps to a circular fashion economy.

The fashion industry is notorious for being the second most polluting on Earth, next to oil and gas. Fast fashion brands have made clothes cheaper, trendier, and more accessible than ever, but this comes at the high cost of diminished resources, dangerous production conditions, chemical exposure, energy spent on transportation, and GHG emissions when these items are thrown in landfill.

Other reports have revealed the damage caused by polyester fabrics when washed. Tiny plastic microfibres become dislodged in the washing machine and flushed into waterways, where they are ingested by marine wildlife and enter the food chain. It brings a whole new disturbing meaning to the idea of “eating one’s shirt.”

circular fashion economy diagram 2© Ellen MacArthur Foundation / A New Textiles Economy

Fast fashion pieces are not kept, nor are they designed to be; an estimated 50 percent of fast fashion items are discarded within a year of purchasing. Less than 1 percent of textiles is recycled, and one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burnt every second.

Under these circumstances, the latest report on fashion from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is more needed than ever. Titled “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future,” the report outlines a vision and sets out actions for a circular clothing economy, in which the planet is no longer ravaged by our lust for new, trendy clothes, and this enormously influential industry is turned into a force for good.

While there is much to discover in the report’s 150 pages (you can read the whole thing here), it boils down to four concluding solutions.

— We need to get rid of substances of concern and microfibre release. The innovation and use of safer materials needs to be a major priority for the industry. You can do this by buying organic natural fibers when shopping for clothes.

— We need to transform the way in which clothes are designed. Disposability must end. Emphasis should be put on “scaling up closing rental schemes; making durability more attractive; and increasing clothing utilisation through brand commitments and policy.” Vice Impact interprets this as “the industry supporting and promoting short-term clothing rental businesses,” which is a great idea.

— We need to radically improve recycling. This requires better clothing design, collection, and reprocessing technology. Demand for recycled materials needs to go up, and the number of clothing collection points increased.

— We need more renewable materials. We have to get away from using oil-based textiles, like nylon, polyester, fleece, and such, in clothing. Natural fibers can biodegrade more readily when they reach end of life and will not leach microplastics into water when washed.

circular fashion economy diagram 1© Ellen MacArthur Foundation / A New Textiles Economy

As the report says, pursuing these goals would enable the fashion industry to boast better economic, environmental, and social outcomes — opportunities lost by the current linear textiles system.

There is a healthier way to do things. We, as people who buy clothes for ourselves and our families, must choose consciously to support such transitions, and stop financing ‘bad’ fashion that is so damaging to our world. As Vice suggests, we should start repeating to ourselves, “I buy, therefore I keep,” the antithesis of the fast fashion mentality.

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The Contraption That Will Clean Up The World’s Oceans Set To Deploy 2018

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Back in 2013, we reported on the story of 19-year-old Boyan Slat, who had developed a device with the capacity to remove 7,250,000 tonnes of plastic and garbage from the world’s oceans in just five years. Originally set to deploy in 2016, the device still had numerous rounds of testing to complete, but testing is finally done, and we can expect to see this device hit the Pacific early next year.

This device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that can be sent to garbage patches around the world. Instead of using boats and nets, the Ocean Cleanup uses long floating barriers that harness the natural movement and energy of the ocean itself. In this way, only the plastic itself will be focused on. The current will float under the booms, taking away all sea life and preventing by-catch. The plastic will collect in front of the floating barrier and then be filtered and stored for recycling.

“Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today. Not only will this first cleanup array contribute to cleaner waters and coasts but it simultaneously is an essential step towards our goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This deployment will enable us to study the system’s efficiency and durability over time.”

– Boyan Slat

The project estimates they can rid the oceans of plastic pollution completely by 2050, but it is important to realize that this will not be possible if we keep consuming and producing as much plastic as we have been. We have to drastically change our habits if we want to see this device truly have any sort of success.

There are so many alternatives to plastic out there, and luckily, as awareness increases, more and more manufacturers are opting to make more sustainable packaging for the products, and the more you choose products that don’t come wrapped in plastic, the less this plastic trash will be produced in the first place. Buying in bulk, using reusable bags and water bottles, and making your own personal care and cleaning products are just a few ways that you can drastically cut back the amount of plastic you are producing on a regular basis. To learn more check out 10 Smart Hacks To Cut Plastic Packaging From Your Life.

No one likes to see the pollution in our oceans. Intuitively we know that this is not good, but it largely goes unnoticed because it is kept out of sight, and therefore out of mind. We have to take responsibility for our actions, because as the consumers we have a say in creating the type of world that we want. It’s time we realized that and stepped fully into our power. We can make a difference!

Much Love

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

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How To Effectively Clean Your Mouth & Eliminate Bad Breath

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Here is yet another daily practice to add into your oral health regime. Fortunately for you, this one is not only simple and fast, taking only a few seconds out of your day, but it offers benefits that can be seen right away. I am referring to the Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping, which involves — you guessed it — scraping your tongue.

Scraping your tongue may sound uncomfortable or even painful, but I assure you, once you try it and see all of the gunk that comes off of your tongue (painlessly), you will immediately choose to add this practice to your morning routine. I’d never heard of it until about a month ago when a friend mentioned it to me while I was on vacation. I ordered a scraper online as soon as I got home and have been using it religiously ever since.

Registered dental hygienist Kim Shamoun says: “I can’t live without tongue scraping. Without a doubt, it should be a part of our daily oral hygiene regimen. I stress to my patients, friends, family and strangers alike how important it really is. A tongue scraper is the one thing I would want with me on a deserted island… forget the lipstick!”

The Benefits of Tongue Scraping

1. Combats Bad Breath and Halitosis

In fact, tongue scraping is the single most beneficial defence against halitosis. Regardless of whether your breath is regularly stinky, I’d be willing to bet that you still wake up with morning breath. How nice would it be to roll over and give your significant other, or pet, a big smooch without them gagging and pushing you away? (Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s still an unfortunate morning reality!)

2. Enhances Taste Receptors

When your tongue is coated with gunk, that gunk is preventing your taste buds from recognizing all of the amazing flavours your food has to offer. Experience your food as if it were for the first time again with the simple practice of tongue scraping!

3. Improves Digestion

We’ve all heard how digestion begins in your mouth, and how important it is to chew your food, but your saliva is just as important here, and the more saliva you produce, the easier the digestive process will be. Tongue scraping will cause you to salivate more because you will be able to taste your food more.

4. Protects From Plaque Buildup

You might be surprised to learn that plaque exists on the tongue as well on your teeth — this is called soft plaque. The more plaque you have on your tongue, the more plaque will develop on your teeth.

5. Improves Overall Oral Hygiene 

Having a clean tongue and overall good oral hygiene can help protect against other diseases as well. Oral health is very important for overall health, and poor oral hygiene is linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infertility.

I Know What You’re Thinking…

You’re probably thinking, I already scrape my tongue, every time I brush my teeth, with my toothbrush! Well, you definitely have the right idea, but unfortunately you are using the wrong tool for the job. A toothbrush just does not provide the same scraping benefit as a tongue scraper. Toothbrush —for brushing teeth. Tongue scraper — for scraping the tongue. See what I did there? You will need a hard, flat surface for optimal scraping.

How to Scrape Your Tongue

First you want to pick your scraper. Personally, I have been unable to find them in stores, so I went online and ordered one from Amazon. They range from $7-$15, and come in either stainless steel or copper. Copper is likely the best metal to be used for tongue scraping because, as with our gut, the mouth harbours both good and bad bacteria, and copper is toxic to the bad while also providing important enzymes necessary for the healthy microbes in the mouth to survive.

© Copyright. Dragon Papillon Photography. 2014. All rights reserved.

© Copyright. Dragon Papillon Photography. 2014. All rights reserved.

In either case, I recommend getting one with handles for better grip in case the gunk slides onto the handles.

One you’ve brought your scraper home, follow these steps:

1. In the morning, right after you wake up and before drinking any water, get up and scrape your tongue. This will reduce the accumulation of toxins in your digestive tract from your tongue. You don’t want to press too hard, but press hard enough so you can see what looks like mucus sliding off your tongue. Rinse the scraper after each scrape and then repeat the process about 5-7 times, starting at the back of your tongue.

2. Follow with flossing, then brushing

3. Finish with a large glass of water.

You can also use your scraper in the same order during your evening brushing routine. Your mouth will start to feel much fresher and cleaner right away, and you’ll wonder how you ever went to so long without scraping your tongue before.

Much Love

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.


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Toyota’s new power plant will use dairy manure to make clean electricity & hydrogen

The forthcoming Tri-Gen facility is being called “the world’s first megawatt-scale 100% renewable power and hydrogen generation station.”

Although most electric vehicle manufacturers are ‘fueling’ their models with battery packs, Toyota is still hedging its bets on the future of electric mobility with continued forays into hydrogen fuel cells, and its latest venture looks to illustrate a solution for a major pain point in hydrogen-based transport. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, hydrogen is basically a fossil fuel because of how it’s currently produced, and is essentially just a battery that is only as green as the energy source used to ‘charge’ it.

Toyota’s planned Tri-Gen facility, which will be located in Long Beach, California, is intended to prove that 100% renewable, local hydrogen generation can be done at scale, and in this instance will use agricultural waste as the feedstock. The bio-waste, which will primarily come from dairy cattle manure for this project, produces methane, which is then fed into the fuel cells developed by FuelCell Energy and converted into clean electricity, along with hydrogen.

The Tri-Gen facility, once operational in 2020, is expected to generate about 2.35MW of electricity, as well as 1.2 tons of hydrogen. This will allow the company’s Logistics Services operations at the Port of Long Beach to be run on 100% renewable energy, while also fueling all Toyota fuel cell vehicles coming through the Port. Toyota has already built “one of the largest hydrogen fueling stations in the world” at the facility, and the Tri-Gen power plant will presumably feed into that system.

“In most states, you have a conventional natural gas pipeline network that provides heat for your stove or furnace. The majority of natural gas comes from drilling for well gases. We’re trying to green up this process. One way is to find renewable sources, like from gases emitted from landfills, wastewater treatment plants and farm animals.” – Matt McClory, senior engineer with Toyota research and development, via USA Today

Although Tesla is getting a lot of press about its forthcoming electric semi truck, Toyota also has its hands in the mix, but its “Project Portal” class 8 truck is based on (wait for it…) hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company will be testing out these heavy duty short-haulers in and around the Port of Long Beach, in which case having its own hydrogen generation facility makes a lot of sense.

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Russia ready to help Japan clean up Fukushima disaster

“Different options of such cooperation were discussed,” he said, adding that no specific decisions have been made so far.

In September, Rosatom offered its services to Japan to assist in cleaning up at the Fukushima NPP and in decommissioning other unsafe nuclear power plants.

That followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia and Japan will start joint efforts to clean up after the accident.

The countries’ “cooperation in the sphere of the peaceful atom has been growing, and we expect that by the end of the year we will announce joint projects to eliminate the consequences of the Fukushima meltdown,” Putin said after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Eastern Economic Forum. The two leaders agreed to exchange information on experiments to get rid of nuclear waste.

The decommissioning of the wrecked Fukushima reactors could take several decades and cost $200 billion. Japan plans to restart 16 out of 45 Fukushima-type reactors, while the others will be mothballed. The country intends to reduce the share of nuclear energy from 29 percent in 2011 to 21-22 percent by 2030.

The accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant occurred in March 2011 when a massive tsunami triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake overwhelmed the reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan. It caused reactor meltdowns, releasing radiation in the most dangerous nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

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