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Going Green : )

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Going Green : )

Post by Michelle Heffner on Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:25 am

Hi All,

So, recently I have been becoming more and more interested in living as low impact as possible.

I was wondering if there are other face painters out there who are on the same path as I am.

My first step as a "greener" artist- I made 2 large orders for supplies that I needed and I asked the stores that were shipping to please send my orders with recycled/repurposed packing material and to eliminate as much excess plastic as possible.

SillyFarm was a bit hesitant to agree to my request, but they said they would try. I will see when the package arrives : )

Anna at JestPaint had already packed and shipped the order by the time I asked, but she thought it was a lovely idea. I will have to remember to put that type of note in all my future orders (though it will probably be a while!).

So, anyone else?

~Michelle Heffner
Bright & Shining Face Painting
Columbia, MD
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:42 am

Frankly, I'd rather have my stuff arrive intact and unbroken. I can recycle the packing materials myself! Most shipments I have received usually are packed with recycled material anyway.

I re-use containers - I wash and save all make-up containers to re-use. I wash and sterilize the applicator wands from used mascara and eyeliners to use again as single use applicators. Pump hairspray bottles are cleaned out and reused as water spritzers for hair styling. Ice cream buckets are sponge buckets, lids of plastic containers become palette trays, cream cheese containers are soap dishes, Ferrero Roche boxes become storage containers for hair pins and other small items, Q-tip boxes have been made into a shelf storage unit of little labelled drawers - stacked 4-5 high on each shelf of a unit, attached together in stacks with packing tape (they are fantastic for all sorts of things like brushes, mascara, stipple sponges, lipsticks...etc.)

In my house we recycle everything - our "garbage" that we put out for pick-up is so minimal that we usually only put out one small half full bag every two weeks and that's only because it is starting to smell!

We Freecycle large items (furniture, television, etc.) and also take/donate all good condition items that we can carry to Goodwill.

Our landscaping is all recycled building materials - we go to the local building recycling depot and collect broken paving stones and bricks (they like us cause we take away the little bits!)

We don't use household cleaners (we use vinegar) and no scented crap or air fresheners (like Febreeze which is just poison!)

We try hard to avoid purchasing over packaged food and support local producers as much as possible... we would love to do the 100 mile thing and only use what is grown within 100 miles but up here...it just isn't possible as in the winter there isn't any produce!!

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:46 pm

Yea...I'm into low impact living, as much as possible.

I do cloth diapers and wipes, use bio friendly cleaning products. Usually that means Baking Soda and Vinegar...and the more friendly dish soap detergents. It depends on the stuff I'm trying to clean! It can cost way less, or way more depending on what you buy or are willing to live with.

I buy bulk grains and grind my own flours and stuff...I do alot of baking. My freezer has 'whole chickens, roasts, etc'. The only 'containers' in there are usually the ice cream cartons. They are cardboard at least! We sometimes buy bulk boxes of corn dogs (I hate them and won't cook them...so I buy these for the boys).

For a family of '6' living here...we usually put out one garbage bag a week. If I could 'burn' stuff that's burnable..it'd be even less. I donate to good will and the local Veteran's groups alot and stuff gets used.

I make herbal teas and drinks in glass 'one gallon jugs' to keep in the fridge. We usually avoid sodas unless we have company. We don't do the 'pre packaged meal' thing...so there is very little waste or packaging.

I just planted 9 fruit trees, a grape arbor and a few berry bushes. I love canning our own jams and jellies. I can barely wait until they are big enough to produce! I'm planting a small garden this year and now that the boys are big enough to help me...I'm excited to do this with them! We have a 1/3 acre lot, it's just big enough to do some small scale planting on.

I've got a window seal filled with the 'starts' of 3 different types of tomatoes, cilantro, basil, thyme, lemon balm, mint, oregano and strawberries. It's just really cold here still. I can't put them in the ground until around Mother's Day.

On and off I brew my own kombucha and kefir. I make yogurt when the 'craving hits'. Very Happy

As far as 'shipping' stuff...I've noticed that alot of companies ship in plain ol paper or peanuts lately. I'm saving the peanuts to stuff a homemade bean bag chair with! If they can afford to 'go green' cool...if not, I can take the materials to a recycle center myself. Luckily we have several close by. Our disposal service does 'sorting' as well...it costs more than the other guys...but I like that they are small and local and do recycle sorting.

I'd love a solar electric car!! That's about the only thing that is still 'high impact'. However, we usually drive so little, it's not such a big deal as my husband works from home and I'm here too, unless I have shopping or a 'gig' to do! I am looking forward to the day when my boys are all old enough to safely drive bicycles with me to the grocery store and back!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by AngieAnders on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:52 pm

We grow some of our own food - plums, grapes, spinach, strawberries, and hopefully a veggie garden this year. We compost as much as possible and use that in our gardens. We drive cars that are as fuel efficient as possible to still serve our needs. That's about it for us!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:30 pm

Since we moved north we have tried to garden but our growing season is only 90 days!! And the soil in our yard is crap, and not the good kind of crap! We have been adding in compost and topsoil for the last three years and still can't get anything to really grow in the backyard garden plot - a large patch that was used by previous owners as a veggie garden. The house is almost 50 and we think that the people we bought it from contaminated the garden patch as we had to haul out masses of garbage from back there...

We did manage to get beets and carrots though - we planted them in the trench created when we had to have our sewer line replaced, we had backfilled over the slump with good soil and as it is taking years to sod up we planted the root veggies there... and they were great. We still have pickled beets in the fridge.

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:26 pm

I'm going to try a new trick I just learned. You buy big bags of potting soil...garden soil..etc. You cut drain holes in the bottom and then cut out a top rectangle to expose the soil. You lay them on the ground and plant whatever you want in them. Not only does it 'kill' any weeds or stuff under the bag, but it allows your plants to grow weed free basically! It's like raised bed gardening without having to build the raised bed!

Then once you have harvested your stuff..you rip up the plastic and mulch everything into the soil. It will eventually enrich your soil. Makes for easy 'no dig' gardening!

You'd probably want several bags of soil to do this. We have a short season here too. I'm going to build a cold frame and start delicate lettuces and stuff and then move the 'cold frame' once it's warm. If it gets cold early and you still have stuff growing, you can put the cold frame back around it to extend the harvest.

What I'd REALLY love is a big ol greenhouse to grow year round!

Beets sound yummy! I love red beets!

My big experiment will be two fig trees I planed in big pots. I will leave them out this summer and then move them into the garage to 'winter' over. I love figs, but we are zone 5 (sometimes it's closer to zone 4 with big snows and eary and late frosts). So I've got my fingers crossed!!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:48 pm

I had a greenhouse when we lived on the coast... my BIL built it for me from construction waste - it was glass!!!

I started my own tomatos, basil, geraniums.... all sorts of things. My garden was huge there...with a pond with bog plants, raised beds, trellises... I had strawberries, blueberries, apples, huge herb garden, roses and all sorts of climbers, veggies of every sort... I really still miss it. We used to be able to harvest pea shoots and lettuce in February... now we can't even plant until June!!

I used to grow garlic and we had so much we would take over the two car garage to lay it all out to cure and then braid them - everyone we knew had garlic braids to hang in their homes! Completely vampire free zone!

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:54 pm

Oh that sounds beautiful Shannon! Very Happy

I found a design on how to build a greenhouse online. I'm goint to try to 'wrangle' my dad into helping me build one!

I grew up in Texas on a farm...I miss our garden, the chickens and ducks we raised for eggs and the sheep and horses and all that! Of course, when I was a pre teen and was having to get up before school and tend the animals and then again after school...I didn't like it too much then!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:38 pm

Very Happy Yeah as a kid I loathed weeding mom's garden on the farm.. And I really grew to dislike duck and goose eggs - too rich. Chicken eggs were okay but you sometimes got to the too late...gross!!!

Now it's fun to dig in the dirt and find worms!!

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:01 pm

ROFL...erm...we carried a flash light with us and NEVER touched eggs that had been 'hidden' by the chickens and ducks....we had lots of 'babies' that way!

If the egg looked clear with the flashlight behind it...and it was in the 'roost boxes' that were empty the day before..we brought them in!

I think we had Angel Food Cake at least once a week! They were coming out our ears! Finally mom started selling them. Very Happy

The Duck eggs were good to cook with...one duck egg usually took the place of 2-3 normal eggs!

It sounds like we grew up similar! Ahh...the 'not so good' ol days...well, mostly they were good, just not all the hard manual labor!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:01 pm

We had a border collie that sat on the nests while the chickens were out foraging. I have a photo of her and a hen sharing a roost in the barn. She also ate eggs, but not the ones she was sitting on!

We tried to turn her off them by filling empty eggs with tabasco sauce... turned out she liked Mexican food! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by cassandra on Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:17 am

Ha! Mexican!

We have chickens, guineas, peacocks, and cows. My dog gets the guinea eggs with his dogfood for breakfast every morning. We give the extra chicken eggs away to friends and family. Lots of them.

My dog chases the guineas for sport. He is a beautiful, 103 lb white german shepherd and I love him dearly in spite of how much he sheds. His name is Zack but my husband calls him Cujo... you Steven King fans will recognize that name. That was actually a decent movie.

I am going to be getting a greenhouse eventually. I have the sidewalk that leads to my future greenhouse. We had it poured when the garage was poured. I am hesitating to get it because I'm not sure how much time I will be able to spend using it at this point in my life.

FIGS! I love figs! Unfortunately you can't get them where I live very often. I would love to grow them along with cherimoyas and papayas. But somehow I wound up in Illinois. Go figure.

I've had a koi pond up until this year. They crop dust very close to our house and it kills the beneficial algae that grows on the sides of the pond so no more koi pond. I had some whoppers. Maybe now that I won't be spending so much time messing with the pond I will have time for the greenhouse.

We always grow tomatoes and last year I grew brussel sprouts. Love them. One year I grew all kinds of big long necked gourds. I dried them and strung them all together (like a braid) and hung them from the trees. They made awesome yard ornaments.

I have a compost pile that should have some nice compost by now. Now I just have to find the time.
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by cassandra on Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:40 am

Heather it sounds like you and I are interested in a lot of the same things. I also grind my own flour and make my own bread. I'm very much into the Artesan Bread in Five Minutes book right now. I used to keep a sourdough starter but don't anymore.

Last year I made dandelion jelly and everyone loved it. The lilac jelly wasn't such a hit.

I tried the kefir but stopped because of the feedings and waste. I couldn't drink it all myself and my husband doesn't like it. Haven't tried kombucha.

Another way I've gone green is by using a diva cup. Probably TMI but hey, it's very green! Smile
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by allparties on Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:08 am

Shannon I would love to see some pictures of your yard. This year I am wanting to take up most of the front lawn and plant shrubs, succulents etc.
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:26 am

My old yard with the great garden or my boring northern dead grass one with the snow melting off? Laughing

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by glendaoneill on Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:57 pm

We started growing our own veg and it really encouraged my kids to eat them. I also ate more as they were close to hand. The flavour is far superior to that you can buy in the supermarket. I'm going to start my tomato seeds soon for planting out in May. I wish I could give up more of the garden to growing veg but with 3 kids and 2 dogs I need grass too.
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:04 am

Cassandra!

OMG...I made Dandilion Jelly (a huge batch, what a pita to pick them all and keep any green stems out!!!) and it's almost gone now. Most of the family devored it. I pick 'wild' crabapples every fall and make jelly and crabapple butter every year too! Very Happy I've done strawberry, blueberry and many variations of those fruits. I'm excited to have a peach tree...as peach/strawberry is to die for and I still remember my grandmother's homemade fig jam! Yummy!! Very Happy

I have a Whisper Mill grinder atm...but it's electric. I have a small hand held, but am saving up for a Country Living Grain Mill with all the auger attachments, since you need it for beans and corn...they make awesome fresh breads too, mixed in with some wheat flour!

The Kombucha is fairly easy, as you only 'tend' it once a week or so. The kefir grains (I had living grains) do tend to take ALOT of attention! I had the coveted 'water kefir grains' too...but let them die off as I could only drink so many fermented beverages! I usually made 'kefir cream cheese' with the excess. It's awesome spread on toast! I might start back up now that my children are bigger and not competing for my time!

On the TMI front...I have two Divas, two Keepers and a bag full of Sea Pearls. I'm liking the Sea Pearls..no leaks and they are SO Much more comfortable!! I also sew my own 'Pretty Pads'. I'm working on a 'thong model' that is just a back up to the Diva/Keeper. I even made my own post partum stuff and even delivered my last son at home. I had midwives but told them to 'stand back' and let me do it all by myself. To tell you the truth, that last delivery was the easiest and most memorable experience...no pushy nurses fiddling around with me and bugging me when I'd get 'in the groove' and be just coasting along...It was a 'gravity assisted' two push delivery. No complications and easy peasy! It was so 'relaxed' and quiet, that my other two sons and husband were sound asleep in the bedroom right next to me! I woke them up after the baby was delivered and we were doing the Apgar checks.

I used to be a moderator at Mothering.com and so I'm in to alot of 'natural, green and 'earthy' things. I had to leave because it was taking up too much of my time to actually be out doing the things I wrote about! hehe


Ok, enough reminiscing! I need to get the day started. Putting on sourdough for pizza!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:11 am

Okay... Um, I'm assuming the TMI stuff you are talking about are ...um... feminine hygeine items??? Yeah...that's TMI!!!

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:01 pm

Oh Shannon..you were the one that mentioned that if you were on 'Facepainter Survival Island' that there were 'other' uses for sponges! hehe!

;p
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by AngieAnders on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:08 pm

Heather Timmons wrote:Oh Shannon..you were the one that mentioned that if you were on 'Facepainter Survival Island' that there were 'other' uses for sponges! hehe!

;p

Hahaa!!! (Though I agree, it really is TMI. LOL)

(Though I heard it was a great hygiene method.) Embarassed
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by cassandra on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:05 pm

Sorry all! Some people are more easily embarassed than others. Laughing

It's good to know about alternatives. Thanks to Heather and Google, I know what Sea Pearls are now. Thanks Heather. You are Super Green Woman!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Jessica Hicklin on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:09 pm

Sea Pearls.....wow. You learn something new everyday!
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Heather Timmons on Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:55 pm

I think it's one area that we can all 'go green'...tons of landfill wasted in hygiene products for women and babies...plus...the chemicals in some of 'those' products would make you affraid if you really knew. Talk about toxic to the system!

Many women don't have 'moms' that will inform them, cause most of them don't realize it either! It's a 'soap box' issue for me. Very Happy But I"ll refrain from getting too 'sudsy' here! Very Happy
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Re: Going Green : )

Post by Guest on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:37 pm

"Sea pearl" who thought that name up??? Rolling Eyes

Yeah... I remember I did mention that didn't I? Very Happy

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Re: Going Green : )

Post by WyndyO on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:10 pm

Heather- You are always teaching us something new and expanding our horizons. Being born and raised in California, I would think I would have heard of these before. Call me - "more enlightened". ha ha ha!
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