• 18Mar
  • 02Jan



    1. Vodka, it’s not just for happy hour!

    You can also clean your porcelain, glass and chrome fixtures with this natural disinfectant. A bottle of cheap vodka and a clean cloth will have your surfaces shining like new and don’t worry, the smell dissipates as it dries so your house won’t smell like a brewery. Simply spritz some on and wipe it off.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    2. It works on your clothes too!

    The alcohol in vodka kills odor causing bacteria which can cling to clothes that might need more of a freshening as opposed to a complete wash. Simply put some in a spray bottle and lightly spritz your garment (making sure to spot test the cloth first if you’re worried that it might not be a color safe material). The vodka doesn’t leave a scent when dry and eliminates the need for unnecessary loads of laundry.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    3. Not really interested in dropping by the liquor store for cleaning supplies? This all-purpose cleaner recipe is your best buddy

    This is perfect for cleaning your environment without harming it…see what we did there? This can be used on virtually any surface (remember to spot check) and tailored to the aromas you like best, so get creative with those oils. Lemon, lavender, orange, pine and verbena are awesome options, but the sky is the limit!

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    4. We sure aren’t salty about how awesome a little NaCl is for cleaning up tough messes

    If you need something a bit more abrasive, but would rather avoid Comet and it’s 146 chemical additives, you need look no further than good old salt. A sprinkle on an oven spill before it hardens, in the bottom of a cast iron pan with a bit of water so it forms a paste or in the bottom of your coffee maker can help to gently remove caked on residue. You can also mix it in with some baking soda and borax for an all purpose cleaner when you need a bit more oomph, like for tough bathtub or toilet rings. Simply smear on, scrub and rinse.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks


    5. See your reflection in your stainless appliances, without scary additives

    Stainless steel refrigerators, dish washers and ovens are very popular these days. Even coffee makers and toasters come in this finish! But, anyone who has them knows that they show every little thumb print and water fleck. Commercial polishes often include monoethanolamine, which is corrosive to the skin, can cause respiratory problems and is even a potential neurotoxin . Bring it back to a shine with this instead! Just be sure to use a micro-fiber cloth, go with the grain of your appliance and wipe the vinegar solution right away.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    6. De-gunk your cooktop the natural way

    Did you get a little overzealous with your bean soup and have the burnt on spot on your glass or ceramic cooktop to prove it? Avoid buying the expensive (and chemical laden) ceramic cooktop polish and whip this up instead! First, scrape the spot (carefully!) with the flat edge of a razor blade to remove anything chunky. Next, sprinkle the area with a liberal dose of baking soda and then spray the whole thing down with two parts water and one part vinegar (your all-purpose cleaner from above is great here too.) Let it sit anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on just how crazy dinner got last night. You can even cover everything with a warm, damp towel to help loosen the grit. Then merely wipe the residue away, using more cleaner if the baking soda residue wants to be stubborn.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    7. Get that pine-ariffic smell for your floors, without all it’s toxic buddies

    This recipe not only works just as well to get your floor squeaky clean, it has the pine fresh scent that proponents of Pine-sol know and love! Except, without all that pesky  toluene, which has been linked to birth defects, hormonal imbalances, cardiac arrhythmia and even depression.

    8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks


    8. While you’re in the market for stuff to do with those awesome essential oils you bought

    Use them to freshen the air without scary propellents. A few drops of your favorite essential oil in the inside of your toilet paper’s cardboard roll will release a fresh scent with each turn of the paper. A little eucalyptus oil mixed with water in a bottle sprayed on shower walls helps make your bathroom smell great as well as opens up airways when the water gets steamy.

      8 Super-Easy Natural and Eco-Friendly DIY Home Cleaning Hacks

    Lead Image Credit: Fox News Magazine

  • 21Nov


    home-made fabric softener
    3 c. water
    1 1/2 c. white vinegar
    essential oil/fragrance
    Stop here for chemical free. Or add cheap hair conditioner – 1 cup. Whisk very well and pour into a jar.
  • 02Oct

    Do you want to make your own protein powder instead of buying the pre-made stuff? That’s awesome, because it’s actually so easy! I won’t lie – I’m a real die-hard fan of clean, vegan protein powders. In fact, I love one brand so much that I have six month’s worth stocked up in my fridge – I’m not even kidding. As someone who’s not too fond of beans or grains, and someone that likes healthy things that are quick and easy to use and make, I find that a clean, vegan protein powder helps fill in the gaps to make me feel and look my best. However, I understand some people want a do-it-yourself option, which is why I thought I’d share a recipe with you that I made about a year ago for my own DIY protein powder.

    This recipe is really a mistake that happened by chance when I had an abundance of ingredients running out of my fridge and a mental need to do something with them. (I can’t stand having perfectly healthy superfoods and vegan ingredients go to waste.) So, I took nothing more than some of my overflowing stock of mason jars and started adding ingredients in them to make my own protein mix. What I came up with isn’t only a great way to use up ingredients, but also gives you a way to customize your own flavors and protein powder bases at home.

    Just keep in mind that you’ll need some BPA-free containers like mason jars or other jars to hold your powders in. If you’re not afraid of using plastic baggies, those can work, too. Get creative with these and try a new one out each day to see what you like best.

    Here are some key ingredients you’ll need to get started with:

    A High Protein Base

    First, select one of the following, which all have a high protein content in a relatively small serving:

    • two tablespoons chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder or 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
    • 1/4 cup sprouted brown rice powder
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin seed protein powder
    • 1/3 cup pea protein powder
    • 1/4 cup raw flax seeds (ground)

    All of these have anywhere from 8-16 grams of protein per serving. You can always use more than one to increase that ratio even more.


    You can also add in any of the following to increase the protein content, since these all have extra amino acids (which are easy to get on a vegan diet):

    • spirulina (4 grams per teaspoon)
    • cacao (10 grams per ounce)
    • maca (5 grams per two tablespoons)
    • oats (5 grams per 1/3 cup rolled)
    • pumpkin seeds (7 grams per 1/4 cup)
    • almonds (7 grams per 1/4 cup)
    • quinoa flakes (5 grams per 1/4 cup)
    • coconut flour (6 grams per 1/4 cup)
    • sunflower seeds (7 grams per 1/4 cup)


    Now it’s time to add some flavor and nutrition with some especially awesome superfoods. Some of these are repeated from above, in case you didn’t use them. If you did, don’t feel the need to repeat them, however, do feel free to use more than one of these if you wish (I always do!) Here are some of my favorites:

    • raw vanilla bean powder (1/2 teaspoon)
    • cocoa powder or raw cacao powder ( 1 tablespoon)
    • maca powder (1 teaspoon)-adds a caramel like flavor
    • mesquite powder (1 teaspoon- adds a smokey, maple flavor)
    • lucuma-  (1 teaspoon – adds a maple, vanilla flavor)
    • acai powder (1 teaspoon- for extra nutrition and a chocolate-berry taste)
    • goji (1 teaspoon -for extra nutrition and a tart taste)
    • cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon)
    • ginger (1/4 teaspoon)
    • stevia powder (1 teaspoon)
    • green superfood powder of choice (1 serving)

    Just add any of more than one of these to each jar to customize your powder and come up with new flavors so you never get bored. You’ll find the perfect protein powder for you and won’t ever have to buy any again, unless you just want to.


    Are you wondering why protein is important to begin with? Check out this body builder’s perspective and how to get enough on a vegan diet. 

    Also, to find out the calorie content of your protein powder, plug the ingredients into a handy online tool known as Cronometer, or feel free to add them up according to the serving sizes on the nutrition panel of each ingredient according to what you use.

    How to Use Your Protein Powder

    The easiest way to use your protein powder is in a smoothie, but here are some other ideas if you’re looking for more options:

  • 01Jun


    1. DIY All-Natural Powdered Detergent

    This great DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent uses only five ingredients and makes clean, fresh smelling laundry!  For this mix, you need some washing soda, Borax, soap (castile soap works well), a spot remover, and baking soda. It does contain Borax, so if you are sensitive to it, try one of the Super Basic recipes below.

    2. Super Basic Powdered Detergent

    This is bare bones powdered detergent at it’s best! Clean, fresh smelling clothes and simple ingredients. This recipe cleans 15 to 20 loads, but can easily be increased. You’ll need 1 bars of castile soap, grated and 3 cups washing soda (if you can’t find it, don’t fret —  you can make your own washing soda out of plain old baking soda!). Combine ingredients in a food processor until grainy. Store in an airtight container and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of detergent per wash load.

    3. Super Basic Liquid Detergent

    If you’re not a fan of powdered detergent, you don’t have to be left out of the DIY laundry loop! Here’s how to swap powdered for liquid: 3/4 cup liquid castile soap plus 1 cup washing soda Pour the washing soda into a bucket and cover with hot water. Stir until the soda is dissolved and then slowly add in the liquid castile soap. Using a funnel, pour the liquid detergent into recycled bottles or mason jars. This recipe also cleans between 15 to 20 loads, using 2 to 3 tablespoons per wash. Gently slosh the mixture around before using to combine if it has separated.

    Both the “Super Basic” recipes can be easily modified to suit your laundry needs: add a few drops of essential oil with each load for fragrance (lemon is nice smelling and can also work to remove stains and grease).

    Some other tips for your new DIY laundry regime include pouring a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser to further disinfect and soften clothes. For whites, try adding 1/2 cup of peroxide to the bleach dispenser to brighten whites and remove protein stains.

  • 01Jun


    1. Rosehip & Carrot Seed Facial Serum

    You’ve likely heard the term Retinol tossed around in skincare advertisements. That’s because retinol is a form of Vitamin A, which is highly antioxidant, great at repairing damaged tissue, and reducing scars and wrinkles. Rosehip seed oil is especially high in retinol, as well as omega fatty acids, and the potent antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene.

    Carrot seed oil is packed with vitamins and nutrients, most important of which are carotenoids. Carotenoids can boost the body’s immune response to UV rays, which makes it excellent at preventing sun damage. Carrot seed oil also detoxifies and stimulates the rejuvenation of cells.

    This great recipe combines both these amazing oils to create a fantastic moisturizing serum for mature, dry, or damaged skin.

    2. Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

    This Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream recipe is thickened with beeswax, so if you choose not to use bee products, you can substitute with any of these natural waxes.  In addition to rosehip and carrot seed oils, this cream uses apricot kernel oil. Apricot kernel oil is high in gamma linoleum acid, which helps balance moisture levels in the skin. It’s also full of vitamins A & E; both super skin rejuvenating. It’s easily absorbed and non-greasy.

    3. Eczema Cream

    Worse than wrinkles are dry scaly patches caused by eczema! If you suffer from this common skin condition (or even if you don’t) you’ll love the hydrating and repairing power of this great DIY cream. It contains only four ingredients, one of which is geranium oil. Geranium oil is astringent, which means it tightens the skin, reducing sagging. In addition to stimulating cell regeneration, it’s antibacterial — great for those prone to acne!

    4. Coconut Whipped Body Butter

    Coconut oil is readily available and very popular right now because of its ample benefits to skin and body. It’s a natural, easily absorbed moisturizer that is solid at room temperature. Coconut oil can protect from free radicals and delays wrinkles and sagging skin. When whipped in a stand mixer, this delicious body butter is silky smooth, and can be used on the face as well as the body.

    Homemade Whipped Body Butter


    • 1 c. Pure Unrefined Shea Butter
    • 1 c. Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
    • 1 tbsp. Jojoba Oil (optional)
    • 2 tbsp. Vegetable Glycerin (optional)


    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. (Important to break up the chunks of shea butter to create smooth finished product).
    2. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool until it solidifies.
    3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk cooled mixture until it takes on a whipped consistency similar to whipped cream.
    4. Resist licking your fingers, it may look delicious, but I can promise it doesn’t taste so great.
    5. Spoon whipped butter into tubs or jars with a lid and store in a cool place. *This will become liquid again if it gets too warm.

    Feel free to try other oils or your favorite essential oils to create a scented body butter!

    5. Olive Oil Cleanser and Moisturizer

    Many natural oils can be used to clean skin as well as moisturize, as is the case with this simple Olive Oil Cleanser and Moisturizer recipe. And olive oil is highly anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for sensitive or acne riddled skin. It protects against free radicals, as well as having antimicrobial properties.

    All you need is:

    • cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
    • cold-pressed castor oil
    • small soft washcloth
    • some sort of small container (for storage)
    • I recommend only doing this once* per day and before bed so the oil can nurture your skin overnight and all the dirt and bacteria from your daily routine can be set free.
    • Pour some oil into your palms, rub together, and gently spread all over face.
    • Gently massage the oil soothingly into your face and pores for about a minute or so
    • Take the washcloth and drench it with warm, steamy water and place over your face. Not too hot! Comfortably hot, so that when you put it to your face you can feel the steam entering your pores. (Cold water will not open your pores, thus fail to let out impurities.)
    • Leave the washcloth on until it becomes cool again.
    • Gently wipe off the oils on your face with the washcloth and rinse the cloth in hot water.
    • Repeat if you’d wish, if not simply pat your face with a clean, soft, and dry towel.
    • If your skin is a bit dry, massage a few drops of olive oil into your skin. This is what I do. Note: olive oil can stay and be absorbed on your skin, castor should not.
    • Adding some essential oils beneficial to the skin, such as lavender or tea tree, would add some benefits as well! A little goes a long way…
    • Store your oil container in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a cabinet.

    *Take note: doing this more than once per day or even daily may cause dryness for those with sensitive skin. No worries! Just make sure to skip a day or so (whatever works for you) in between cleansing if this happens. Massage a bit of olive oil into your skin if dryness occurs. I’ve found that doing this cleansing every few days is what works for me. I use solely olive oil to wash my face on the other days. Works great.

    You can use olive oil to moisturize your face, but also your body! The olive oil worked so well that it’s the only moisturizer I use now for all areas of my skin. My skin is so soft all the time. Even my feet!!!…

  • 17Feb

    Soak 1/4 c. sesame seeds in water.
    In blender, combine:
    1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
    Starting off with 1/8 cup water, add a little at a time, pulsing constantly until desired consistency. You can add sesame oil, or olive oil instead of water.

    Keeps in the refrigerator for about 5 days or more.

    Now use it to make your own salad dressing or hummus!

  • 20Oct

    She does it in glass pie plates with organic black sunflower seeds, makes it very easy. Soak overnight, lay in soil…


    Or even easier-The SproutPeople eat their’s right after soaking 1-2 hours!


    Seed Shelf Life?
    at 70° 1-2 years
    Seed To Sprout?
    in 1-2 days
    Sprout Shelf Life?
    1-2 weeks
    1.5 to 1

    How-To Video

    Sprouting Instructions

    Yields approximately 1 Cup (1/2 lb.) of Sprouts.

    Seed Prep
    Measure out 2/3 Cup of seed*
    Pick out anything you don’t think should be there (shell or plant pieces, imperfect seeds if you wish (we don’t), etc.).
    Rinse your seeds to remove dust or debris.
    Note: Sunnys tend to be a bit on the “dusty” side (it is a byproduct of the Hulling process) so rinse and rinse some more – until the water runs clear.

    Transfer your seeds into your Sprouter, or a bowl.
    Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water.
    Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.
    Allow seeds to Soak for 1/2-2 hours.
    We Soak for 30-60 minutes when growing these straight.
    We stop here when growing straight sunny sprouts. We eat our crop as Soaks.

    You can continue to grow your crop, but in our opinion they are at their best – when grown alone – just after their Soak. We eat them all within a few hours – they never even go into the fridge.
    If you insist on continuing, here is the method:

    Empty the seeds into your Sprouter (if necessary).
    Drain off the soak water.

    You can use it – it has nutrients in it.

    Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water.
    Drain thoroughly.

    Set your Sprouter anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.
    This is where your sprouts do their growing. We use a counter top – in the corner of our kitchen, but where the sprouter won’t get knocked over by cats, dogs, kids or us.
    We don’t mind the indirect sunlight or the 150 watts of incandescent light, because light just does not matter much.
    A plant can only perform photosynthesis when it has leaves, and these sprouts are definitely not going to have leaves. Until a plant has leaves, light has little if any effect. Sprouts also happen to like air-circulation, so don’t hide your sprouts.

    Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.
    And, perhaps one more…
    Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.

    We stop here. There is no real point in sprouting further.
    These sprouts are not intended to germinate fully. At most their germ is meant to bulge – but don’t try to grow a root. That is why they are called Soaks.

    As always, we suggest that you taste your crop at Every Rinse – including the very first – just after the Soak period. The soaked seeds are already alive and are now super-nutritious – and – they now have no enzyme inhibitors (a very good thing indeed) so they’ll digest themselves and nourish you.

    Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final Rinse.
    Be sure – if you plan on storing your crop – to Drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final Rinse.
    The goal during the final 8-12 hours is to minimize the surface moisture of your sprouts – they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch.

    Transfer your sprout crop to a plastic bag, our shelf life extending Produce Storage Bags, or the sealed container of your choice (glass is good too).
    Whatever you choose – put them in your refrigerator – if you can keep from eating them all first.

    *Seed to Use
    If using Sproutpeople’s Single Harvest Pack – use the whole bag.

    These seeds will yield approximately 1.5:1 (you get 1.5 pounds for every pound of dry seed), so in theory you can start with up to as 2/3 as much dry seed as your Sprouter has capacity.
    We generally advise maxing out at 1/2 capacity, until you get used to growing a particular crop.

  • 22Aug

    The Cheap Vegetable Gardener

    How to make picklesPosted: 21 Aug 2013 07:11 PM PDT

    The post How to make pickles appeared first on The Cheap Vegetable Gardener.

    Step 3 Brine the Pickles-

     sweet/salty/spicy as well as some extra components to have a nice balanced flavor profile.  Simply add the ingredients to a 1 quart mason jar, give it a little shake, then add your cucumbers.  Secure the lid of the jar and give the jar another shake and place in your refrigerator.

    My Pickle Brine

    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 cup water (or enough to cover the pickles)
    • 3 T rawbsugar (artificial sweetener works here)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp dill
    • 1/4 tsp pepper flakes
    • 1/4 tsp cloves
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp coriander
    • 1/4 tsp mustard seed
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper

    Step 4: Wait. This can be the hardest part, you need to wait at least 3 days for your pickles to brine, possible a couple of days more if you needed to add much more than 1 cup of water to cover your cucumbers.

    As more cucumbers come in you can simply add them to the jar and have a non-stop supply of incoming snacks…at least until the end of summer.

    For something a little more traditional you can also try the following:

    Alton Brown’s Dill Pickle Brine

    • 5 1/2 ounces pickling salt, approximately 1/2 cup
    • 1 gallon filtered water
    • 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches long
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon dill seed
    • 1 large bunch dill

    Directions: Same process as above though probably going to have to wait 6-7 days before your pickles are ready and are good for about 2 months.

  • 11Jul

    Natural Insect Repellent Recipe
    How to Make Natural Insect Repellent


    By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Guide
    See More About:

    * insect repellents
    * insecticides
    * insects
    * mosquito repellents
    * oils

    “In addition to preventing itchy bites, insect repellents can keep you safe from diseases.”

    In addition to preventing itchy bites, insect repellents can help keep you safe from insect-borne diseases.
    Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images
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    You can make natural insect repellent yourself. The insect repellent is safe and effective, plus it costs much less to make it than to buy it.

    There are a few different formulations you can make for your natural insect repellent. These repellents involve diluting essential oils that the insects find distasteful or which confuses them. The oils don’t mix with water, so you’ll need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It’s important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. Also, don’t go overboard with the essential oils. The oils are potent and could cause skin irritation or another reaction if you use too much. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not apply an insect repellent, natural or otherwise, until after you’ve gotten it cleared by your physician.
    Natural Insect Repellent Ingredients
    Different insects are repelled by different chemicals, so you’ll get a more effective repellent if you combine a few different insect-repelling natural oils. If you are making large amounts of insect repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it’s 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol. For a smaller batch use:

    * 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
    * 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

    The essential oils that work well against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:

    * cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)
    * lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)
    * citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)
    * castor oil (mosquitoes)
    * orange oil (fleas)
    * rose geranium (ticks and lice)

    Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

    * olive oil
    * sunflower oil
    * any other cooking oil
    * witch hazel
    * vodka

    Natural Insect Repellent Recipe
    Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You’ll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight. If you wish, you may combine the oil with aloe vera gel to change the consistency of the product.
    More About Natural Insect Repellents

    * Natural Mosquito Repellents
    * Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe