Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Appreciate Hot Water

DAY 211

If this was "Use No Hot Water" Month, I'd be stylin'! My water heater is DONE (it is 21 years old, so I guess that is about right) so now I have to get a new one...grr...I will be adding $359 to my Nothing New Fund! Not a very exciting expenditure but...

So it was "Pioneer Day" here today and my "shower" only required two big pots of hot, hot water, diluted with some cold - it was more than enough! Interesting - I am sure I use too much water in the shower - I will start turning it off during sudsing to save more water (TMI, sorry). I do already pay attention and turn the faucet off during teeth brushing...good for me but I can do more I am sure...hmmmm.

I also cleaned out my gutters today which has nothing to do with Nothing New - I just want to brag that I did not bleed or fall during the entire experience. In the Spring, I will explore new gutters - my gutter "system" is probably not as efficient as it could be. Now, I just have to get through the rest of fall - once winter hits I don't have to worry about leaves and junk in the gutters. As luck would have it, it rained during this fascinating, joy-filled homeowner event - not a big rain, thankfully. The one cool thing in this particular housework was revisiting a solid memory of my Dad being out in torrential downpours, on the ladder, scooping "stuff" out of the gutters...he was here with me today! He was a last minute guy on these kinds of things - I come from good stock :)

Back to laundry detergent...I did find out from Kathy at Wegman's (nice, smart and very helpful) that their "Free" brand is not tested on animals, is plant-based (not made from petroleum) and even though they cannot officially say the product is "all natural" it is a pretty good product. If anyone has information otherwise, let me know! I prefer the lower price point of the store brand AND I want to have a lower impact on the environment. It's all about balance.

More to come - next month is building on the HB products as I go natural with cosmetics -I will not forgo makeup entirely - that would be SKARIE - just want to find more recyclable packaging, made in USA etc.

Bye for now - have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sugar - Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

DAY 209


First, an update on natural cleaning products from September's Motivation Month - Wegman's Advance store brand Free of Dyes and Perfumes Laundry Soap - no phosphorus, has biodegradable ingredients AND cost about a third of what the 7th Generation brand does...good. I was contemplating alternatives to the $8 jug I finished up yesterday (lasted 2 months) as I was washing my reusable grocery bags. Every dollar saved helps, right? But....I just compared the two bottles directly and I realized I did not check the Wegman's brand for No Animal Testing and plant-based surfactants vs petroleum based. Maybe that's why the natural stuff costs so much - grrr. Almost back to Square One with this - will advise...

Most exciting news - I made a sugar scrub for the shower with mild olive oil, shite sugar and a few drops of peppermint oil (from Young Living http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/index.html - many natural food stores carry essential oils as well). Note to self (and to you) - less is more with the peppermint oil...unless you really like feeling cold for about 10 minutes after the shower - super refreshed and wide awake! Oh and do not put the peppermint oil anywhere near your eyeballs...not that I actually did that, well OK, not intentionally...I'm just saying, be careful :)

More to follow as I ponder making my own cleansers...oatmeal, olive oil, brown sugar....hmmmmm.

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Friday, October 22, 2010

Up to Date...Yogurt Cups!

DAY 207

Flash forward from October 5 - too much time has gone by! Hope you are all well...

Quick update: I have been using some Body Shop face/skin care...seems great but....made in France! Not that there's anything wrong with France...just too far for my Natrulift Softening Cream Cleanser with Pomegranate to travel...will keep searching :)

My new toothbrush is made from yogurt cups, cost $2.99 and was made in the USA - yay! Made by a cool company called Preserve Products in Cortland, NY! It comes in a package that doubles as a mailer ready with address label (Mail Back Pack) to ship the toothbrush back to them to be recycled again...love it! Check it out:


They even offer a "toothbrush subscription" to automatically get a new toothbrush every three months...clever!

The best thing? They accept #5 containers that most communities do not (#1s and #2s are most common)....this is from their website on their "Gimme 5" Program:

"Finally, a recycling solution for your yogurt cups, hummus tubs and other #5 plastic containers! If you’re serious about recycling, you know that most communities don’t accept these common containers for recycling. There’s not enough money in it for them to make it work. And those communities that do accept #5s are generally forced (by poor economics) into bundling them with other plastics to form a mixed plastic bale. This mixed plastic bale is of low value and is often shipped overseas to an unknown end of life."

Sign me up! Turns out everything is related...my Motivation Month of "No Plastic" overlaps here for sure...interesting, not surprising and ever-challenging!

More to come on plastic and my search for the ultimate natural HB products...

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


DAY 190...flashback (October 5, 2010)

Just over half way through my year of (Mostly) Nothing New - woot!

Before I go any futher - correction to a link posted for Wendy Thomas's Blog - thanks for noting that Jenn!


Had some great conversations over the past few days at a conference with people who are managing their own worlds of de-cluttering, letting go, living in the "right-size" spaces and general life-greening...more on that later...

Back to natural/green/responsible HB (Health and Beauty) products..thought I would revisit the Body Shop (Marketplace Mall in Rochester :) and their latest. I use to work at this store and loved it...great products not tested on animals, attention to recyclable packaging, community trade/fair trade ingredients and global campaigns to raise awareness on important issues such as human rights, protecting the planet and self-esteem.

I'm quite sure most of their products are not made in the USA which is not ideal...I'll get the scoop and fill you in! I want to research certain ingredients too - I'm still concerned about the sudsing sulfates...not to the point of losing sleep...more of a "hmmmmmm" level of wondering what the impact may be on me, others, the environment, you know :)

Meanwhile check out the Body Shop website:


More later - will work on shorter more frequents posts - thank you Friends!

Have a nothing New Day! Kristin

Friday, October 1, 2010


DAY 186

New month! New challenge! I will be phasing out my current health and beauty aids to trade in for more natural, recyclable and greener goods...but first a few things to tidy up...

Back to food for a moment...I found a tasty non-soy, non-dairy energy bar with 5-6g of protein, not much but something anyway! Lara Bar - Cashew Cookie (good taste) and Cherry Pie (great taste)...yay! A little variety to my “have some almonds” approach to travel food with protein...Note to self (and you) – consider carefully, the “Two Moms in the Raw” bar from Starbucks...VERY raw – very natural, very rustic, very vegan, very organic, very gluten-free, VERY fiber-y...all good, just know that before purchasing...

More food: I made a peach pie today with a simple crust from scratch – gave it away so I sure hope it turned out OK! It took more time than taking a frozen crust out of the freezer but nice to know there were just four ingredients – flour, sugar, salt and butta :) Simple however does not mean easier!

Moving on...say hello to Wendy Thomas (Spencer’s Mom – he’s a student leader at Rivier College I met last year)...Wendy has trimmed her weekly grocery bill for a family of 8 (eight) to $140...yes, that’s right $140! Check out her blog http://www.simplethrift.wordpress.com/ and read about her methods, her family and her chickens! At a recent retreat, Spencer asked us “Who wants to see pictures of our family dressed as pirates with chickens on our shoulders?” Johnny Depp fans :) My answer was, “For sure!” and from there I learned more about Wendy and what they all do as a family to conserve, live simply and eat locally. Inspiring!

Finally, back to prior months...habits/learnings that have stuck...
1. Air drying as many items as possible vs running the dry for hours
2. Always bringing a travel mug, water bottle, and silverware (To Go Ware)
3. One light on at a time...home and hotel
4. A lot less TV (57 channels and nothing on a one of ‘em)
5. Donuts (and chocolate) are not good (bad, actually, very bad) for me

Oh and by the way, my June electric bill was ultra-low – I did not turn on any lights except the back porch light at night to keep the Boogey Man away and in my office the night my printer crashed. My June 2010 bill was $18.40 (May was $23.09, July was $33.81 and my June 2009 bill was $40.33 - nice) Our electric is really cheap in my town - our village has our own electric company overseen by a Municipal Commission and financed entirely by customer rates – excellent!

OK, so bring on the olive oil, oatmeal, sugar, and honey and land-fill friendly lids – I am going natural with my “beauty” regimen...this is going to be interesting! Hopefully in a good way....

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin