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Earth Pages

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Article ID: 11261

VoxAcct: 298947

Section: earth

Age Group: Adult

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Eco – Witch (Part I )

Author: Temple of The Green Cauldron
Posted: January 21st. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,896

With the inundation of various cleaning supplies on our supermarket shelves spouting claims like disposable and new and improved formula, it's hard not to fall into the trappings that claim to make our household cleaning and living easier. As a Witch, I feel it is my duty to the Goddess to take care of the earth and reverse some of the damage already done.

Some may say that one witch will make no difference, but I disagree. If I am Eco – friendly for the rest of my life, my results will be cumulative no matter how small. In addition to my results, I will have taught a whole new generation how to be gentle with our earth.

I will start by discussing ways to be Eco-friendly in our kitchens. Kitchens used to be the hub of the home. When neighbors stopped by a pot of tea was put on, soup shared and baking sent home with our guests. The community kitchen is not a new idea but one that is being reborn. Most towns have a community kitchen facility where groups of people get together and for a nominal cost prepare 4 -5 meals that can be frozen. Less packaging and energy are used when cooking in bulk, not to mention the money that can be saved. Check your community resources to see what is available in your town.

Cleaning our kitchen is a daily chore that most of us would like to do without, making the call of those disposable, new and improved products tempting. Keeping our kitchens clean and germ free doesn't have to be time consuming or hard on the environment.

Vinegar and baking soda are common household products that can be used for keeping our kitchens clean. Mixing 1 part vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle makes and excellent cleaner and if you wish, you can add a few drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil for added disinfectant and a pleasing smell. For harder to clean surfaces, sprinkle with baking soda and lightly spray with the vinegar and water solution and then put in a small amount of elbow grease.

Kitchen floors can be mopped with hot water, cup of vinegar, squirt of dishwashing soap. These ingredients are less harmful to pets and small children who are in constant contact with the floor. I fell into the consumer trap and bought one of those mops with the disposable pads but instead of continuing to purchase the pads, I made my own out of cotton cloth. These I can toss in the wash and reuse without a guilty conscience.

Oven clears are perhaps one of the worst commercial cleaning products because they are so corrosive and they create toxic fumes. Lining your oven with a disposable aluminum tray or foil is probably somewhat more environmentally friendly than using oven cleaner. An even better alternative would be to place a cookie sheet under foods that may potentially spill over. If a spill does occur, sprinkle it with household salt while the oven is still warm and wipe it away when cool.

Fridges consume a lot of energy to keep our food cold. We can help our fridges to run more effectively by keeping them uncluttered. The more stuff in the fridge, the less air circulation. Keeping food away from the sides and back of the fridge an inch or two will also help improve air circulation, therefore consuming less energy. To deodorize a fridge, try pouring fresh coffee grounds into the foot of a clean pair of pantyhose and place in the back of the fridge. This works better than the box of baking soda.

More cleaning products are purchased for our bathrooms than any other room in our homes. As consumers, we are brainwashed to believe that bathrooms are a bacteria breeding ground. In reality, if we are cleaning our bathrooms regularly, there is little need for concern.

Most homes have the ingredients for easy-to-make environmentally friendly cleaning products for the bathrooms. For instance, to replace powdered cleansers or liquid cleansers, try combining 1 2/3 cups baking soda with ˝ cup of liquid soap (not detergent). Add ˝ cup water and 2 tbs. vinegar; stir until lumps are gone and pour into a recycled squirt-topped bottle. I add a little tea tree oil for a nice sent and additional disinfectant.

For hard to clean areas, try pouring a little hydrogen peroxide on the area and letting it set, then wiping it away. Hydrogen peroxide is a safer alternative to bleach. Mirrors can be cleaned with a vinegar and water solution and wiped clean with a cotton cloth or newspaper (no need for using paper towels).

To conserve our precious water reserves, install a low flow showerhead and try to take shorter showers. Showers have been shown to use less water than baths, so try to use baths sparingly. Toilets can also be fitted with water saving devices or you can fill a plastic juice bottle with water and put it in the back of your toilet tank for a low cost alternative.

Doing our laundry uses a lot of energy and water as well as pollutes our lakes and streams with chemicals. When doing laundry, make sure you have a full load of laundry before starting. Most laundry can be cleaned with Ľ – ˝ the amount of recommended detergent. I do not use liquid or fabric softener sheets because of their impact on the environment. I try to wear all natural fabrics such as cotton to avoid static cling, which usually accompanies polyester fabrics. Line drying is the best way to dry your clothes as it will leave them smelling fresh and helps your whites stay white.

I believe it is every witch’s responsibility to care for our mother earth and explore less destructive ways in which to live on our earth so that she will be here for many generations to come.

I feel it is time we tread lightly on our earth, leaving little or no footprints behind.

Angela Flegel
Clergy
Temple of The Green Cauldron





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