Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've Got the Itch

I can't help it. I try so hard not to want. I have everything I need but inevitably, something pretty/shiny/awesome stares up at me with it's puppy dog eyes and whispers "Buy Me." It ain't easy being green. There are so many products that just don't fit into the lifestyle I have chosen to live. Today for example, I was at the store picking up a few things when I remembered that I am out of facial moisturizer. My usual stuff is organic and chemical free but it's also $24 a jar and I have to drive half way across town to retrieve it.

I turned down the skin care aisle for a looksie. I found what claimed to be a natural brand and turned the bottle over to have a read. What I found wasn't pretty. The bottle claimed to do everything I needed it to do and more and at $6.99 it was certainly a steal. But I just couldn't do it. I can't "unlearn" what I know. I'm not sure how this particular moisturizer could claim to be natural; parabens, sulfates and the ever questionable word "fragrance" are not found in nature and therefore, are in no way, shape or form natural. I sighed, put the bottle back on the shelf and mentally scheduled in the time this weekend to drive across town and pick up my usual.

It isn't only "un-green" items I lust for. I want a whole bunch of other stuff too, most of which I probably don't really need. I thought it might be helpful for me write down the things I've been thinking I just have to have...and then talk myself out of it. Ever a lover of bulleted lists, it goes something like this:

  • A New Tablecloth-My table is old and ugly. It's scratched and burned has some gummy residue I think might be duct tape but I'm not sure. Plus, the table was hand-me-down of sorts and is screamingly "country" in sea of darker wood tones and modern lines.   
Bottom Line: Make your own. Sand the table and stain it. OOOOH. I like that! And paint the chairs. Yes. I like that a lot. 
  • Kaboom Foaming Cleaner-Despite my best efforts, I can find NO homemade concoction to get my tubs clean. I've tried everything; vinegar, baking soda, borax and every organic cleanser known to man. The combination of hard water and soap scum has made my tub a gross grayish color that I CANNOT scrub away. 
Bottom Line: Kaboom is poison. Really. Using it is damaging to the planet and to my family's health. Do you really want your kids sitting in Kaboom tainted bathwater? Scour the earth for new cleaning recipes or just get used to the gray color of your tubs. Maybe paint the bathroom to match.

  • A Murphey Bed-Everytime I step into the office/sewing room/guest room I cringe. There is not a hint of organization to the place. A Murphey, or wall bed, will not only provide sleeping space for guests so we don't have to blow up the air mattress, it folds into the wall to keep the room open and will provide shelves and storage for organizing office and sewing supplies.
Bottom Line: Get over it girl. Murphey beds are ridiculously expensive. Why not challenge yourself to decorate and organize the room with found/thrifted/used items instead? Hmmm.....

  • Towels-Our towels are looking pretty sad. I haven't bought any since we were first married, about six years ago. Hubby has repeatedly complained, especially about the white bumpy ones. The others are looking more threadbare and the end seams are pulling together creating a gathered effect on each end. They look like bow ties.
Bottom Line: Eh. You might actually need this one. The towels are not only worn but are magically disappearing. In a few more months you may be drying off with cloth napkins if you don't add some more to the collection. Watch the sales flyers and save those JCPenney coupon that you are constantly bombarded with.

  • Curtains and Decorative Baubles-The bedroom has been painted for a couple months but I have yet to "finish" the room. I want thermal curtain panels to keep the heat out and make the window look pretty. I need something to hang over the bed and over the dresser. The walls are bare.
Bottom Line: Time to get creative. Get out your Martha Stewart archives and look for DIY wall art ideas. Hit up garage sales and Goodwill to see what decorative items you can find. Thermal curtains can be made but I'm not sure it's a cost effective option. Figure out how much it will take to make from scratch and compare costs. Thermal panels will keep energy bills down so this one is a yes. Just make it a carefully researched purchase.

Ahhhhh.....I feel much better. It's amazing how getting it all down before running to the store and impulse buying can do for you. It appears I have several DIY projects ahead of me. I better get started. Stay tuned for updates!!


  1. Ha! I was mentally composing a blogpost today about this very I'm not quite granola-enough to give up mascara. And I know all the things I do that are bad for me/the environment but do them anyway. Hard to find the balance between making myself insane with worry/trying to be perfect, and just being lazy. I do think new towels are a must...ours are from our wedding too and I know exactly what yours look like...not even absorbent because they're so thin! There's a cleanser out there that scours with ground cherry pits...can't remember it's name! But will find it if you're interested...

  2. Yes! I'll try anything. My tubs are gross with a capital G, despite scrubbing until my arms are sore!

  3. Stephanie

    I clean brass and copper with wood ash - and it removes the tarnish as quick as a flash (my latest cleaning session took place at I'm sure it should will work for your tubs. Why not try a section and let me know too :-)