Plenty of ways to save money and the planet can be found in a home’s kitchen

We all need to eat – so why not start in the kitchen?

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:01am
  • Life

Tossing plastic grocery bags and replacing them with reusable cloth ones

We all need to eat – so why not start in the kitchen?

I love to cook and our family’s favorite times are around the kitchen table telling stories, laughing and eating. My hope is to share some of my favorite resources with you and your family. So start with just one of these ideas and be on your way to going green in the kitchen.

Natural Kitchen Cleaners

How about a fresh-smelling kitchen, cleaned with safe cleaners that are inexpensive and easy to make and use? You probably have some of the basic ingredients you need: baking soda, vinegar, salt, Borax, castile soap and tea tree, lemon and orange essential oils. These ingredients are available at grocery stores: www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/8088/clngrn.html and www.care2.com/greenliving/make-your-own-non-toxic-cleaning-kit.html.

Cloth Napkins

Your friends and family will think that every meal is a special occasion with cloth napkins on the table. These can be purchased or made frugally and easily. One and three-quarter yards of 45-inch fabric will make nine cloth napkins, each 15 inches square. Hem the napkins by hand or machine. Bundles of economy plaid dish cloths or wash cloths can also be used, and many thrift stores carry cloth napkins for 25 cents.

We each have a napkin ring with our name on it. We use our napkin and put it into the laundry according to its use. Napkin rings can be found at craft stores or you can use curtain rings – with the hook removed – which can be found new or at thrift stores.

Cloth Grocery Bags

It is so cool that local grocery stores are now asking if I have my own bags for my groceries. These are easy, basic to make and fun to use. Visit the Web site http://tipnut.com/35-reusable-grocery-bags-totes-free-patterns.com for ideas.

Grow Some Greens

• Swiss chard in the window – Why Swiss chard? Because it’s easy to grow, delicious and very nutritious. My longtime friend E.Gordon Wells Jr., grows it in a sunny window sill all winter. He cuts the outer leaves and shreds them into salads and sandwiches, cook as greens and adds them to soups and stir-fries. They grow beautifully right in your home. Then in the spring when the ground warms up he plants it in his garden where it takes root. In the fall it sends up seed stalks and makes seeds – lots of seeds – with plenty to give away, if anyone is interested. He then re-sows fresh seed and grows it again in his basement window.

• Sprouts – They are nutritious, inexpensive and easy to grow. Just soak, rinse greening, store and eat a variety of crisp sprouts. Find your favorites by visiting www.living-foods.com/articles/easysprout.html.

Eat and buy a variety of locally-grown, organic, bulk whole foods and save money.

Kristine Farley lives in Bonney Lake on a mini-farm with her family. She is a mother of many, energy wellness coach and herbalist. She teaches a variety of classes and shows participants how healthy options are not hard and can be adapted to their current lifestyle. Her blog can be found at www.herbalmommasda.blogspot.com and she can be reached at kristinef@clearwire.net.

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