Thoughts, Musings and News
If you are a fan of our Laundry Paste, get ready to like it even more! If you haven't tried it yet, you should really order one today :P
In an effort to further reduce packaging waste, I have concentrated the Laundry Paste to a 3.5 ounce bar and eliminated the outer cardboard box. These beautiful, new, petite bars come only in a compostable cellophane bag with a sticker for your container and a small paper instruction card. If you ordered prior to today, you will be seeing a smaller sized bar in your next order - so don't be surprised.
In making the shift to even less packaging was a great time to concentrate the bars and make them smaller. As the company grows, it’s not possible for me to keep making all the Laundry Paste bars. This month, I was fortunate to be introduced to a soap manufacturer right here in my own county - Lake County, Florida. For me, that means no more hand cutting! Woohoo, my wrists are thrilled. For you, that means more consistency in the products you receive.
I’m excited to offer you a growing line of products with more plastic-free options and more consistency in the product you receive.
If there is a product you would like to see offered by Waste Free Products, please comment below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d prefer to formulate the products you want.
Angie Ringler, founder
Waste Free Products (division of Tangie LLC)
Thank you for reading this today! I highly recommend you share this electronic version (not printed copies) with everyone you know. The more people understand about “going zero-waste” and what it really means, the less single-use disposable waste would end up in our oceans and landfills. Please be sure to reference the sources and links to our website for more details on plastic-free alternatives to everyday living.
Thank you to all those people who inspire me everyday with their efforts to be zero-waste at home and in their journey through life. There are many people I admire and feel their advice is thoughtful and genuine (wish I could name them all!). There are four people I follow daily, read their entire posts, and usually find myself on their blog post or website for further details.
Follow these peeps on Instagram:
WHAT DOES ZERO-WASTE MEAN? Zero Waste means reducing the amount of waste we produce but more importantly it is about about not wasting resources in the first place.
The movement of Zero Waste (ZW) set out with a goal to reduce waste around the world, especially those items that are not being reused or recycled. Shifts in are being made towards waste-free in how we consume food and drinks, dressed ourselves and our pets, play outside, clean our bodies and homes and or even how we work.
WHAT IS THE GOAL? The goal is to AVOID unnecessary packaging! Because of our current systems of manufacturing, it is not ALWAYS possible to eliminate excessive packaging. Somethings are just out of our control, so a focus on AVOIDING unnecessary packaging when we can is the goal.
You may be familiar with Bea Johnson. She wrote the first in depth book presenting the zero-waste movement to the world. https://zerowastehome.com/about/book/ After several years and a lot of research, Bea reduced the excess waste her family produced over one year to fit into one mason jar!
Have you ever talked to your grandparents about their reuse habits? Ask them to share some stories and discover again how easily you can reduce buying more and wasting less. We could stand more of the mentality in today’s world.
THE SIDE EFFECT? Less waste in your life will enrich your life by giving you more time to experience new activities which can lead to a better quality of life. In this guide, you will learn lots of good tips and tricks.
LET’S GET STARTED!These steps are designed to be motivational for you and easy to implement.
Try these exercises to gain insight of the overall problem which can inspire you to make improvements.
1. Capture The Problem. If you are like most, you carry a smartphone everywhere Use it next time you are shopping.Snap pictures of products you use regularly and see how and what they are packaged in. You can even start in your own garage can and recycling bin for inspiration. Habits are ingrained in our purchases, and many times we don't even realize how toxic some packaging really is. Take a look at what packaging you are bringing into your home and learn what is made of and think of ways to avoid it.
2. Don’t Get Overwhelmed! Pick one item each week and work to replace that with a more eco-friendly - preferrably plastic-free or package free. Can you make it yourself? Is it available locally? Having a problem picking one item? Pick one room and start from there. For me, starting in the kitchen was easier.
3. Keep Motivated. Get on social media. The buddy system works great too - invite a friend to join you in this new adventure. There are plenty of great people sharing their journey - openly and without restrictions. Be sure to ask questions and share your good and bad moments. This is life. It won’t always be pretty and perfect.Follow the four people I listed above and they will definitely keep you motivated!!!
4. Make It Easy. Create a kit, just for you, that helps you meet your ZW goals. It is easier to avoid plastic packaging when you always have a ZW kit with you. In my car is a bag with mason jars, reusable cotton bags and a couple reusable take-out containers. I find it best when it’s always with me but if you are not always using the same vehicle, leave the bag near your front door, or a place you walk by every day. Planning your shopping trips in advance (even by an hour or two) can greatly increases your chances of success.
5. Keep Learning. Shameless plug right here-- join my newsletter and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I like to share what I learn, share what I learn from others and provide solutions whenever possible.Check out like-minded ‘Meetup’ groups. Search Facebook for zero-waste groups and join one or two - not 10. There are lots of way so keep plugged in without feeling overwhelmed..
6. Track It. Do you want accountability? Write it down! When a doctor is trying to diagnose your issue, or if you are struggling to lose/gain weight; keeping a journal is generally a recommended part of the routine. Keep track of your progress. Write down the items you’ve replaced. Develop a system to figure out how much less is going into your recycling and trash bins. You may be very pleasantly surprised to see improvements in areas you did not expect. For example, I took on the challenge to not purchase store bought almond milk. My household was going through three cartons a week! It was not an area I thought of until I posed the question to myself - “What can I make that we use a lot of?” Turns our nut milks and nut butters are prized possessions on our home. I can happily tell you that I have been making almond milk at home over two years now. That is over 312 cartons NOT in the landfill!
Going zero-waste is a lifetime journey, not something you will master and finish this year. Take your time to enjoy the process. Will it be frustrating? Yes! Will you get mad and disappointed sometimes? Definitely! Will you be successful at zero-waste? For sure! All steps towards less packaging and plastic-free is beneficial to you, your family and the planet. So keep doing it, a little everyday; and you will be amazed at how far you come in just a few short months from now.
Let me know your struggles, pains and successes in using the 6 steps mentioned above. We are all in this together. It really does take a village to prosper, no one can do it alone.
Angie Ringler, founder
A business name accurately describing what my company does! Not many people know what "Tangie LLC" or @ilovetangie means! LOL If you Google “Tangie” you might be really surprised what photos pop up. I didn’t know about it when I trademarked the name! hahaha
When I made the commitment to minimal and plastic-free packaging in my business, I was naive to think it would be a fairly simple process. Let me just say...it has been a very difficult road to travel as a manufacturer. For me, it was the only road to take-OR get out of this business completely.
When I invented the LAUNDRY PASTE, my heart told me I was really onto something! I had formulated a local solution to a true global problem. Disposable plastic waste is really hurting you and I through the poisoning of our precious resources.
I was determined to push through the struggles and make it a reality and somehow get it out to the world! Which, by the way, would not have been possible without the support and encouragement from my hubby and mom. #ittakesavillage
Selling products in unnecessary plastic is NOT in alignment with who I am every day. I can’t help but ask why companies package disposable products in forever materials. Convenience is killing us slowly. Product packaging is difficult and I know it can be done better, especially as technology advances. I will keep on researching and moving in a forward motion as long as I have the support of someone like YOU.
You read my posts, share my products and even take time to leave a review. My company can not grow and prosper without YOU. So, thank you for investing your time (and cashola) into my business. xoxox I am not perfect and I am learning so much as I travel this road. I really appreciate you taking the journey with me. <3
Cheers to WASTE FREE PRODUCTS !
While doing research for the Waste Free Products Shampoo Bar, I came across this well written and informative article. Before offering a shampoo bar, I wanted to make sure it would work well for many hair types, including colored.
Many homes have multiple people using the same products, so why not keep it simple. Offer a product that cleans well for curly hair, thin hair, coarse hair, frizzy hair and even hair that has been dyed. No one wants to spend money to dye their hair only to come home and have the dye “stripped out”. What a waste of time and money that would be!
Personally, I have never colored my hair but I have many friends and relatives who do so I’m familiar with the term “stripping out the color”. Since I wasn't sure exactly how and why that happened, I did some investigative work and only to find out out that it’s not really the soap that strips the color out.
Instead of me trying to explain it, I am posting the entire article I referenced in the opening of this post.
Written by Loma at Hair Momentum.
About the sulfate shampoos:
The 2 popular surfactants that people avoid are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate(SLES). These surfactants are very effective at cleaning with SLS being stronger. They remove oils very well and heavy build-ups of polymers from hair. That is why they are often included into clarifying shampoos or shampoos for fine hair. Some other versions are the ammonium lauryl sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate instead of the sodium.
The role of water in color loss: During hair coloring, the large dye polymers form inside the hair. These are trapped inside the hair because of their size. When hair gets soaked into water, the hair shaft will swell. In so doing, the cuticles are forced to open up as well. The dye molecules or fragments are then able to leave the hair.
The role of lipids in sealing color: The usual recommendations for those who color hair are to keep the hair conditioned at all times. Why? Because oils/conditioning polymers/butters etc. are hydrophobic: they do not like water. Therefore they prevent too much moisture from entering the hair by acting as a barrier and prevent too much water from leaving the hair as well. They control the rate at which water moves in and out of hair. This job is usually performed by the hair’s natural lipid layer: 18-MEA. During coloring however, that layer is destroyed leaving the hair unprotected. Replenishing with external products is therefore imperative to mimic the behavior of the 18-MEA layer.
Do sulfates actually strip color from hair? Like I mentioned before, the sulfate shampoos, being great cleaners, will remove those layers of conditioning. More importantly, they will remove the free lipids present in the intercuticular layers. Once the protective hydrophobic layer is gone, water can penetrate hair at its ease. The result: faster color loss. The more damaged the hair, the faster the loss.
True: The sulfate shampoos have an indirect contribution to the color loss. However, they are wrongly accused of extracting the color.
Final words:Unfortunately there is no such thing as a ‘color safe’ shampoo. Sulfate-free shampoos do not guarantee that the color
will stay in longer. They are only making sure that the cleaning process is mild enough that the fading rate is slower. But as long as water is involved, fading will occur.
In other words: water alone can strip color if you wet your hair on a regular basis.
So now you know: water is the major culprit. Sulfates are just the sidekicks aiding it to strip color from hair.
I hope you found this information and article as interesting as I did.
Please feel free to comment below, I would like to learn more about this topic.
Eco-friendly. It's a term we hear often now. The discussion about our responsibility for being stewards of the planet is growing and for good reason. Plastic waste is washing up on desolate shorelines, swirling in patches in the ocean as big as islands. Determining our part to reducing harm to the oceans, the soil and air is not a topic to be ignored. So, how do we live better in alignment with our environment? Using thoughtful, eco friendly products can be a good start, but does it really make a difference? Let's explore that...
A quick look online today and you'll find thousands of eco-friendly products available. Well, at least they are 'advertised’ as eco. Some consumers swear by these products, while others avoid them based on skepticism.
I believe that in a perfect world, every product would be eco-friendly. We would all benefit! The environment would fare much better but, unfortunately, I don't feel that will ever happen. I have hope but also know it's a big job to switch the gears of manufacturing.
The good news is there are products available today that are actually good for the environment in some way. I want to talk with you about three heavily used products and why they make a huge difference.
1. Cloth Diapers
Whether you have kids or not, you know that disposable diapers are convenient. But, that convenience comes at a price, and not just in the parents budget. Not only are disposable diapers really expensive, they also pose a major problem to the environment. Statistics say by the time a kid is potty trained, it's possible the parents have gone through more than one TON of disposable diapers. ONE TON! That's KRA-ZEE!! That puts disposable diapers among the top three items currently cluttering up our landfills, in line behind plastic water bottles and plastic bags.
Disposable diapers are non-biodegradable, which means they remain there for at least 500 years. It's not unheard of for the waste from the diapers to seep into groundwater. That is a situation that's not good for anyone. Cloth diapers require more effort on the parents part and that is only a decisions a parent can make. Are you a parent using cloth diapers? Please comment below - about the good, bad and the ugly.
2. Cleaning Products
This is a category I talk about easily. At Tangie, the goal is plastic-free packaging - even ‘no packaging’. But ingredients matter too. Cleaning products is one of those products that we use in almost every area of our live, whether it’s washing your hands to scrubbing the shower or washing windows. Many traditional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to your health even causing harm to aquatic life. Using ‘green cleaners’ will avoid those toxic chemicals. They do the job as good, if not better than traditional cleaners plus they do the job in a much healthier fashion. You decide each time you buy. Read the labels, use EWG.org to research brands and ingredients, LeapingBunny.org for compassionate products; or better yet, make your own cleaning products.
More and more consumers are choosing to make their own. Why? Mostly because the more we learn about there being zero no government regulations requiring the ingredients of a cleaning products, the more skeptical we get. Making your own cleaning products gives you confidence by knowing exactly what goes into them. You probably have many of the ingredients used in effective, natural household cleaning. Those ingredients are such as vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Not only are these types of ingredients readily available in almost all food stores, they are also very affordable while doing a wonderful job of cleaning all sorts of things. I did an article about vinegar and what it "may" be made from...legally. Be sure to take a look at it. The picture I posted here is a direct link to the article that will open in another window so you can read it later.
3. Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
For a long time I was unaware that when a fluorescent light bulb breaks, it releases mercury vapor into the air. Mercury is a very toxic substance! LED bulbs, which use very little energy and operate efficiently extreme temperatures, and are much safer for households with young children.
Energy-saving (LED) light bulbs have been available for many years but are just now gaining more popularity. Two reasons are causing more widespread usage: Cost and Safety. Since they are initially more expensive than their fluorescent counterpart it takes people awhile to catch on to the long term benefits. However, each bulb lasts up to ten years. When you take that into consideration, it adds up to huge savings in time, money and resources. According to Energy Saver is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) consumer resource on saving energy and using renewable energy technologies at home traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
Next time you are surfing the web, do a little research of your own. Find eco replacements for the items you use most in your life. You will undoubtedly come across other eco-friendly products and may be quite surprised in the advancements made in just the last few years. Whether or not you decide to incorporate them into your daily routine is totally up to you.
The best part, if you decide to use just one truly eco-friendly product, you will be helping the environment in a small way. It may not seem like much, but the more people that share your opinion, the better off the planet will be. #earthdayeveryday
Looking to make eco improvements in your life? Consider taking advantage of some of these easy, everyday tips. As you continue on your journey down the road to sustainable living, these tips will be come habits. The following 8 easy tip to sustainable living are all excellent examples of what it's like to live the lifestyle.
1. Make your own cleaning solution out of lemon juice, vinegar and warm water. It cleans almost anything and is completely safe. Don’t care for the smell of vinegar? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the mix.
2. Food for thought. Plan your weekly meals based on what you already have at home. Dig in your cupboards and pull out the “forgotten” cans and bags of goodies. Using what you have cuts down on food waste and saves money on a weekly basis. Have a garden or a few gardening pots? Try your hand at growing one or two easy things. Fresh food tastes amazing! Start with easy-to-grow plants like a plum tomatoes, basil, lettuces….or any herbs you enjoy. Have kids at home? Grow radishes and carrots. They are fun to watch, abundant and grow quickly. If you have a garden space in your yard, take full advantage of it. If you are like me and don't prefer to garden bent over, look into aeroponic growing. I highly use a Tower Garden and have the opportunity to grow 28 different plants all within a self-contained watering system. Remember, it’s not necessary to eat meat every day of the week.
3. Use rainwater to water plants. During the rainy months, I set a small trash outside my back porch door to collect rainwater and use it when it fills. I add the rainwater to our Tower Garden, feed the indoor plants and occasionally use it too fill up the bird baths. They love fresh water too!
4. Watch your water usage and drop a brick. There are a number of ways to reduce water use in the home, like shorter showers, low-flow faucets and showerheads, but there's another place where a small action can make a big difference. According to the EPA, more water is used by Americans each day to flush toilets than any other activity (at home), so drastically reducing the amount of clean municipal water that gets flushed away each day will really add up! Place a brick in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water necessary to flush.
5. Purchase a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter; it works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
6. Dry clothes outside, on a clothesline. Sunshine is chemical free and cost nothing!
7. Use cloth grocery bags and reusable travel mugs. By now, youve heard about how single-use plastic waste is piling up on our planet and causing harm to our soil, waterways and oceans. We can live with less single-use plastic waste, it just takes a little pre planning on your part.
8. Say no to synthetic fragrances. Yes, they make your products smell delightful, but if you could see how synthetic fragrances were made, you'd be less likely to be impressed. One fragrance in one personal care product—say, your bodywash—can consist of as many as 200 chemicals combined to come up with that particular scent. The real problem with fragrance is the lack of knowing which chemicals make up that particular scent. On the ingredient list, you'll read only the word “fragrance.” Replace “fragrance” in your life with quality essential oils.
These 8 easy tips to sustainable living are just the tip of the melting ice caps. There are many more good options that I will share with you in future posts. You don't have to jump in head-first, making all these changes at once to make a difference. Many people practice this way of life on a small scale with huge success.
If this is something you're interested in trying, there's really no better time to jump in. You can apply this concept to virtually any part of your life, quite easily. Chances are your days will be more enjoyable and stress-free. What could be better than that?
Share with me ways you brought more sustainable habits into your life. I love hearing from you. We are on this beautiful planet together, let’s do our part - together!
Five Options To Fossil Fuels
How do sustainable energy sources compare to each other? There is a variety of fossil fuel alternatives available today, with many more being developed as you read this article. Are they reliable enough to sustain us and grow with us? Here are five forms of sustainable energy and advantages of using each one.
Hydropower is water power generated by the movement of water, whether falling or flowing down a river. In ancient mills, flowing water was used to power various machines ranging from cranes to saws.
Early in the 20th century, the term hydropower started referring to generating electricity using water. Hydropower is a renewable source of power and is very reliable. Opponents to hydropower feel that the building dams and reservoirs can have negative impacts on the environment. Careful consideration must be given before these systems are actually built, causing harm to our habitat.
Geothermal energy is not something I’ve ever seen up close or in person. How about you? I learned that it is generated by tapping into the thermal energy or heat at the Earth’s core. This energy is extracted by drilling deep into the soil, then pumping in a heat transfer fluid such as water or steam.
The energy that is created is then transferred out of the ground and up to the surface where it is converted into usable power. The most effective systems are water-based systems, but they also have the potential to contaminate nearby water tables. Our water supply is very precious so great care must be taken to not damage this essential part of life.
Biofuel is made from biomass, which is biological material from living or once living organisms. This includes traditional “fossil fuels” like gasoline. There are more readily available biological materials that can be used to generate power. Wood is the largest source of biomass energy.
Other sustainable options include corn, hemp and a wide variety of different species of trees. These sources can be grown and then harvested, making them a sustainable source of fuel. There are some setbacks to biofuels. Some biomass sources have the capacity to release toxic fumes when burned, contributing to air pollution.
A very popular and well known source of alternative energy is solar power. Solar panels convert sunlight into usable direct current electricity and are currently installed in over 100 countries. It is generated by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Solar panels have made huge advancements in the last several years. They can now be found in a wide variety of places, from backpacks to rooftops.
The most efficient commercially available solar panels on the market today have efficiency ratings as high as 22.5%, whereas the majority of panels range from 15% to 17% efficiency rating. With more efficient models already in production, solar power may become the world’s primary energy source in the very near future.
As of the end of 2014, the United States wind power capacity was at 65,879 megawatts. In 2013, the 168 million megawatts of energy that wind turbines produced resulted in the elimination of 95.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
With a rapid growth in the renewable energy projects over the past few years, the total installed capacity of the wind power plants across the world has witnessed a manifold increase. Advancements in wind turbines designs have also led a surge in the installed capacity of wind power. The top wind producing countries are China, USA, Germany, India and Spain.
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in the entire world and it’s not hard to see why. Wind energy projects do not pollute or contaminate the surrounding area on which they are built. Not only that, a single turbine produces enough energy to power 500 households. Further, wind power installations occupy less space compared other modes of power generation, improving operational efficiencies. Best part is that turbines and wind farms can be built on agricultural lands, without causing any interruption to local habitat.
Expansion in sustainable energy technology is making energy source alternatives increasingly more viable and cost effective. With more positive outcomes and less impact on the environment, alternative sustainable energy option is our best chance for long-term, environmentally friendly energy supply.
Do you use an alternative to fossil fuels in your life? If so, please share with me what it is and how you like it. Many years ago, we had a solar hot water heater installed in our home. It paid for itself for the start. It was several thousand dollars to buy the system. The loan we had to take to pay for it made me nervous at first, but the money we saved each month was more than our monthly loan payment. Now we own the system and proudly have the solar panel on the roof services each year.
I hope you found this article valuable. Feel free to share it with someone who may find alternative energy interesting.
If you’ve ever diluted and used Tangie Laundry Paste you know it seems quite thin, like water, especially compared to the “traditional” brands of laundry soap. Let me assure you, thin like water is the correct consistency for diluted Tangie Laundry Paste.
Ever heard the saying “Thin to Win”? :P
Do you know what makes laundry detergent thick? In case you are curious, let me share some interesting details with you.
A large number of thickeners, mostly polymers, are used in the cosmetic and personal care industry.
They not only affect the rheological profile of the formulation but also influence application of the product,
water sensitivity of the formulation, and delivery of the active ingredients. 1
Polymers make stuff thick. Thick is not always necessary but rather something we have grown accustomed too in many products.
So it’s a good question to ask, “Are polymers safe?” The answer is a definite MAYBE.
Ok, so what is a polymer?
There are two types of polymers: synthetic and natural.
Polymers are made up of many many molecules all strung together to form really long chains
(and sometimes more complicated structures, too.
What makes polymers so fun is that how they act depends on what kinds of molecules they're made up of and how they're put together.
The properties of anything made out of polymers really reflect what's going on at the ultra-tiny (molecular) level.
Did that help you understand? Not really? Ok, may this will help....
Have you ever wondered how fun toys like Silly Putty, Gak and Slime are made?
It's the properties of polymers, certain kinds of large molecules,
that make these products bouncy, slimy, stretchy, breakable, hard, soft, sticky, moldable—and just plain fun to play with.
A very common thickener found in many household & body products is DEA (diethanolamine).
The Skin Deep database for cosmetic safety gave this ingredient an “F” rating. DEA has already been restricted in the European Union…
too bad our FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetic products that closely.
Some examples of polymeric thickeners include:
It might be apparent that these “extra” ingredients are unnecessary, especially in a product that comes in contact with our skin.
Does the thickness of a liquid product mean that much to you?
If your answer is “Yes”, then maybe Tangie Laundry Paste is not for you and that’s ok. Not every product is good for everyone.
The belief in my personal AND business life is that I can do more with less.
That carries through into my formulations. I do not and will not use an “unnecessary” ingredients,
therefore you will not find a thicker added to our Laundry Paste, EVER!
My purpose with this blog today:
I hope you found this interesting.
If there are other questions you have about Tangie products or the company, please contact me.
I would love to hear from you.
How I stopped hoarding reusable shopping totes and began reclaiming my closet space!
This is the follow-up article to What is the Best Reusable Shopping Tote?, which actually spurred more questions about reusable shopping totes. While researching the topic I was forced to take a good look at my true needs. I am actively trying to reduce my household clutter [aka reclaim my closet space from my stuff] and only keep those items we really use and pass on those things we don't use. I know there are people out there somewhere that would appreciate many of these perfectly good items.
I want to share with you now how I recently stopped hoarding reusable shopping totes and reclaimed my closet space! Thank you to the person who asked me about reusable totes. I was curious to know which one was best and now I can honestly say, I know which is best for me and it doesn't involve the dozens of bags that have piled up over the years. Why do I have so many??!!
In my previous article What is the Best Reusable Shopping Tote?, I compiled information I thought was important in the decision of choosing the best reusable shopping tote. If you didn't read the article, here is the link. In that article I promised to write a follow-up after I figured it out for myself.
What I learned from writing that article is that I had never taken the time to determine my expectation for the totes I used and what application it was needed, I just kept “collecting” bags.
I really only need three or four bags yet I own two dozen or so. I received one after giving a donation, two were gift bags, several from promotional giveaways and a few as actual gifts. Reusable totes seem to be the new business card in many areas now. A couple years ago I agreed to would stop taking the “free” totes at local events and festivals. I knew I needed to stop “hoarding” totes but now I need to stop and figure out how many I really use and why.
My list of bags...
1. Grocery store/Party goods:
I use my favorite basket. This basket works exceptionally well because it allows me to place items horizontal instead of staking everything on top of each other. I get sooooo many compliments on the cute, functional bag. This has been my favorite bag for years! 1
One large cold bag.2 Most of the items we purchase here are refrigerated and frozen items. This bag works great. I set it up in the hatchback of my Prius, throw few ice packs in, and off to Costco we go. At the store, we roll out our entire purchase in the cart then load it into the bag. Super easy. No extra boxes to bring home to compost or recycle.
3. Co-op purchases: One large cold bag. We are regular co-op shoppers in my household and know that each pickup can be very different. Some weeks we get everything we ordered, others weeks not so much; so we tend to always take a large bag. Currently that is a beat up heavy duty beach bag with handles and a zip top. We have been using this bag for over 10 years! It is fraying and recently popped a hole so it is one I released from my ownership in exchange for using the large cold bag listed above. I mention this beach bag as a memory jogger for you. Maybe you have a great sturdy beach bag that will work great! Pull it out and use it regularly, not just for surf and sand. 3
4. Clothes/Hardware/All Other Stores: I always like to take a reusable tote in a store with me “just in case”. I have a handy, cute and colorful bag that folds up real small and fits in the back compartment of my driver’s seat in my car. It is easily accessible for me in that location and so colorful that I can not miss it. It had a couple zip pouches on the outside of the bag, giving me places for smaller or more delicate items.
5. Produce Bags:I prefer not to take extra plastic bags when buying grocery items. I have an old microfiber lettuce bag 4 that I use for loose product buying. I leave it in my car and have used it for bread loaves, fruits, veggies and small cans like tomato paste.
6. Travel Bag: I like to take a small cotton tote bag with me in my luggage. I received it from American Express for Small Business Saturday when I had a brick & mortar store. The size is perfect, not too big; not too small. I have used it on trips for shopping, dirty clothes bag, impromptu pool bag and shoe storage.
I only need 6 bags!? Yaaaaaaay!?? I guess it's better than the scads that have gathered over the years. The result is now I can accurately see what my needs are in order to avoid taking plastic bags from the store.
Prior to writing this article, I donated several bags but now I see I have more donating to do which freed up one shelf in our entryway closet. With the additional donations I will be making, I reclaim two MORE shelves that have been filled with shopping totes for way too many years.
Thank you to the person who asked me about reusable totes. I was curious to know which one was best and now I can honestly say, I know which is best for me.
Do the same for yourself, you DESERVE that closet space back!
If you have or had a shopping tote hoarding problem like me, then I hope this articles helps shed some light on how we can keep what we really need to use and reclaim closet space back! If you don’t have a tote problem, I hope one of the bags mentioned above is helpful for you.
Well, I shared my personal needs for reusable totes. What are yours?
I would love for you to share your comments here. #sharingiscaring
Top 3 Most Neglected Home Cleaning
You might think keeping a clean home of important. I bet you have clean countertops (clutter not included) and you don’t leave the house wearing soiled clothes. But what about those ceiling fans? Do you wipe those down every month? How about once a year?
Many places on our home take care of us on a daily, some on an hourly basis. They deserve our love and attention. Let me share with you the Top 3 most neglected home cleaning places in most homes.
I got some really good advice from three professionals in the cleaning field and I want to share it with you today.
Let's start with #3 of the top 3 most neglected home cleaning areas.
Do you have a knife block? That beautiful chuck of wood. When is that last time that was cleaned out? Debris can accumulate on the knife blades and food particles can become trapped in the knife slots. McGee suggests using canned air to force out the dust and food debris. After using the air sprayer, soak the entire block in hot soapy water for 30 minutes. Rinse the block really well and then leave it upside down to dry overnight. Air-dry the block before putting your knives back in. Your knives work hard for you, they deserve a nice place to live.
The #2 most neglected home cleaning area is the dishwasher. Did you know you needed to “clean” your dishwasher? It’s job is to clean, I thought it was cleaning itself each time it cleaned my dishes. I have noticed a bad odor coming from the dishwasher from time to time but then it goes away, only to return. Sardone says those bad odors can be addressed by removing the filter screen in the bottom of the dishwasher. Soak the screen a use a brush to remove any extra debris. Next step is to fill a small dish with vinegar and place it on the top rack. Run an empty cycle using hot water. When the cycle is complete, open the door and let the dishwasher air-dry. The stink will be gone!
Any guess to the #1 most neglected home cleaning area?
The top neglected cleaning spot is….drum roll please ….it’s the shower head! Since it's just you and me here right now, I can admit to you that I have never “cleaned” the shower heads in my home. I’ve wiped them down and scraped it with my fingernail when one of the nozzles starts spraying sharp left or sharp right. But “clean” them, never. McGee says it’s easy. Don't worry, there is no removing of the shower head. Whew! McGee suggest wiping the shower head down every couple weeks. For deep cleaning to remove scale and reduce clogs, deep cleaning should be done twice a year. Homer recommends submerging the showerhead in a quart-size baggie filled with vinegar and water. Use a rubber band or elastic hair tie around the bag ad the pipe behind the head to hold the bag securely over the shower head. 10 minutes should be long enough for most shower heads to soak. For lots of build-up, you may need a little longer soak. After soaking, remove the bag, rinse off the vinegar, wipe down the showerhead and you are done!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the top 3 most neglected home cleaning areas and they are no longer neglected at your house. I learned some great tips from Beth, Debbie and Melissa. Maybe there is a tip or two you start at home. If they work for you, pass them on to others. Keeping a clean house is not always easy and can be quite time consuming. Personally, anything that gives me more time to play vs cleaning, is always a good recommendation to share!