Category Archives: A Natural Home

How Much Can A Clothesline Really Save?

With spring coming on I’ve realized I’ve been slacking big time on using the clothes line.  I know it’s important for a LOT of reasons, but, the dryer is right there….

I need some motivation to get off the dryer at least for the summer.  So, I went in search of real stats on why throwing that wet laundry into a basket and carrying it upstairs to hang outside is better for the natural home than just throwing it right into that dryer just sitting there next door to the washer begging to dry the clothes for me.


How Much Cash Will The Clothesline Save?

For most people in the US running your dryer costs about $0.30 – $0.40 per load.  As a family of 5 I do approximately 10 loads of laundry a week including sheets, rags, towels, and clothing for each of us.  So I can save a couple of bucks each week if I put a bit more effort out and use the clothes line. Ka-Ching!


Can The Clothesline Really Help Save The Environment?

The short answer – Yes.

The “How” is a bit more complicated. Basically, if we all use less power, we need less power generating sources; all of which have some type of negative environmental impact.  When the power demand is less (because you’re using your clothesline instead of your dryer for example) this negative impact is reduced or even eliminated!

Of course, using the dryer is only one electrical appliance in one household.  There are a myriad of other ways to save energy and even more ways to work towards saving the environment….but, there’s no doubt about it.  It’s more environmentally friendly to use the clothesline than the dryer.


Is It True Clothes Can Be Saved By Line Drying?

That’s what they say.  When the dryer tosses clothes around zippers and buttons snag fibers and age clothes more quickly.  The evidence?  Look in your lint tray.  There is no lint when line drying.

Now, I’ve washed a tissue, or a piece of paper for example and, well, the dryer is nearly essential when trying to get these fibers off.  But, the same is going on to the fibers of your clothes that you actually want to stay where they are each time you run them through the dryer.  So, you really can save your clothes (and even more money!) when air drying clothes vs. using the dryer.


Well, I guess that’s a lot of savings when you look at it that way!  I would probably add too that when I use the clothes line I’m more active as well plus, I get outside; so there’s a bit of “saving” for me there too!

And, you can’t forget that smell.  There’s nothing like that dried in the sunshine and fresh air smell……

Looking at all these ways using a clothes line can save really gives me the extra motivation I need to get the laundry outside this summer.  And, ideally, this “no dryer” vibe will keep flowin’ all year through and we’ll finally set up a system in the basement for line drying so we’re covered for rainy and winter days too.

How about you?  Can you have a clothes line?  Unfortunately, some developments prohibit them.  And, we’ve seen folks with some types of allergies be aggravated more when their clothes were dried outside.  Overall though if you can find a place to string up your clothes, are able to get a wooden drying rack, or can make some other contraption in order to avoid using the dryer in your natural home, the environment, your clothes, and your wallet will all thank you!





Forwarded Email Treasures For Making Life Easier & Greener

Being a work from home, stay at home, barely leaves the house kind of mom, email plays a pretty important part in my day. Talking on the phone is rarely a possibility with the amount of background noise and that instant phone radar my children have. While I love my email inbox, there are also those times when I dread opening it and part of that dread is from those obnoxious forwarded emails that seem to come on a daily basis from family and friends who apparently love email even more than me.
Usually, as soon as I see that an email is not from a client or a traditionally non-forwarded email friend and it has the FW at the beginning, I just put it in my delete pile and away it goes, but every once in a while (and especially when it is from my Mom…cause I love her) I will open one and check it out. Not too bright, I know, but hey, it’s my Mom!
Recently I received one that actually had some decent tips in it and I immediately said, “Hey, I want to let people know about these”. At the same time I thought, “but I don’t want to forward this email to cause the next person may have to go through this viscous cycle again”. So for all our loyal readers, I present the ideas of a forwarded email that was actually worth opening!
These are probably tips and tricks most of you already know and use, but consider your reading of this non-forwarded email and end to a cycle!

Hull Strawberries with a Straw

Mind you it must be a pretty sturdy straw and the best of luck comes with using a straw that is not too narrow. This image uses a disposable straw, but we have a small stock of reusable straws and while the little ones got clogged, the wider straws were easy to clear and did a great job. In the past we either picked off our greens resulting in pink fingers or we trimmed the top of the berry, losing a portion of this delightful treasure. This approach is kind of fun and pretty easy!

Use a Walnut to hide scratches in Furniture

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. I totally didn’t believe this one until I tried it. I have some OLD kitchen chairs and it just so happened we had some walnuts, so I went to work. Blown away at how well the walnut eliminates the appearance of scratches. Obviously it isn’t a permanent fix, but on furniture that isn’t cleaned rigorously, regularly, it is a way to make things look much nicer!

stop browning applesStop Browning Apples without Using all your Lemon

Personally, I kind of like the flavor a spritz of lemon juice has on an apple, but this is a good trick that I had not tried or thought of. I know putting an apple in what you may believe to be an air tight container isn’t always enough and my kids particularly associate the discoloration of the apple with there being something WRONG with the apple. So I will be trying this very soon.

reusing bread tagsBread Tags for Cord Labels & More

It is so easy to reuse the bag, but not quite as simple to r-use the tag…or isn’t it. I like this idea for the cord labels (as seen in the photo), but we don’t have a ton of cords at our house as we try to keep things to a minimum. What we do have though are a LOT of rechargeable items that come with various cords and I was able to organize our collection nicely with these cord tags. I have also used them on various bags and plant stalks and other things. The kids like to glue a longer paper tag over the bread tag and use them as gift labels for bags and a variety of other things.

Gutter Gardening

I think this was my favorite in the group. We actually took a ton of wooden gutter down off our house when we bought it because most of it was cracked and not holding up to the elements anymore. I have already repurposed those, but there was also some metal gutter that is still unused that I plan to put on the side of the chicken house for growing in. It gets great sun over there! Love this and you can probably easily come across tons of used gutter for free.

5 Advantages To Shopping At Thrift Stores

Many natural families know that how you spend your money matters.  With this in mind lots of folks have begun shopping at thrift stores and enjoying quite a few advantages from their new choice.

Never thrifted yourself?  Here are just a few of the reasons you should start shopping at thrift stores.

Eco Friendly

Shopping at thrift stores is incredibly eco friendly.  You’re reusing items instead of buying new.  This helps keep others unwanted or unused items out of land fills, reduces the amount of energy used to produce and transport the things you do need and use, and eliminates new items needing to be produced for you in the first place.

Easy On The Pocket Book

Shopping at thrift stores makes buying clothing, housewares, shoes, and more cost less than purchasing these same items new would.  Many shops even have bag days or half off sales, volunteer for discounts man with bag of money saved thriftingopportunities, and other ways to save even more on your thrifted treasures.

Support Non Profits Instead Of Big Box Giants

While not all second hand stores are a funding stream for non profits, many are.  Organizations that represent charities from animal welfare, to domestic violence, to places of worship, and countless others use thrift stores as one of many ways they fund their programs.  Goodwill and The Salvation Army are two of the most well known charities that have used second hand stores to help keep their charity work going strong, and these funding streams have become even more important as social service agencies face intense budget cuts at the local, state, and federal levels.

Be Certain What Your Hard Earned Money Is Supporting

Many companies today produce new items under very questionable circumstances.  Whether they’re polluting the environment, abusing their workers, or even using child labor, you can avoid all these ethical issues by shopping at thrift stores.

When thrift shops aren’t owned by charities as described above,  they’re usually owned by the person working there or at least someone local and near by.  And, because of the way they operate (selling reused items), your money is never going to support any of major fun award graphic for thriftingthese or other unethical practices often used by companies that make new products.

Fun and Exciting Shopping Experience

If all these fantastic reasons to shop at thrift stores isn’t enough, all the fun and excitement of finding some amazing deal or some beautiful piece is the cherry on top!  The high of thrifting is something that’s hard not to work for once experienced.  It usually requires time and repeat trips, but, the rewards are so neat and special that it’s all worth i!

There really are so many advantages to thrifting, please take a minute to share with the rest of us natural mammas and pappas why you enjoy patronizing your local thrift shops, and if you’re up for it, post some pictures of your favorite thrifting finds!  We always love hearing from our readers and, it makes switching to a more natural family lifestyle even easier and inspirational the more we share together!