T E N …

Actually if you click the link above you will find 1001 uses for household vinegar – but I only have a section called 10 ways to … (Not 1001 ways to …)  It’s just nice to know that we have the option not to use harmful chemicals at home – not only because NONE of us should be putting those chemicals back into the environment but also for those who have sensitivities to chemicals, AND it’s great to remind ourselves that there are cheaper, natural alternatives to most things.

Here are 10  :

1.  To shine chrome sink fixtures that have a lime buildup, use a paste made of 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar.

2.  Make your own scouring cleanser by combining 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 tablespoon liquid detergent. Add just enough white distilled vinegar to give it a thick but creamy texture.

3. Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

4. Clean and deodorize a drain by pouring in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for 5 minutes or so, then run hot water down the drain.

5. For cuts and scrapes, use white distilled vinegar as an antiseptic.

6. Clean the shelves and walls of the refrigerator with a half-and-half solution of water and white distilled vinegar.

7. To clean a grease splattered oven door window, saturate it with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Keep the door open for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping with a sponge.  (Vinegar and water spray will act as window cleaner too).

8.  Get rid of lime deposits in a tea kettle by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water and letting it sit overnight. If more drastic action is needed, boil full-strength white distilled vinegar in the kettle a few minutes, let cool and rinse with plain water.

9. To kill germs, spray full-strength white distilled vinegar and then wipe dry.  From chopping boards to door handles.

10. Get stickers off jam jars by letting undiluted white distilled vinegar soak into them for several minutes before trying to peel them off. Repeat if necessary.


Some pointers from an article on today’s BBC news website:

1. (Obvious but …) make fewer journeys or combine journeys rather than popping out twice.  Share journeys with friends or neighbours where possible and safe.

2. Use alternative transport where possible: bike, walk, train.

3. Driver slower: depending on the car they say that the optimum speed for fuel consumption is between 50-55 mph.  Not ideal for motorway driving.  However, driving at 70 mph instead of 80 mph apparently reduces fuel consumption by 10%.

4. Make sure your tyres are full of air – put in a little more.

5. Fill the tank up only halfway – it keeps the car lighter and burns less fuel.

6. Keep the boot empty – again, a heavier car burns more fuel.

7. Use neutral and the handbrake at traffic lights or in traffic jams.

8. If you are stationary for more than 5 minutes, turn off your engine.   Starting your engine consumes about the same as running a stationary car for 3 minutes.

9. Drive more smoothly / at more constant speeds.  The more you press the accelerator the more fuel is running through the car – stop / start driving is heavy on fuel consumption.

10.  Avoid rush hour by leaving a bit earlier or later.

… it’s where you create it.”

A day “WWOOF”ing at Vowley Farm and an unusually easy introduction to farming with such a beautiful Spring day – not a cloud in the sky all day long and the sun really warm on the face as we mended the netted chicken fencing.  (10 useful knots). The most important thing I learned today, however, was that there actually are amazing people out there who are building community and not just believing in, but living their ideals.   Lorraine and Mark run a biodynamic farm in Wiltshire and couldn’t be more inspiring.  Read here for more on biodynamics.  The short story on biodynamics is that you work to harness the energy of the earth – e.g. you don’t kill weeds, but you feed the earth what it gains from the weeds so their growth is no longer required.  Vowley Farm have a fascinating story about a field once colonised by doc leaves, and after some processes involving spraying “doc leaf tea”, now almost completely clear.

This we know. The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
All things are connected like the blood which unites us all.
Man did not weave the Web of Life, he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the Web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle

(borrowed from the Vowley Farm website)