Archive for the ‘eco products’ Category

Easy-to-make All-Purpose Non-Toxic Cleaning Product

Monday, June 16th, 2014

I’m interested in preventive measures when it comes to the health and the well-being of my family, and in my home office. Since home is where many of us spend 90% of our time, it’s a good idea to make the indoor environment as toxin free as possible. We can’t control what’s happening outside but we can when it comes to the indoors. Did you know that most of the conventional cleaning products available on the market contain toxic chemicals and hazardous substances that are harmful to our health?.

One of the easiest and best ways to reduce exposure to chemicals in your home is by making and using your own all-purpose non-toxic cleaning products, and you’ll save money too. I just made a batch that will last me for months. I’m also trying to reduce the amount of waste my household produces by reusing glass containers. I wash and save the glass milk bottles I get at the market. They make excellent containers for my homemade cleaning product. Or use large pasta sauce jars.


All you need: White Vinegar + Water + Tea Tree Oil + Orange Essential oil (or Lavender or Rose Geranium)

empty bottles

Fill 1/4 of the bottle with White Vinegar, then fill the rest of the bottle with tap water, almost to the top. Add 20 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil, a natural anti-bacterial and 20 drops of Orange Essential oil to make it smell nice. Put the top back on and shake it up.

These 8 bottles are full and ready to be carried back to where they are stored on a shelf, and out of direct sun.

bottles on the move


The all-purpose cleaners smell so good, clean and fresh. Poured into glass spray bottles, they are all ready to be used with  washable and reusable cloth rags instead of wasteful paper towels.

full bottles

Let me know if you have a recipe you love to make and use for cleaning your home or office! Let’s all help each other be healthier as well as save money while doing it.


For more tips and resources about living a sustainable lifestyle:

For housekeeping products:




12 ways I save water at home

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Water is essential to our quality of life. We can’t thrive without it. In California, we are in water crisis. For the first time in the state’s history, the water supply and delivery system may not be able to meet our growing needs.

There are several ways I have learned to reduce the amount of water my household uses by saving good water that is usually wasted, which in turn, also saves money by reducing my water bill. I’ve gone beyond turning the tap off when brushing my teeth, the 3 minute shower and turning the dishwasher on when it’s full.

Following are the other 9 ways I save water in my home:

In the back of the toilets, I’ve hung Toilet Tank Banks, which saves 0.8 gallons of water with every flush:



Available from Amazon

In the shower, I keep a Rubber Bucket, to collect the freezing cold water because I don’t want to get in until it warms up! After my shower, I empty the bucket in my garden on my non-edible plants, such the hedge:



Available from Amazon

The bathtub is used primarily for soaking and not for bubble baths, so I can easily use a Sump Pump to pump the water out through the window and into another part of the garden that doesn’t include edibles. Occasionally, I’ll fill up the water barrel outside my bathroom window and use that water when the garden needs it:



Available from Amazon



Water Barrel:  Available from Amazon

In the kitchen, I keep a Recycled Plastic Kettle near my sink, which I pour unfinished glasses of water into. When the Kettle is full, I pour that water into my orchids or other non-edible plants:



Available from Amazon

In my kitchen sink, I use my largest stainless steel bowl when rinsing fruits or vegetables under running water. I pour that water into one of my raised vegetable beds. In this image, I used a ceramic bowl!



Available from Amazon

In my kitchen, I also use a Salad Spinner to wash my greens such as lettuce, kale, spinach, dandelion, parsley, herbs, etc. That water gets added to the raised vegetable beds or any other plants that need water in the garden:



Available from Amazon 

In my garden, I have another Water Barrel to collect water coming down from one of my gutters when it rains. That water is used to irrigate the non-edible garden beds:

water barrel #1


Available from Amazon

In my garden, I’ve been switching to drip irrigation, which saves water from evaporation, which occurs when using a hose or conventional sprinklers:


I also have a water purification system by Lifesource, which takes care of the needs of my whole house, filtering out chlorine and retaining natural and beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium. To find out more, contact


My First Almanac Blog/Newsletter

Friday, March 29th, 2013

I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years since I started writing my monthly Almanac Blog/Newsletter. I had just launched my online store 4 months before, in January 2009, which had been a huge undertaking. My initial idea for the Almanac was to put out a print version quarterly, according to each season but decided that an online version once a month was more realistic. I must have been insane to take on so much! I really wanted to promote the products in my store, and show what a fantastic alternative they were and still are to many conventional ones.  I also wanted to promote the work of other eco minded people and raise awareness of the efforts they are making to make our environment a healthier place to live. Over the years, my Almanac has grown and  evolved, to include plant based recipes to eco film recommendations, great books to read, a garden calendar according to the phases of the moon, an inspiring sustainable design, an artist who works with natural or recycled materials or is inspired by nature, and more recently, a person of the month. Along with new tips and resources shared every month in my 3 PW tips,  these first  3 eco-tips are still my favorite. Simple tips for simple living:

1-Turn off lights in rooms you aren’t using and teach your children to do the same. 2- Bring your own reusable bags when you do any shopping. 3-When you wash your vegetables, save the water in a bucket and reuse it in the garden.



Almanac#1-2106 LOVES

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Seven years ago when I started my business, I made these boards that I hung above my desk. They are still there because my message hasn’t changed:



I also wrote out my Mission and Goals at the same time. I see it every day because it’s pinned to my vision board behind my desktop. Here it is word for word:

1-To provide alternatives to plastic bags through reusable market bags, produce bags, biodegradable bags and reusable sandwich wraps ( I don’t like most biodegradable bags anymore since they pollute the environment, unless they are made with 100% natural materials like corn or natural starches. I do believe in composting all my vegan kitchen scraps and turning them into nutrient rich material for my garden).

2- To provide support to cooperatives around the world, as well as connecting to their cultures, and raise awareness of their struggle to overcome many challenges to survive.
(I still feel this way and look to support women’s cooperatives in my store and when I go shopping).

3-To provide products that provide shelter and care to our animal friends, with birdhouses, bee houses, and non-toxic shampoo for dogs, a scratch pad for cats and several books celebrating animals. (Sadly, I didn’t succeed at having a section devoted to pets since I found it difficult to find products I wanted to carry. I donated the dog shampoos since then to an animal shelter).

4- To provide a selection of non toxic home care products to teach and encourage people to rid chemicals from their home environment with natural alternatives, such as Bon Ami cleaners, natural sponges and non toxic dryer sheets. (I have stopped carrying many of the cleaning supplies because they are now widely available in most supermarkets, including the classic and wonderful Bon Ami line. I have also learned how to make my own cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store).

5-To provide sensible educational materials, games and books for parents to share with their children. (I still feel the same).

6-To provide inexpensive products that help you save money and energy through using less water and electricity.( I still carry these products and have learned new ways to waste less water).

7-To provide support to businesses that are making useful products using recycled materials.( I still believe this very much so and have always shown my support to small businesses that have come up with a wonderful and healthy alternative to a conventional product and especially when they use innovative and creative ideas in reusing, recycling and repurposing materials).

Clearly, seven years ago I didn’t know about how laden with toxins women’s beauty products are or I would have offered a non-toxic skin care line right from the start. It took me a few years to find one that I really love, which is Odacite’. I use it every day. In fact, I still won’t carry a product in my store that I wouldn’t use myself.

My updated wish list is as follows:

* That all paper products are made from recycled paper, whether it’s books, magazines, school and office supplies, home supplies such as Kleenex, paper towels and toilet paper

*That all beauty and skin care products are made free of chemicals

*That all cleaning products are non-toxic

*That as many products as possible are made using recycled materials

*That all food is grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals and are GMO free

*That we reduce and remove the use of plastic in our lives, and instead use reusable market bags, reusable produce bags, glass storage containers for food and glass water bottles.




Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Many years ago, I went to boarding school in the countryside about an hour from London and ever since then, I have had a tremendous affection for London/England. I’m always happy to visit, even if it’s a brief one like this last trip. I did manage to squeeze in a delicious lunch at the Daylesford organic restaurant in Knotting Hill, stopped by some of my favorite stores like Labour and Wait, Summerhill and Bishop and EGG and even spotted some of my own products  at a friend’s home, which was fabulous to see.

The bed where I slept

Daylesford Organic restaurant in Knotting Hill is fantastic in so many ways, and one of them being they donate their surplus food to three charities for the homeless.

Organic carrots from the Daylesford farm in Gloustershire

Labour and Wait in Spitalfields is a wonderful home and lifestyle general store

Labour and Wait: Hemp super strong string

Summerhill and Bishop is a gorgeous home and lifestyle store.

Love these tablecloths from Summerhill and Bishop

The store EGG is magical

EGG’S natural blankets

Spotted: One Burlap Plastic Bag holder at my friend’s home. Made me so proud!

Also spotted at the same home: Recycling stickers…Looking good!


Friday, March 25th, 2011

I see the future of packaging: Seventh Generation and partner Ecologic. They are introducing cutting-edge advancement in the art of sustainable product packaging: a new liquid detergent bottle made from 100 percent recycled cardboard and newspaper. Seventh Generation’s Natural 4X laundry detergent bottle has a fully-recyclable and compostable outer shell made from 70 percent recycled cardboard fibers and 30 percent old newspaper fibers that supports a recyclable lightweight plastic pouch inside. The new bottle can be upcycled into new packaging that’s recycled yet again up to seven times!

The recyclable lightweight plastic pouch inside the bottle containing the latest laundry detergent is twice as concentrated, getting you 66 loads of laundry now from one bottle. Did you know…3 tons of cardboard waste is generated by tradeshows like the one I just went to a few weeks ago. Seventh Generation, in partnership with Ecologic is recycling all of it and that is how it should be across the board.


My photo of the coolest packaging I have seen for laundry detergent!



New Non-Toxic Home care and Personal Care Products

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Yesterday, I went to the very lively Natural Products Expo West and I came home with many samples of non-toxic home care products I’ll be trying out over the next week. The only one I am familiar with is the Mrs.Meyers liquid dish soap, which is lovely. Several of the other products aren’t available yet in stores, but will be in the next 6 months, I reckon. Here are the ones I photographed:

* Seventh Generation’s natural laundry detergent has new fabulous packaging and scent: geranium blossoms and vanilla.

*Handmade vegan and eco-friendly Soap by Wembe’ made in Paraguay.

*Alabu skin soap made with pasteurized goat milk, olive oil, cocoa butter and essential oils.

*Vaska herbatergent laundry detergent is allergen and scent free.

*Bravo’s paper towel is made with 40% post consumer recycled fiber.

*Thayers natural dry mouth lozenge is made with slippery elm.

*Mountain Rose Herbs maitake mushroom is cool looking (most likely use: tea)

*Hugo Naturals have a lip balm in pineapple coconut.

*Pre-fence, an alcohol free hand sanitizer.

*Fatwood 100% natural fire starters are chemical and additive free.

*Earth Science stick deodorant is aluminum free and made with liken plant.
Preliminary Test: The Bravo paper towel feels thick and soft and I will definitely buy some and the Pre-fence hand sanitizer, great for traveling, is a foam that is alcohol free and feels wonderful on my hands, leaving them soft after use.

Non-Toxic Products Pre-Testing

Organic Wool-Filled Comforters are the Best

Friday, June 11th, 2010

A few months ago,  I learned how amazing Organic Wool-Filled Comforters are and I only wish I had known sooner!  They are so soft on the outside because they are covered with the softest 100% certified organic cotton sateen woven in 300 thread count. YUMMY. Then, they are filled with 100% certified organic fine merino wool. This kind of wool helps regulate your body temperature faster, which makes you sleeper longer and better. Yeah! I really needed that. Who knew that wool is really fire resistant? It’s particular structure makes it able to absorb moisture more efficiently. Then, it just gets better: dust mites, mold, mildew and bacteria hate wool! They can’t get their icky bodies through the ‘complex’ 3-dimensional dry wool fibers. I have been using the wool-filled pillow to sleep on for the past few months, and I have never slept better. The pillow is just the right firm/soft that I like and it keeps its shape so no more sore neck. The comforter I have is so delicious and my sister used it when she was staying with me recently and went nuts for it and told me she had never slept better either! How can that be? Apparently people have been sleeping on wool for thousands of years, especially in the hottest climates (hello SoCal). I am thrilled to offer the pillow and three different size comforters on my site

Organic Wool-Filled Cotton Comforter

Close up of Organic Wool-Filled Cotton Comforter

Priscilla's Organic Wool-Filled Cotton Pillow