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Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Living a rich country life in a small Midwestern town.

Showing 2 posts in the Green Living category for this blog.
Hanging Out the Wash: Green and Thrifty
Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It was a balmy 35°F this morning when I awoke. So—I’m hanging out the wash today on My Little Farm in Town.

I have a friend that does not own a dryer because of her green convictions. I admire her. She is a woman of grit and perseverance who hangs her laundry to dry all over inside her house during the winter and wet spells and outside in warmer weather.

I am not as noble and committed a creature. I hang my laundry outside for more mundane reasons:

1.       Economics: I might already have mentioned that our electric rates have risen significantly, and I’m tired listening to our dryer consume more kilowatts than I can afford.

2.       Vanity: I hate the sausagey way my cotton t-shirts fit when they shrink in the dryer.

3.       Senses: I just love the fresh air smell of line-dried clothing.

I usually dry only my cottons outside because I live in town and the wind doesn’t blow as vigorously between the houses. I can only get so many loads dry per day, and I only do laundry once a week. (As a teen living on a hill in northern Wisconsin, I could hang and dry a load in twenty minutes! Residing as a single person on the flats of Dubuque, Iowa, I did my laundry once a month and hung it all, with my landlord’s permission, on the expansive lines in the side yard of the brewer’s mansion converted into apartments where I lived at the time. Those were the days!)

My chickens like it when I am outside hanging or folding laundry, teetering on top of the packing snow drifts. It adds variety to their day and the anticipation of the treats I sometimes feed them between loads. (My next-door neighbor also thought it might entertain her Australian pen friend and asked if she could take a picture of me in action. I consented, thinking it might add an interesting cultural note to her correspondence.)

Today, I may need to take the last little bit of moisture out of my loads in the drier when the sun goes down,  but I will still be spending less on electricity.  Living greener and leaner by the minute, Begonia

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Clean and Thrifty: Cheap foam soap refills
Sunday, February 07, 2010

I stocked up on shampoo this past week at out local variety store. Eighteen fluid ounces cost me a dollar. I have a child with hair almost to her waist that she washes daily. We go through a lot of shampoo!  I employ the "pantry method" of buying. When I find a good deal, I buy enough to last until the next sale or the next YEAR!

We use shampoo for more than hair. . . we also use it to wash our hands. On our little farm in town, we pay for our water twice, coming into the house as well as leaving it.  Water and sewer rates are rising like every other household product and service. One way we found of saving in both areas was to start using foam soap.

Foam soap saves on water because it is wet already, being mostly water and just a little soap. You don't have to run the water to get you hands wet. You only have to run the water to rinse.

The refills are expensive for the same reasons: mostly water and just a little soap. I've gotten around this by reusing the empty dispenser. I squirt a couple of tablespoons of shampoo into the dispenser container and fill the rest of it with water. I usually buy a store brand to get the first batch of soap solution and dispenser as inexpensively as possible. (Watch for sales of a dollar or less on foam hand soap.)

The beauty of shampoo is that it is economical and comes in so many wonderful scents. Shower and bath jells and even dish soaps also work. All these products are concentrated, so a little goes a long way--one bottle can last for months!

I hope this saves a few of you a few bucks. Every little bit helps these days.  Begonia.



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