"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -- Mohandas Gandhi
"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need forComplicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the Philosophy is kindness." --- Dalai Lama
"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." ---Rumi
"All that we are is a result of all that we have thought" ---Bhudda
"If every household in the US replaced one bottle of shower cleaner containing chlorine bleach with a hydrogen-peroxide-based shower cleaner we could prevent 1 million pounds of chlorine from entering our environment."
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 48 oz petroleum-based powder laundry detergent with a vegetable-based product we could save 96,000 barrels of oil."
"Not by harming life does one become noble.One is termed noble for being gentle to all living things." ---Dhammapada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 85-sheet virgin-fiber facial tissue with recycled ones, we could save 280,000 trees."
"He who knows that all things are his mind, That all with which he meets are friendly, Is ever joyful." ---Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
"If every household in the US replaced just one 25 oz bottle of petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with a plant-based product, we could save 81,000 barrels of oil."
"In whom there dwells no self-deception and no pride, Who is desireless, whose wrath is put away, whose self hath cool become --He is Brahmin." ---Udana
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ---- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of the decisions on the next seven generations." ---Great Law of the Iroquois
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." ---- Dalai Lama
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ---Mahatma Gandhi

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Perspiration Stain Remover

Use this formula to pretreat ring around the collar and perspiration stains.

1/4 cup vinegar
4 drops lemon, lime, or eucalyptus essential oil
1 table spoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients. Rub the mixture into the stains with your fingers, a soft cloth, or an old toothbrush. Launder as usual.

Cedarwood Dusting Aid

This is my personal favorite! I use it for bookcases, coffee tables, kitchen cabinets, and the antique dining room table that we refinished a few years back. I adore the scent of cedar on wood; the sweet orange oil adds just the right touch. This is recipe makes enough for a large spray bottle.

1/2 cup oil soap (I like Murphy’s Oil Soap)
3/4 cup water
5 drops sweet orange or patchouli essential oil
15-20 drops cedar essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto wood and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth.

Basic Laundry Soap Liquid

The addition of glycerin and essential oil gives extra cleaning power while still being gentle on clothing.

1 ounce liquid castile soap
2 tablespoons glycerin
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
2 cups warm water
10 drops essential oil of choice

Combine all ingredients in a heavy plastic container (don’t use plastic mil containers – they’re not heavy enough) and shake well before using. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on the size of the load and how dirty the clothes are.

Porcelain Sink Saver

If you have an old-fashioned porcelain sink in your kitchen then you know that even though they look lovely, they do take on scuff marks and stains rather easily. Try this herbal remedy for really stubborn spots.

1 part sage, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, or mint, fresh or dried
1 part water

Brew a strong infusion by steeping the herb in hot water for 2 to 3 hours. Strain, reserving the liquid.
Close the sink drain, pour in the liquid, and allow it to work for several hours or overnight.
Note: If the stain persists, place 4 to 6 drops of your favorite essential oil directly on the stain for a few minutes and then scrub the spot with baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge.

Berry Good For Wood Cleaner

Use this fruity solution to bring dingy, dull wood furniture back to life.

1 tablespoon fresh raspberry leaves
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Steep raspberry leaves in water for 20 minutes. Strain. In a spray bottle, combine tea, vinegar, and lemon juice. Shake well. Moisten a soft cloth with the solution and gently rub the wood to loosen and remove dirt. Use a second clean cloth dampened with water to remove any residue. Wipe again with a dry towel.

Tub & Tile Soft Scrubber

A used plastic dishwashing liquid or shampoo bottle with a squirt top is an ideal container for your scrubber.

1 cup baking soda

1/4 cup liquid castile soap

2 vitamin C tablets, crushed

3-5 drops eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil water

Combine baking soda, soap, vitamin C, and essential oil in a plastic bottle. Add just enough water to make a smooth liquid paste. Shake or stir to mix. Apply paste to surface and rub with a damp cloth or sponge until area is clean. Rinse several times with water.

Herbal Scrubber

You can make up this formula in larger batches and store it in an airtight container. Use only whole dried (not powdered) plant material for this recipe.

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup dried sage leaves, coarsely ground

1/4 cup rosemary leaves, ground

Combine the ingredients in an airtight container and shake well to blend. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder into the sink and scrub with a damp sponge. Rinse well.

Sink Scrubber for Stains

For stubborn stains, allow this formula to rest on the stain for several minutes. Then scrub and rinse with vinegar and hot water.

1/4 cup borax

1/4 cup baking soda

8 drops rosemary, eucalyptus, or tea tree essential oil

3/4 cup vinegar for rinsing

Combine the borax, baking soda, and essential oil in an airtight container and shake well to blend. Sprinkle a small amount of the powder into the sink and scrub with a damp sponge. Rinse sink with vinegar, then with hot water.

Herb Appliance Degreaser

This formular will remove grease film from appliance surfaces.

2 cup water
1/4 cup oil-based soap (Murphy’s is good)
10 drops rosemary, lavender, or citrus essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Spray generously on appliance surface and wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. Wipe dry with a cloth or towel.

A Cleaner Fridge and a Healthier Body

This is the time of year we tend to be the most focused on health and wellness, thanks to the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions and the merciful slowing-down of our lives post-holidays. Once all those celebration leftovers are gone and the fridge starts to fill up with nutritious fruits and veggies and whole grains, it’s a good time to think about cleansing your appliance as well as your body.

But do you really want to use conventional spray cleaners with their chemicals and artificial smells—or, worse, use bleach on the surfaces your food lives on day in and day out? And how to get out those nasty spills and stains? (Where do those come from, anyway?)

Good news: an edible item that you probably already have in your fridge is the perfect way to clean up the mess and get rid of any lingering odors: baking soda. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that, by the way, is also great for cleaning out your oven or bathroom.

Cleaning the interior of your refrigerator is not a small project, but with a little bit of organization and focus, you can do it quickly and waste as little electricity (and food) as possible. Here’s how:

Step 1

Pull everything out, quickly, and stack it on the counter.

Step 2

Remove drawers and shelves and close the fridge door while you fill up the sink with warm soapy water and let them soak.

Step 3

Add about ½ cup of baking soda to a bowl or pail of warm water (as hot as you can tolerate; wear gloves if it helps).

Step 4

Use a clean rag to scrub the inside of your fridge with the baking soda mixture, and another clean, dry rag to wipe it down after.

Step 5

Scrub down your shelves and drawers with the water/baking soda mix and then dry them off.

Step 6

Place everything back in much more neatly, and with renewed dedication to keeping your fridge, and your health, in order!