Thursday, 30 June 2011

Preserving our Rose Petals

We have a beautiful rose bush at the front of our home that blooms every few weeks during the summer and produces hundreds of roses at a time.  These flowers are a beautiful deep dark pink and have a nice light fragrance.  We are preserving the rose petals in order to use them in our homemade soaps for our Christmas Baskets that we give as gifts.  We will start making the soaps when the cooler weather starts and have them ready in time for the holidays.  We will be eager to share our soap recipe in the coming months.

My lovely 3 year old daughter Ava was eager to get her hands on the flowers to help me pull off the petals and set them in pans to dry in the sun.  Harvesting rose petals was fun work for her and kept those little hands busy! 

After Ava tired, I took over the task.  I cannot tell you how relaxing it is to gently pull of the rose petals and scatter them in our pans.  The silky feel of the petals and the soft sweet smell of the flower's essence.  I understand why this is the flower of romance; I was in love!  In love with nature and the beginning of the bounty that will be harvested over the coming months.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Lower Your Water Bill by Fifty Percent!

Did you know that Urban Dwellers or anyone for that matter, can cut their water bill by fifty percent starting today?  That's right, you read it correctly, you can start reducing your water bill with a simple step such as shutting off the water valve on your toilets and using Grey Water.
It occurred to me one day as I was pouring over our water bill - no pun intended; that we were not only charged for water usage, we were then being billed an identical amount for the cost of sewage.  I started taking a closer look at the simple changes around the home where we would be able to make an impact on our water bill and our environment.

Did you know that the amount of water it takes to flush a toilet is approximately the same, if not more than people in some countries are allocated on a daily basis for washing, cooking etc.  Think about this each time you flush the toilet.

As we were already reducing the amount of toilet flushes in our own home, I decided to take things a bit further.  By shutting off the valves on the toilets, we no longer used our clean tap water to rid our home of  Black Water (aka Sewage).   I began by not draining the bath or shower water out of the tub and also placed containers in each of our bathroom sinks.  Since we already wash our dishes in a large narrow bottom bowl in our kitchen, I had found that we had many sources of grey water.
Now, whenever we need to flush the toilet, I just grab a bucket and head over to the bathtub, fill the bucket and pour half of it into the toilet bowl.  Voila!  The toilet automatically flushes and we were finding a second use for our Grey Water.
I keep spray bottles filled with Vinegar by each toilet.  A couple of sprays after flushing with grey water will ensure that you keep any odours and germs at bay, especially during those hot summer days where bacteria love to multiply.
We only use our clean tap water for washing, brushing teeth and cooking now. 
Anyone can do this, whether you are looking to save money or reduce your carbon footprint, it's up to you.  It works for us and we will be happy to spend our money on food or other things that we need rather than going to the utility companies!