Monday, April 16, 2012

To Fe, or not to Fe

A recent home inspection revealed that my future house has the original Iron plumbing. (Fe = Iron, for those less nerdy readers.)  At first I was super worried about the cost to replace everything, and the struggle to live temporarily without water. As I researched the process, I learned that the most common replacement is PVC plumbing.

But wait... I'm trying to get rid of plastics in my home!  Why bother with upgrading to glass tumblers and storage containers if my water is pumped through plastic tubes first?  PVC is the go-to material for new construction and remodeled plumbing, but I'm not convinced about it's long term safety. 

Maybe Iron plumbing isn't so bad... don't women need more Iron in their diets anyways?  Does anyone know of any green alternatives for plumbing material?

PVC Health Hazards

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

4 Reasons to Return to Your Roots

Here are the four reasons that I decided to quit dying my hair and return to my natural hair color:
  1. Time consuming salon visits added one more thing to my to-do list, creating unnecessary stress.
  2. Full foil highlights, cut, and tip came to nearly $200, which was just too much for me to stomach when there are so many other uses for that cash.
  3. I don't eat chemicals in my food, I try to avoid them in my home, but for some reason I was still smearing them on my scalp and inhaling the fumes. Not the wisest choice.
  4. I no longer felt the need to be beach bunny blonde... something I strongly identified with in my college years.  I think as I got older, it was just part of becoming more comfortable in my own skin.
About a year ago I asked my trusted stylist to identify my natural hair color, and give me an all-over tinting to make the transition look more put-together.  Of course, you expose yourself to the chemicals one last time and spend the money, but it will help if you are worried about looking unkempt during your transition. I saw it as taking one step back before making a leap forward.

Salons and Your Health

Monday, April 2, 2012

Refusing Birthday Stuff

One of my favorite blog's, Zero Waste Home, taught me the importance of refusal.  Her slogan is Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot... in that order.  It's a lot easier to avoid clutter when you simply refuse to allow it into your home in the first place.

I recently shared with you that I've started refusing receipts, mostly to avoid the BPA on the paper, but also so that they don't collect in the bottom of my purse.  This has been a simple enough thing to do to.  However, I'm a little more challenged when it comes to birthday presents.  April is a big birthday month in my house... four of us will be celebrating another year.  There are two levels of refusal to tackle: (1) Avoid temptation to buy things for each other, and (2) Handle incoming gifts from family and friends.

When it comes to buying gifts for each other, I typically try to use birthdays/holidays as an "excuse" to buy things we need in some way.  The husband will probably be getting a new glass water bottle, since I recently disposed of his numerous plastic ones.  For me, I'm hoping to get a BPA-free, re-usable coffee filter so that I can stop using disposables, or some large glass jars to replace aluminum canned goods. (Even minimalists have "the wants" sometimes!)

As for the fur babies, although I could come up with lots of things to spoil them with, I'm trying to stick to our annual donation to the ASPCA. It does a lot more good than a new toy laying in the yard.  My parents did a similar thing with me as a human kid, taking me to volunteer at the animal shelter as my birthday gift.

Donate to ASPCA

The second challenge is the ever-awkward task of refusing gifts from friends and family. My husband observed that most of the clutter I've hung on to so far has been saved by the fact that it was a gift.  I do struggle with emotional attachments to things I've received from loved ones, even if I really really don't want it.  To avoid more of this problem, I really need to ask my friends and family to refrain, although I do fear seeming rude or ungrateful.  I'd be thrilled to see a donation in my name, and I'd be perfectly content to get nothing at all.  But how do you convey this in a respectful manner?

I'll let you know when I figure that out, but in the meantime, please share your stories of gift management!