Thursday, 19 June 2014

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Here's a simple DIY project the next time you're running low on vanilla extract (or out drinking vodka). With just two ingredients, you can make your own vanilla extract.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Toilet Paper by the Case

Sometimes the thing you are looking for turns out to be right under your nose. Finding plastic-wrap-free toilet paper has been on my to-do list pretty much since I started this blog. I should qualify that; I was looking for toilet paper, without plastic, that didn't cost over $1 per roll. On the online store of a popular waste reduction blog, there is a link to toilet paper that costs over $1.40/roll. That's taking things a little too far, in my opinion.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Plastic-free Dishwasher Tabs

Sometimes you have to draw a line when it comes to making things yourself. For me, the line is when the DIY product is overly complex, or doesn't work properly. The latter has been my experience so far in trying to make dishwasher detergent. My attempts have left my dishes dirty and/or filmy, and further research into other recipes has not been encouraging.

I have also had a tough time with boxed powder detergents. I found that they caked into the dispenser and never fell into the wash. It was a frustrating experience.

Monday, 3 February 2014

My New Dish Soap

I tried my hand at reusable dish soap a few years ago, thinking it would be an easy project. The result was a weird, milky gel that had to be used straight on the dishcloth because it was useless when added to a sink of water. The recipe also made about 2 litres of it, so it took me forever to use up. It's gone now, and since then I have been using up the dish soap that was left in our house when we moved in. That bottle has about 1 cm left in the bottom.

I do plan on trying a homemade version again some day, with a different recipe, but this weekend it so happened that I dropped in to Lukes Drug Mart in Bridgeland. Lukes has been in existence for a long time, but in the past couple years has started to transform itself into a pretty cool little shop. Besides the standard pharmacy and convenience store line, it now boasts fancy coffee, records, groceries, local bread, and a line of refillable cleaning supplies.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Flour and Spice Stockup

I've written about purchasing bulk spices before, and not much has changed for me on that front. I was surprised, however, to find that I have not yet posted about purchasing flour in bulk. Finding myself completely out of flour this weekend, I prepared for a trip to Sunnyside Market in Kensington, where I know I can buy bulk products hassle-free.

The benefit of buying bulk at Sunnyside, other than supporting a great, locally-based, small business, is their no-questions-asked attitude towards bringing your own containers. Simply bring your container to the front when you arrive, have them take its tare-weight, and then fill your containers straight from the bulk bins. No hassle, no weird looks, and no awkward social situations.