• Urban Homestead

    Composting

    What is compost/composting? In order to really learn how to do something we first need to understand all aspects of the topic. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that compost is “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land”. The act of composting is “to convert a material, such as plant debris, to compost”. Composting is vital in the life of a homesteader because you remove the need to purchase chemical fertilizers, you’re no longer throwing away organic matter, and you will have great soil for future crops. The EPA has an amazing article that really goes in depth about composting. You can…

  • DIY

    Natural Cleaners

    We all know that the majority of items used to clean homes today are packed full of hazardous chemicals and they can be a bit pricey. I started making my own cleaners mostly to save money and avoiding the chemicals was just a bonus. I am super glad I started to make my own cleaners though because now I don’t have to worry about my children getting into anything harmful. There are people who make a cleaner for every surface of their home, but I’m a lazy person so I like to keep things simple. I’ve learned water and some elbow grease can go a long way. All purpose Cleaner…

  • Urban Homestead

    15 Ways to Apartment Homestead

    People tend to think that because they live in the city they can’t homestead or embrace the homesteading lifestyle. I am here to tell you that if you really want to, you can. We lived in an apartment for a year and we dehydrated food, made wine, shopped at the farmer’s market, foraged for wild blackberries, and had planter boxes on our balcony. We tried a small aquaponics system, but we didn’t have the extra money to really invest and make it work properly. While we embraced the lifestyle a little bit, we definitely could have tried more of these options. 1. Learn to live with less. This is one…

  • Zero Waste

    Unpaper Towel

    When my husband and I got our apartment in 2016 we decided that paper towels were expensive and a waste. We went to Walmart and spent about $20 on some multi pack washcloths. We bought 4 packs at $3.92 each and each pack had 18. This got us around 72 washcloths. We also bought a small basket to sit on the counter for easy access. The thrift store may have really cute wicker baskets. Now we had our “unpaper towels” on hand for whenever there was a mess. It is now 2019 and most of the original 72 washcloths are still going strong, though I have added more rags to…

  • DIY

    DIY Cloth Napkins

    I absolutely love sewing, and I have a weakness for fabric when its on sale. Hobby Lobby was having a 30% off sale one day and I couldn’t resist this 100% cotton fabric with sunflowers I had found. So I did what any strong willed woman would do, I bought half a yard of it for $2.45. I decided to make some pot holders and dinner napkins with it. The dinner napkins were SUPER easy to make. I was able to make 5 within an hour. 1. I cut my fabric into squares. I didn’t measure, but most people do 18 inch squares. 2. I folded over the edges and…

  • Zero Waste

    Zero Waste Coffee and Tea

    If your home is anything like ours, coffee is essential. My husband HAS to have his coffee in the morning, but I’m more of a casual drinker.  I’m not quite sure when we swapped to reusable filters, but one day we just realized how wasteful the K-cups were. With a quick search on Amazon we found a reusable k-cup with good reviews and purchased it. After this we swapped to whole bean coffee that we would grind ourselves for more flavor. A perk to this is that coffee beans are super easy to get in bulk. When we have guest over we like to use our french press because the…

  • Zero Waste

    Zero Waste Laundry Room

    The laundry room is where a lot of waste can happen, mostly it is a waste of energy and money. There is also a waste of money buying commercial cleaners that are full of harsh chemicals and come in plastic. I enjoy making my own products in order to avoid these chemicals and I feel that they work great for my home. Just remember to do what is good for you and your family. Easy ways to cut back waste: Wash clothes less. Clothes can be worn more than once before needing to be washed. Hang your clothes to dry on a clothesline, indoor or outdoor. Wash with cold or…

  • DIY

    DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets

    Making your own dryer sheets is a great way to avoid chemicals and unnecessary waste while reusing things around your home. I personally do not make them right now because I feel like they aren’t a necessity, but if you enjoy them consider making your own. There are two options to choose from. The first option uses old scraps of fabric in a vinegar solution (don’t worry the vinegar smell will disappear) and the second is wool dryer balls. Reusable Dryer Sheet Ingredients Scraps of fabric (old rags, old t-shirts, leftover fabric from crafts) 1c  White vinegar 20 drops of essential oils Glass container (mason jar is fine) How to…

  • DIY

    Natural Laundry Detergent

    Laundry detergent is one of the first zero waste/eco-friendly swaps I made. I was 19 when I made my first batch and I haven’t used anything else since. I started making it as a way to avoid chemicals, but turns out this recipe is great for saving money and avoiding plastic waste as well. I have very sensitive and dry skin, even water can irritate my skin, but I’ve never had any issues with this recipe. My son is seven and his clothes have been washed with this since he was 3, he never showed signs of skin irritation either. There are MANY recipes out there for DIY laundry detergent,…

  • Uncategorized,  Zero Waste

    Plastic after zero waste.

    When I first discovered zero waste I thought I needed to start immediately and purge my home of all plastic items. I’m slowly finding out that others along their zero waste journey thought the same thing.  This is not what zero waste is about. If we throw things away that still have use then ultimately we are being more wasteful. I’m still using a plastic toothbrush and that’s okay. I will keep using it until I need to replace it, and then I will  purchase a bamboo toothbrush. When i purchase the new toothbrush I can repurpose my old one for cleaning. I have 3-4 extra bottles of body wash…