Keep Your Country Clean

Over the past several years I’ve developed a deeper love for vintage items. I suspect it’s due to my dad and all of my grandparents now being gone. And my own advancing age, ha, ha. Somehow, 46 sneaked up on me. It baffles me sometimes 🙂 I don’t feel 46. HOW can I be 46?? My mother was right. Time really does fly!

The younger generation, for the most part (not every one of them), views antique and vintage things as junk. For me, I’m fascinated with the history attached to “old stuff”. Who owned it first? Was it a gift? Why did they get rid of it? Or did a family member carelessly do so? Was there simply no family left to keep it?

I suppose that’s just how it works out sometimes. I have several pieces that are special to me. I don’t have kids though. Once I’m gone, I imagine my things quite possibly could end up in a thrift store. I pray never a landfill!

I made the choice recently, prompted by a severe (and extremely educational) cash flow problem, to sell much of my stuff. It’s been stored away in boxes and bins for eons anyway. What’s the point, right? I’m a pack rat trying to kick the habit of hanging on to everything. It’s difficult, easy and freeing all at the same time!

The other day I was looking for a small drill bit to complete the construction of a mason jar organizer. During my rummaging around I came across a key chain. I’d seen it many times and largely ignored it. It sports a picture of Uncle Ben and I’ve never been a beer drinker.028 I figure it once belonged to my dad, a fan of cerveza 🙂 I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ll sell this after all, surely there’s an Uncle Ben collector out there. I could get five bucks for it. Maybe” and I picked it up.

And decided to keep it! (give me a break, I’m still a pack rat)

I love, love, LOVE what it says on the back. Aside from the awesome Canadian flag, it promotes fighting litter and pollution. 027I have to keep it because I’m highly dedicated to being as environmentally-friendly as I possibly can.

This incident proved to me that we can see something over and over and over again and never give it a lot of consideration and then one day. . . voila! We view it in a whole new light and appreciate it. Being a PR does have advantages 🙂

I actually Googled ‘Uncle Ben beer’ and now that I know the story, this key chain is even cooler. The man behind the beer, made it all happen right here in my home town! AND the beer came out the year I was born!

We have an off leash Ginter’s Park where Uncle Ben’s house once stood. Knowing the history of something is like hitting the jack pot 🙂 For a weirdo like me, lol.

For those of you who can’t make out the blurry photo (sorry, my camera is cheap), it says ‘Please fight litter and pollution, Keep your country clean’.

Wise words to follow!

DIY Scouring Cleanser

Part of green living means not buying all those “regular” cleaners like Pine Sol, Lysol and Comet. You might not consider it but they’re not good for you (or our planet). I once cleaned a house, it took me all day, and I was so ill that night. I never made the connection until years later, when I began learning about toxic substances and how to avoid them, that it was from the exposure to those cleaners.

I’ve used baking soda and vinegar and environmentally-friendly alternatives now for a very long time. And guess what? I never feel sick afterwards! A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for a scouring cleanser through David Suzuki’s website

He’s one of the most trusted people I turn to when I want to know something about how to help/safeguard the environment. I admire that man immensely for all he’s done and all he continues to do! Go, David!

I was so impressed after making the first bottle, I made a second one for my sister. This morning I mixed up a third one. It’s a great feeling knowing I’m not washing something harmful down the drain while scrubbing out a sink or bath tub. Three ingredients (four if adding an essential oil) and you’re all set.


Give it a try, I’d be very surprised if you were disappointed!

In a bowl, combine and stir until smooth:

  • 1 2/3 cups baking soda (430 g)
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap (114 g) I use Dr. Bronner’s
  • 1/2 cup water (110 g)


Pour into a squeeze bottle (the one I used is an old save from dish washing liquid, it literally was in my cupboard for 2 or 3 years until I had a new purpose for it; recycle, reduce, reuse, right?) with a lid that closes tight (you don’t want it to dry out). Shake gently prior to each use. If you’re using an unscented, liquid castile soap, you can always add 3-5 drops of an essential oil (such as peppermint, lavender or lemon) if you desire.

Now, I will admit I’ve used just baking soda to scrub out a sink. It works very well. But there’s something about a scouring cleanser that I like more. It’s nonsensical really when the results are the same (a clean sink).

The following demonstration is my very own bathroom sink. I saved it just for this 🙂 See how it goes from dull and dingy to shiny and squeaky clean! And yes, I know the Vileda scouring pad isn’t EF. It’s from days gone by. I don’t purchase them any longer.


This cleanser isn’t exactly easy on the pocketbook. I estimate $3.10 per bottle, which IS less expensive than buying an environmentally-friendly version and considerably more expensive than baking soda alone. It’s up to you and what you prefer. I’ll probably go back to baking soda once I run out of liquid, castile soap. Or I’ll use the scouring cleanser for larger areas like shower walls and only baking soda for sinks. Yeah. I think that’ll work! I’ll also wait to buy the ingredients when they’re on sale 🙂