An All-Natural, Homemade Oven Cleaner

An All Natural Homemade Oven Cleaner

  By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer I love to clean. Since I have two young children, my ideal of a clean house has greatly changed over the past seven years, but I still enjoy cleaning – especially spring cleaning. Each March, April and May I gladly welcome the warmer temperatures, sunnier skies and longer days by thoroughly cleaning each room in my home. I love the dusting, polishing, vacuuming, purging and reorganization that my chores bring. But I dread one chore in particular. I just […]

The All-Natural, Eco-Friendly Way to Dry Laundry (Homestead Drying Racks Review & Giveaway!)

homestead

One of the most delightful things about living life abroad this past year was that, almost everywhere we traveled, I had to line dry my laundry. How is that delightful, you ask? What sounded somewhat like a chore at first quickly became a cherished, ritual, liturgical part of the day. Walking outside and breathing in the fresh air. Stopping and quieting myself from whatever I was doing or surrounded by in the house. Methodically, soothingly, picking up one piece of laundry at a time, feeling […]

How Smoggy Skies in China Changed the Way Our Family Shops

How smoggy skies in China changed the way our family shops

Three seemingly inconsequential words. Made in China. They’ve meant different things to me over the years. At first, those silver stickers on the bottom of inexpensive products reminded us of that rapidly growing nation across the Pacific and its manufacturing boom. At some point, “Made in China” began to mean lower-quality, cheap items that were likely to break. More recently, I became wary of toxins, like mercury, in my little one’s toys, and I became a more vigilant, worried mother, doing my best to keep […]

Child Labor and the Chocolate Industry

An Ethical Response to Child Labor in the Chocolate Industry at KeeperoftheHome.org

By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer I settled in on the couch with my laptop and a few pieces of candy leftover from our Christmas stockings to watch two documentaries exposing the rampant use of forced child labor on cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast of Africa. The candy I was savoring? You guessed it – mass-produced mini chocolate bars. My stomach churned as I realized the irony. Chocolate. Rich and sweet and delicious. A luxury. And yet not really. The average American consumes about 11 […]

Moving Forward on Your Natural Living Journey This Year!

Moving Forward on Your Natural Living Journey This Year! at KeeperoftheHome.org

By Emily, Contributing Writer My green and natural living journey began, probably like many of you, when I became pregnant with my first child, just about seven years ago. I started out slowly, changing things like our cleaning products, ditching paper towels for reusable cloths, and eventually cloth diapering our new daughter. As I was just starting out and learning about green and natural living, I went searching for information. I wanted to learn from others who were already living this way and could share […]

What is Fair Trade Coffee, and Should You Buy It?

What is fair trade coffee? And should you buy it? This AMAZING post explores just that! A must read!

By Jessica, Contributing Writer  This month Stephanie challenged us to think deeply about a “tough” food issue. Fair trade coffee stuck out to me, not because I’m an expert - but precisely because I am not. I love coffee, I buy coffee… And I always feel a twinge of guilt when I bypass the “fair trade” section for something more affordable. I decided it was time to get to the bottom of the issue. What exactly is fair trade coffee? Does it really matter if I buy it? This is not an […]

8 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas

8 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Ideas!

By Beth Ricci, Contributing Writer  Disposable wrapping paper is a multi-billion dollar industry that sells a product designed to be used and then immediately torn up and thrown in the trash. Not the most eco-friendly practice, obviously. However, we cannot deny that gift-giving is fun, partly due to the surprise element. So what’s an eco-conscious, naturally-minded gift-giving mama to do? I wrote a guest post at Simple Homemade last year on the 3R’s and how to prioritize them. In it, I talked about how I had learned the […]

Curbing Consumption with a Clothing Fast

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Ever considered a clothing fast? You won’t want to miss Hilary’s story! Guest Post by Hilary Kimes Bernstein Until New Year’s Day 2013, retail therapy was one of my favorite pastimes. If I was bored, I loved to window shop. If I was frustrated, I loved to window shop. If I was feeling depressed, I loved to window shop. If I had a rough day with my infant and toddler, I loved to window shop. (Notice a pattern?) Typically my window shopping would lead to […]