the changes we are making…


out with all the with all glass!!!

out with all the with all glass!!!


"Plastic or paper?"   neither, I brought my own...

"Plastic or paper?" neither, I brought my own...


big money and waste savings!!!

big money and waste savings!!!

so, much less waste here as well...

so, much less waste here as well...


the change I am most proud of!!!!

the change I am most proud of!!!!

Happy Earth Day!!!!   I intended to give more examples than this, and I might very well post more at a later date, time is of the essence today, so I will give you five (my favorite number!!)  examples of changes my family has made to be a little more earth friendly, as well as embrace my frugality.   It is all good!!!  

1.  We are making the switch from plastic  (Rubbermaid, Tupperware etc etc)   My extended family has their own theory on plastic use, and I think we might be onto something.  I won’t bore you with those details, but when I need food storage, I now use GLASS only because of it.  

2.  Why pick plastic OR paper when you have the option of your very own fabric???   not to mention they are SO much easier to carry!!!   everything stacks up nice and tight and square…….and no waste with the bags to unload and then send to the landfill.   It is a given, isn’t it??

3.  My FRUGAL mind thinking on this one.  I used to buy Dixie cups in multiples!!!   between the kids just needing a “sip” of something to quench their thirst, to the need for a drink to take medication….I was running out of Dixie cups all the time!!!!!!!  no more.  My sister Kim found a really neat Amish General store that we like to go to, and they had these old fashioned restaurant style cups!!  they are so awesome, and the same size as Dixie cups!!!    I know, they ARE in fact made of plastic BUT….imagine how many less disposable cups we have in our garbage, not to mention the MONEY SAVINGS!!!!!   I have not purchased a Dixie cup in over a year!!!

4.   Not a paper towel.   Enough said.  Saving from packing paper towels in the garbage and money spent when we were ALWAYS out of paper towels!!!   $$$$$$     toss these towels in the washer (see next post)  and they are good to go.  

5.  The change I am most proud of!!!!!!!  my Simply Wonderful homemade laundry soap!!!   why did I not do this 10 years ago????     Sorry Tide, but I have saved BIG time money now!!!!!!!    I recently took back a bottle of Downey to the store for a refund.  I no longer need fabric softener!!!   I recieved $7 back as a refund!!!!!   $7  ??!?!?!?!?    and this bottle was about a weeks worth for this household!!!   amazing?  yes?    $7 and that was not even considering the actually DETERGENT to clean the clothes!!!    and make note, the glass jar I keep this in, the little metal scoop from my sister to dispense it……so imagine all the obnoxious plastic jugs etc etc that are NOT going in my landfill.   {pat on my own back} !!!!  

I know they may seem like small changes, but if we all make them, it does make a difference in the grand scheme of things.  I wish the kids and Glenn were home with me today as I know they will have lots more examples of what we have done, or planning on doing.  I will save those ideas to post at a later date.  

Feel free to post YOUR ideas or the small changes your family has made!!  I would love to hear them, and maybe put those into place in my home as well.  

Enjoy the day and the acknowledge the fragile surroundings we really are living in.  


19 Responses to “the changes we are making…”

  1. Aunt Kim aka machita! Says:

    yeah this is my FAVORITE post of yours 🙂 thanks to you, i am very very much trying to do some of the same. I have thrown away 99.9% of my tupperware and am loving it!!! i love the laundry soap!!! i only wish i could stop buying the small bottled water but i’m not there yet 😦 As for plastic grocery bags.. um cant seem to quit that yet either 😦

  2. simplyaltered Says:

    yeah, I thought you would like it. 🙂 thanks for being the first comment. You rock.

  3. Aunt Tippy Says:

    We cloth diaper our babies. Think of the savings on that one! Especially with 2 babies in diapers! Oh, and did you know that I nurse my babies too?!?!?!? Yeah, I thought so. Yet another huge savings in the baby department. No plastic bottles, no formula cans, etc. Now who rocks?! 🙂

  4. simplyaltered Says:

    that is very good Tiff!!! I am impressed with the cloth diapers!! ohhh the money I put out and the landfill contribution I made with dispoables??? yikes!!!! I hate to think of it!!!!!!!!!

  5. LaVonne Says:

    Paper towels? NEVER use them. A roll can last for months at this household. IF I get plastic grocery bags, I re-use them. Plastic storage, I am working on, but not completely there yet. But I store plenty of food on my Longaberger pottery in the fridge, with foil or saran over it. Saves on dishes too. Laundry soap? Not there yet either.

  6. Karen Says:

    I have been recycling for a long time. I also use green bag for shopping. I try to do a lot for the earth. I am planning on have a tree planted in the park. It is thro one of the site that I am in. We need more trees.

  7. Patt Says:

    Hi! Loved all your ideas. We don’t do paper cups around here. Mostly use kitchen “tea towels”, but still some paper. Will work on that! But what I really would like is if you can post the detergent recipe again. Really want that!
    Thanks for all your ideas!

    • simplyaltered Says:

      for all who have requested. You can find the recipe in full detail under “Simply Wonderful” blog archives ( or favorite posts) along the right side of the home page. It ought to take you right to it. It is truely SIMPLY WONDERFUL!!!!!!

  8. Ronnie Says:

    I’m so confused , i love my paper towels and and tupperware

  9. Pat Ortegren Says:

    I to use the cloth bags for shopping, there still is alot of plastic on the things I buy, but not sure how to avoid that. One thing we do is declare to days a week a non consumer day. We don’t buy anthing, except the gas to go to work. We were amazed at the how the little things add up. Not sure I could do away with our tupperware, we both take our lunch to work. Love this site.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      Pat, I love that idea of non consumer days!!! I imagine Bruce does fine, but I would think much more challenging for a woman? with getting groceries and all…..but that is awesome, and yes, it does make a big difference!! My life changing moment in this quest to simplify came along when I read the book “Not buying it”. It was about a couple that did not buy ANYTHING other than gas, food and only a VERY few essentials, for a whole year!!! it was a very captivating read for me!!! and from that moment on……here I am. 🙂 trying to influence others. Thanks for stopping by so often. I hope to post many more exciting things!!!!

  10. Jules Says:

    I started using the cloth grocery bags about a year ago, love them!!! Plus, my store gives me 5 cents for each bag I bring in, mind you I bring about 8 or 9 and usually fill them! That adds up fast. I still use plastic at Target so I have a few to use for trash bags etc, so I recycle them they don’t go directly into the landfill. Also switched to glass food storage a few months ago also, they do have plastic lids but I feel better having the food part in the glass and is safer to reheat in the microwave. We rarely use disposable cups or plates, only at picnic type meals. And I haven’t bought paper napkins (other than holiday) for probably over a year. I try not use too many paper towels either and I get the pick a size. The one place I haven’t gotten very good at is when I take the guys field meals the most convenient is to take them in the styrofoam take out containers, because the washable containers don’t make it back very well and let me tell you non-washed dishes after a season of planting/harvest is nasty! I make my own household cleaners and just made my first batch of the detergent! I don’t consider myself ‘green’ yet but I feel I am making an effort and these things make my life easier. I nurse my babies also so that helps on the formula front. Cloth diapers……not sure I can’t do that yet, maybe I will try it with this baby??
    Love this site!!!

    • simplyaltered Says:

      be sure to let me know how you like the detergent!!! (but only if you fall in LOVE with it!!!) haha. lol.
      Remember, warm water really does work best, and don’t expect mounds of suds. But the clean “ness” you get is remarkable!!!

  11. Cathy Says:

    Love all of your ideas, especially the laundry detergent. We do a lot of these things already — so glad we aren’t alone! I would love to learn how to make my own detergent. Your post is so informative, I went ahead and mentioned it on MY blog. (Why write another post about eco-living when you’ve already done such a great job LOL. And yours has pictures!)

  12. Bubba Says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Earth day, your contributions, overall positive feelings…I love it all. I had a lovely Earth day myself and am glad to see so many people understanding what “go green” really means (instead of just picking up on a trend). I’ll be home on Sunday…… can we have a laundry detergent making party?! I’m doing my best to spread the word about our beautiful Mother. Thank you and everybody else who do their part. I appreciate it. 🙂

    Also, I wish you still did the April Fools Day food. If I ever have kids can I have all your food ideas….?
    Have a lovely day!

  13. Rhiannon Says:

    Ok. So I love this post aunt kelli. If people are following suit with getting rid of there paper cups and Tupperware.. please be advised that these items are recyclable. It makes me cringe to think of people just tossing them in the landfill in an effort to be “green”. I have gotten rid of a lot of my old Tupperware also.. but they went right into the recycle bin. Another thing I learned about buying organic milk. As a household of 2, we usually buy a half carton of milk. I learned that these waxy cardboard containers are not recyclable. It is better to go ahead and purchase a gallon plastic jug. I was very surprised by this. So any item that comes in a waxy cardboard box will sit in the landfill for many many years. If there is a glass or plastic alternative it is actually better. hmm.. I had been putting them in my cardboard pile unknowingly. Another “Green” myth buster is that anything with food residue will be rejected at the recycle center. This is not true. It is best to rise out your glass jars of pasta sauce before you toss them, to not draw aunts, but it will not be rejected if there is a little residue. This saves me from soaking my empty peanut butter jars for 2 days.. ha ha. I’m so glad to hear my family is making steps to going green. It really is important. I think Oskaloosa should begin a curb-side residential recycling program very soon. Talk to your city council person!!

  14. Christy Says:

    What a great post—with some great ideas. Still have one last jug of soap to use up and then I will begin to use the soap, I made following your recipie. I’ll keep you posted…..

  15. Jan Says:

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing such good information. I am looking forward to trying the laundry soap! Thank you, too, for sharing the recipe. We haven’t given up the reusable plastic food storage containers yet, but we don’t use paper cups, or napkins. I think we still use too many paper towels as my DH has “trouble” with sponges to wipe counters, etc. We do use the reusable shopping bags, though.

  16. Aunt Kattee aka Kathy, 1st Born Says:

    In the famous words of country music singer, Barbara Mandrell, “I was going green, when going green wasn’t cooool” Something like that! Always insisted on glass bowls, containers, glasses, plates, etc. On the RARE occasion that I was forced to use disposable, I hand washed and reused them several times. Even been known to dig them out of the trash can. Hate using papertowels, they are more of a decoration in my kitchen – love the crocheted towels that hang on the stove or cupboard handle. Who makes those now that my dear Wilma McKim has passed on?

    And cloth bags, I have been know as the “bag lady” for many years, although I have to get better at always having them with me. This is just one small flaw and I am working on it.

    Buying water in a disposable bottle – nonsense and a total waste of money! I even remember the good ole days when milk was delivered to you in a nice glass bottle that the Borden milkman (who just happened to be my DAD) picked up the next week to reuse. Nice!

    And as I think about it, all the garage sales we have, we should change the name to “Rozenboom Family Recyle Sale” or “Rozenboom Sisters Repurpose Sale” or “DRS Girls Treasures today – Can be Yours tomorrow Sale”.

    It is nice to hear all kinds of new money saving, going green, recycling
    ideas that are actually tried and true

    Oh yea, Actual Song – “I was country, when country wasn’t coool!”- Barbara Mandrell

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