Save The Planet & Yourself !
minimize consumption / maximize self-reliance
by Lynn Landes, Founder
This is a simple plan. Think Healthy and Local Self-Reliance for everyone, for every community, and for every nation. I’m not against high technology in the least, but I also believe that we all should be well prepared to survive and thrive without it. So, make a 2-column table. List everything that you buy or use in the left-hand column, then in the right-hand column, list how you could do things in a zero waste or less wasteful/toxic manner. That might require that you stop doing certain things altogether or that you substitute a material or activity with better, more eco-friendly choices. My list is below. Use it to make your own. Please note that this is a work-in-progress in that I’m always experimenting. You should too!
BUYER BEWARE! As a rule, we should shop as little as possible. It is best to assume that anything we buy could be contaminated with dangerous toxins. Plus, the more we shop, the less capable and self-reliant we become.
LYNN’S CHECKLIST & NOTES...to save on time, energy, and resources: (updated 2/24/19)
Conventional requires cautious approach:
Alternative Safer Substitutes: X – I don’t use at all
conventional, processed, non-local food, GMOs, cultivated, and hybridized crops
SEE! wild edibles - www.WildFoodies.org, although I do buy organic cultivated food as well.
I make my own drinks, sauces, etc
factory meat / poultry
grassfed / pastured
sugars – beet, cane
I use local honey and stevia leaves (not the white processed stevia)
I use fat from meat, poultry, or fish oil, also walnut and sunflower seed oil
I minimize due to estrogen content
X (many contain aluminum and other toxic ingredients)
(see Health Care at bottom)
PERSONAL CARE Products:
Safe(r) Substitutes: X – I don’t use at all
hair color, spray, etc.
X - even doctors say that you shouldn't use them in your ears.
baths - for both hair & skin
"feed your body, don’t poison it"
"if you can’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin"
"your skin, hair, & nails will absorb into your body & bloodstream anything that comes into contact with it"
I use a variety of things in my baths, including
vinegar seems to work as a preventative against and possible cure for scabies, lice, shingles, etc..
plantain water (plantago). Athough the plantain can dry my skin a bit, it makes my hair more manageable.
other greens that may add more nutrition to your bath water, such as nettle, dandelions, amaranth, etc.
hand soap - https://www.thestreet.com/story/12966410/1/5-hidden-dangers-of-hand-sanitizers.html I'm not a germaphobe, go usually rinse with water, but when I need more I use buckwheat flour, or for a more gentle cleanser - oat flour. Keep it in a pepper shaker. For car grease or other tough jobs, use fat or oil first, wait a minute, then sprinkle on buckwheat flour, rub together, then rinse. Use extra buckwheat and oil as needed.
walnut oil works best for me
hair conditioner, if needed
raw egg yolk (1 or more) applied directly to wet hair in bath or shower, comb through, then rinse – it’s makes my hair feel great, but I lose some body and control, so use it only as needed.
hair styling gel
raw egg white applied on wet or dry hair
light clothing and hat, but mud can be used in survival situations (see “Health” for sunburns
white vinegar works, rub on with facecloth, also scrub armpits in shower & bath, avoid eating glutens, avoid wearing synthetic clothes. try plantain water (plantago) to keep your underarms dry.
because hair growth is a source of removing toxins from the body, I don’t shave my armpits except once a year, before we go to the shore – yes, I cave for bathing suit season
currently using walnut oil and white vinegar with water. I also rinse with cranberry juice or plantain (plantago) . I avoid any toothpaste with Fluoride in it.
plantain water and/or cranberry juice (but not too much due to the acid content)
use baking soda as a last resort, avoid things that darken teeth (coffee, tea, etc)
toothbrush - plastic attracts bacteria
natural wood and natural soft bristles, and/or a terry cloth also helps clean teeth, or try a dogwood chew stick
HOUSEHOLD Commercial Products:
Safe(r) Substitutes: X – I don’t use at all
dish soap buckwheat flour is best, slightly abrasive, great for drains, but stains dishes, I also use white rice flour
white vinegar with clean cloth
egg whites and/or buckwheat flour, or rice flour, but need baking soda to take out tough stains
kitchen tough grease & grime cleaners
apply any kind of oil or fat (I use duck fat), wipe off excess
kitchen floor cleaners
any kind of mint, put it blender with water, sieve out greens, then mop or dust
wood products & wood floors cleaners & conditioners
duck fat works great for me, keeps wood from drying out (it doesn’t go rancid nor smell after a few hours / wood turners often recommend walnut oil
to remove glue from jars labels use fat or oil first, wait a minute, then sprinkle on buckwheat flour, rub with scouring pad, then rinse. Use extra buckwheat and oil as needed.
2 tsp of rice flour + 1 cup of 5% household vinegar.
ditch your whites and solid colors if they’re too hard to keep stain-free
tough grime on clothes
try scrubbing with clear oil and/or baking soda
laundry softeners & deodorizers
Any kind of mint water or pine needle water, dampen dust cloth, it leaves slight oil film, good for wood, leather, vinyl - keeps them from drying out
tough greasy dirt removers
duck or chicken fat alone, can also add buckwheat or rice flour to act as an abrasive
hand wash w/ buckwheat flour, air dry or dry w/ towel (cotton white t-shirts)
synthetic sponges or dish cloth
natural fabric dish cloth or face cloth, synthetic material attracts bacteria
wood might be best, then glass or ceramic
aluminum pots & pans
glass, stainless steel (note stainless may also contain aluminum layers & leach if nicked
stickless pots and pans
glass or stainless steel
iron pots and pans
glass, stainless steel
coffee filters (paper, plastic, aluminum)
filter of any kind
potted plants, herbs, (onions cut and left standing in water helps absorb toxic odors)
potted plants, etc.https://brightnest.com/posts/eight-health-benefits-of-houseplants
- Composting toilets can minimize the impact on the environment.
- It seems that we don’t even poop properly, see the SQUATTY POTTY - http://www.squattypotty.com/, I use a footstool instead
insulation, fiberboard, lightweight cement roofing tiles, wallboard, and other wood-like materials hemp! https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/green/hemp-building-material1.htm
Fashion Commercial Products:
synthetics & microfibers
natural organic fibers - hemp socks are great for people with toe fungus, hemp is naturally antifungal
http://www.enviro-tote.com/ Our son paints them and I use them all the time.
commercial made clothes
DIY – www.PhillyKnits.org – a meetup I organized in 2014
GARDEN Commercial Products:
Safe(r) Substitutes: I do not use any garden chemicals
in Philly, we use http://www.bennettcompost.com/ for food scraps
PESTS Commercial Products:
Safe(r) Substitutes: I do not use any insecticides or mousetraps
Insecticides: ants and other insects
meat or vegetable oil - paint on with brush around windows and doors, inside and outside
wash floors with mint water weekly
PETS Commercial Products:
we make our own dog food
raw egg yolks – great cleanser & conditioner
dab plantain and/or mint water on fur http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago#Uses
make your own with socks, ropes, etc.
minimize, use natural, organic, safe materials
X - most cards end up in the landfill within a few weeks
X - flowers are more heavily sprayed with chemicals than any other crop
I usually don't give gifts, but instead send checks so that people can get what they really want.
newspapers & magazines
cancelled everything, but that’s not always a good thing, decide on a case by case basis
HEALTH: Medications are finding their way into our drinking water, so minimize when possible.
vitamins & supplements
X - I use food as medicine and don't trust vitamins & supplements
X - loaded with toxins and addictive nicotine
X - a drug that is addictive to many people
X - i support medical marijuana, but not recreational use
caffeine - found in tea, coffee, sodas, chocolate
X - caffeine is a drug that can play havoc with your mind and blood pressure
I use food-as-medicine. Drugs are an absolutely last resort. Whole books are written on this subject - search "herbal remedies"
sunburns / toxic sunscreen
I wear light clothing and hats, but mud can be used in survival situations. If I get burned, I take a bath in plantain water (1 leaf per bath – just put in blender and sieve out fiber). Make the water medium to coolish – not too hot. Or try onions or onion water in the bath – 1 tsp onion juice. Do not rinse off. Pat dry.
We own a 2002 Prius with a new battery that gets over 50 mpg and also have two electric bikes and one regular bike. Plus, we really like taking the train, very relaxing.
(more to come)
I AVOID… (abbreviated list) Many of the materials and toxins listed below affect your body, brain, and DNA.
· All plastics and synthetics, which are petroleum products, including: plastic toys, food/drink containers, plastic tea bags and coffee filters, etc, synthetic fabrics (including dry cleaners, wrinkle-free, and flame retardant fabrics), personal care products (soaps, cosmetics, etc), household cleaning agents, air fresheners, lawn care chemicals, pesticides, pest strips, flea collars. Even if the product is said to be "organic", chances are it comes in a plastic container.
o http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/ - warns against plastics and its effects on physical, mental, and sexual development
o bacteria on plastic surfaces vs wood - http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/docliver/Research/cuttingboard.htm
o Soaps (including antibacterial, triclosan) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/29/triclosan-in-personal-care-products.aspx http://www.endalldisease.com/toxic-ingredients-exposed-a-funeral-for-dove-soap/
· Any mined product, as much as possible – example, baking soda is a mined product so I avoid using it even though it is very effective in removing calcium deposits, stains, etc. out of various materials.
· Aluminum, found in deodorants (also called alum), anti-acids, pickled products, pots and pans, coffee strainers, dye fixers, and other kitchen equipment, even some stainless steel pans.
· Mercury, including compact fluorescent that contain mercury
· Fluoride - fluoridated municipal water and fluoridated dental products (many food products for people and pets can contain high levels of fluoride). Read: http://fluoridealert.org/ & http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
· Chlorine – chlorinated water and chlorine cleaning products
· Formaldehyde – http://www.naturalnews.com/034743_formaldehyde_personal_care_products_chemical.html
· Food additives - http://www.naturalnews.com/035647_food_industry_ingredients_chemicals.html
· Anti-caking agents (found in salt and baking products)
· Talc (also an anti-caking agent) - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein/talcum-powder-the-hidden_b_279523.html
· Fiberglass http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/30/fiberglass-causes-cancer.aspx
· Asbestos - http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-cancer/what-is-asbestos.htm
· Glycerin - http://101healthsteps.com/2009/05/30/dangerous-chemical-glycerin-glycerine-glycerol-glycyl-alcohol/
· Disposable paper products: tissues, napkins, plates, towels, diapers
· Dishwashers: The biggest source of indoor air pollution may be the dishwasher and its plastic parts. Washing machines, showerheads and faucet taps also release toxins in lesser amounts. (The hotter the water, the more toxins are freed)
· Medications – I use as a last resort, may be hazardous to your health and the environment, plus medications are not filtered from drinking water.
· Lead in pipes and other products – history of lead use: http://www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/History+of+Lead+Use
· Microwave ovens - https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx
· New homes: Most new buildings need a period of years to "out-gas" due to the use of toxic construction materials.
· Old buildings may harbor lead paint and/or lead plumbing, lead can also be in the surrounding soil