File:People icon.svgSave The Planet & Yourself 


minimize consumption / maximize self-reliance   

by Lynn Landes ( updated 2/14/16


This is a simple plan.  Think Healthy and Local Self-Reliance for everyone, for every community, and for every nation. Iím not against high technology in the least, but 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 or make your own.  Please note that this is a work-in-progress in that Iím always experimenting. You should too!


Image result for warning image 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.




FOOD: Diet needs can vary for individuals.

Safe(r) Substitutes: X Ė I donít use at all

conventional, processed, non-local food, GMOs, cultivated, and hybridized

SEE! wild edibles -

canned/bottled beverage/food

I make my own drinks, sauces, etc

factory meat / poultry

grassfed or pastured

farmed fish

wild caught

sugars Ė beet, cane, maple syrup

I use local honey, maple syrup, and stevia leaves (not the white processed stevia), but am also experimenting with getting my sugar from dried fruits

vegetable oil

I use fat from meat, poultry, or fish Ė not vegetables



anti-caking agents













I am trying to cut down, very addictive, purchased Yaupon holly to try as substitute




Safe(r) Substitutes: X Ė I donít use at all





hair color


nail polish




hand cleanser

X I rinse with water only or buckwheat flour (in pepper shaker), for tough grime, rub in oil or fat, then use buckwheat & rinse. It really works well



bath Ė for both hair & skin


feed your body, donít poison it


if you canít put it in your mouth, donít put it on your skin


your skin, hair, &  nails will absorb into your body & bloodstream anything that comes into contact with it




        I only bath once or twice a week and otherwise take 1-minute showers just to rinse off, using water only.

        Updated: Iím now mainly using plantain water (plantago)  or  

and have tried mallow >  Ė use Ĺ tsp of, crush or put in blender, sieve out fiber, put in bath.  The plantain can dry my skin a bit, but it makes my hair more shiny and manageable. 

        you can also add other greens that may add more nutrition to your bath water

        vinegar seems to work as a preventative against and possible cure for scabies, lice, shingles, etc., in my experience. However, mint or pine needles might do the same

        avoid glycerine which is in most commercial and handmade soaps:


other bath additives

oat flour, herbs, and other foods can nourish your entire body as well as your skin

skin moisturizer

your own body oils are best, protect skin with hats & clothes, limit shower time, donít scrub skin too much.

hair conditioner, if needed

raw egg yolk (1 or more) applied directly to wet hair in bath or shower, comb through, then rinse Ė itís makes my hair feel great, but I lose body and control, so I 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 ďHealthĒ for sunburns


onion or vinegar work, scrub on with facecloth, also scrub armpits in shower & bath, and avoid eating glutens and avoid wearing synthetic clothes. You can try plantain water (plantago) to keep your underarms dry.


because hair growth is a source of removing toxins from the body, I donít shave except once a year, before we go to the shore Ė yes, I cave in


White onion, rinse with plantain (plantago)  - not saying that it works, but itís what Iím doing right now. 


Onions work. Or use baking soda as a last resort


Any kind of mint


natural wood and soft bristles, and/or a terry cloth also helps clean teeth (plastic attracts bacteria) or try a dogwood chew stick

rebuilding teeth

Iíve read that horsetail water, eggshell & its membrane - for rebuilding teeth, knee cartilage, etc., but have not conducted enough personal research.



dental floss


plastic hair brush and comb

the natural hair brushes donít make it through my hair, still looking for solution



HOUSEHOLD Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes: X Ė I donít use at all

laundry detergent

        cedar leaf water (put in leaf in blender, sieve out fiber)

        add plantain and/or mint water to rinse, fights bacteria, odor, etc.

        ditch your whites and solid colors if theyíre too hard to keep stain-free

tough grime on clothes

try scrubbing with clear oil and/or baking soda

laundry softeners & deodorizers

1 leaf of plantain (plantago) and/or mint water in rinse water

general dusting

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

dish washer            

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

plastic dishware

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)

cotton handkerchief

filter of any kind

cotton handkerchief

paper towels


window/mirror cleaners

white vinegar, dry with clean cloth, also see -

tub/sink cleaner

egg whites and buckwheat flour or rice flour, but need baking soda to take out tough stains

kitchen tough grease & grime cleaners

apply duck or chicken fat, wipe off excess

kitchen floor cleaners

spearmint and/or pine needle water

wood products & wood floors cleaners & conditioners

duck fat works great for me, keeps wood from drying out (it doesnít go rancid nor smell after a few hours / wood turners often recommend walnut oil

air fresheners

potted plants, herbs, (onions cut and left standing in water helps absorb toxic odors)

air humidifier          

potted plants, etc.



stain removers




Fashion Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes:


natural fibers

purses  Our son paints them and I use them all the time.

commercial made clothes

DIY Ė Ė a meetup I organized in 2014

GARDEN Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes: I do not use any garden chemicals






in Philly, we use for food scraps & to get soil for our pots and roof garden



PESTS Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes: I do not use any insecticides or mousetraps

Insecticides: ants and other insects

meat or vegetable oil -pull everything away from in/outside walls & brush bottom edge

mouse traps

wash floors with spearmint water weekly

mosquitos repellent

I sometimes splash spearmint water on my skin



PETS Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes:

commercial foods

we make our own dog food

dog shampoos

raw egg yolks Ė great cleanser & conditioner

flea products

dab plantain &/or mint water on fur

doggy toys

make your own with socks, ropes, etc.





doggy poo bags


doggy chew products

looking for grassfed/pastured bones


Safe(r) Substitutes:

paper tissues

cloth handkerchiefs


I usually limit myself to one small gold wedding band

send cards


send gifts


send flowers


newspapers & magazines

cancelled everything, but thatís not always a good thing, decide on a case by case basis




Health needs vary for individuals.

Safe(r) Substitutes: Iím working on a chart for herbal remedies 1/14/16









recreational drugs





I am trying to cut down, very addictive, purchased Yaupon holly to try as substitute





I use food-as-medicine.  Drugs are an absolutely last resort.


Plantain (plantago) is a great herb to use for many internal and external health issues. See


Onions are great for coughs, colds, flu, hair loss, removing glass etc from skin, drawing out toxins, treating infections inside and outside of the body, and as a deodorant. Studies have linked onions to cancer and heart disease prevention, plus lower risks of developing arthritis, asthma, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.



I strongly recommend against vaccines and any mass medication.  Itís like taking candy from a stranger.  Common sense dictates that itís a bad idea.


defecating / toilets

it seems that we donít even poop properly, see the SQUATTY POTTY -, I use a footstool instead


Itís best to go barefoot or minimal shoes. Read ďBorn To RunĒ by Christopher McDougall

physical fitness

Iím 63, so I take it easy, not saying that thatís the way to go.  I walk, stretch a bit, touch my toes, lay on the floor flat on my back, social dance, and try to assume better posture (stand tall). If I ran, which maybe I will eventually, it would be a run/walk Ė half and half Ė using minimal shoes.

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 Ė just put in blender and sieve out fiber).  Make the water medium to coolish Ė not too hot. Or try onions or onion water in the bath Ė 1 tsp onion juice. Do not rinse off. Pat dry.


itís all about diet (dark leafy greens Ė not just kale Ė lettuces also) and avoiding estrogens & toxins, see


I avoid fluoride, excess mint, dried fruits, black & green teas, inflammatory foods and drinks

gas / flatulence

warm spearmint tea seems to work for me, plus I avoid uncooked onions (except for persistent coughs), unsoaked beans, etc.


I make sure I consume sufficient salt with my food. Drinking lots of water without enough salt intake can be dehydrating and cause headaches and other serious health problems-

healthy clothes

the goal is organic and loose fitting.

mental health & diet

avoid eggs, dairy, glutins, salicylates (, shellfish, soy, food dyes, preservatives, pesticides, GMOís (Genetically Modified Foods), and sugar (particularly if your child has candida, a yeast overgrowth which can effect behavior, common in children with neurobehavioral disorders like ADHD and Autism). source:  I think itís best to avoid any processed food or drink.







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 AVOIDÖ (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 - warns against plastics and its effects on physical, mental, and sexual development

o   bacteria on plastic surfaces vs wood -

o   Soaps (including antibacterial, triclosan)

        Any mined product, as much as possible Ė 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: &

        Chlorine Ė chlorinated water and chlorine cleaning products

        Formaldehyde Ė

        Food additives -

        Anti-caking agents (found in salt and baking products)

        Talc (also an anti-caking agent) -


        Asbestos -

        Glycerin -

        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

        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 Ė 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 Ė history of lead use:

        Microwave ovens // EMFs // wirelessÖ

        Wood fires to heat your home