File:People icon.svg 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!


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.


LYNN’S CHECKLIST & 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 -, although I do buy organic cultivated food as well.

canned/bottled beverage/food

I make my own drinks, sauces, etc

factory meat / poultry

grassfed / pastured

farmed fish

wild caught

sugars – beet, cane

I use local honey and stevia leaves (not the white processed stevia)

vegetable oil

I use fat from meat, poultry, or fish oil, also walnut and sunflower seed oil


I minimize due to estrogen content

anti-caking agents

X (many contain aluminum and other toxic ingredients)





(see Health Care at bottom)



Safe(r) Substitutes: X – I don’t use at all





hair color, spray, etc.


nail polish





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"


* avoid GLYCERINE which is in most commercial and handmade soaps


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.

  • salt

  • oat flour


hand soap - 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.

skin moisturizer

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

window/mirror cleaners

white vinegar with clean cloth

tub/sink cleaner

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.

laundry detergent

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

white vinegar

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


air fresheners

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

air humidifier          

potted plants, etc.


- Composting toilets can minimize the impact on the environment.

-  It seems that we don’t even poop properly, see the SQUATTY POTTY -, I use a footstool instead

insulation, fiberboard, lightweight cement roofing tiles, wallboard, and other wood-like materials hemp!



Fashion Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes:

synthetics & microfibers

natural organic fibers - hemp socks are great for people with toe fungus, hemp is naturally antifungal

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

commercial made clothes

DIY – 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



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

mouse traps

wash floors with mint water weekly



PETS Commercial Products:

Safe(r) Substitutes:

commercial foods

we make our own dog food

dog shampoos

raw egg yolks – great cleanser & conditioner

flea products

dab plantain and/or mint water on fur

doggy toys

make your own with socks, ropes, etc.




Safe(r) Substitutes:

paper tissues

cloth handkerchiefs


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.

Safe(r) Substitutes:

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

recreational drugs

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 - 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 – 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 – chlorinated water and chlorine cleaning products

·        Formaldehyde –

·        Food additives -

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

·        Talc (also an anti-caking agent) -

·        Fiberglass

·        Asbestos -

·        Glycerin -

·        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:

·        Microwave ovens -

·        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