"Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things." ~ Elise Boulding
My buzz word at the moment is 'SIMPLIFY.' As well as undertaking my Challenge of an Utmost Kind I'm making a huge effort to 'simplify' my life, to become more self-sufficient and to make do with less. It's strange that the term 'simplify' is often used because I feel like the efforts of cooking from scratch, making homemade gifts, clothes, cleaning products etc. etc. makes my life far from simple! It's so much simpler just to pop to the supermarket and buy the most convenient products available. However, I'm sure that once I get into good habits and routines it will become easier and at the end of the day it's a far more satisfying way to live.
I thought I'd do a series of posts on what I'm doing to simplify or become more self-sufficient, to save money and to have less impact on the environment.
First up is cleaning. Now, I must say that I have a bit of a casual approach to housework and while I enjoy cleaning I don't believe that it's necessary or a good use of time to have a perfectly clean and spotless house all of the time. I've always used a multitude of chemical products for cleaning my home but recently it's become apparent that none of these products are necessary. My cleaning cupboard now consists of the following items:
1. Bicarbonate of soda
2. Savon de Marseille
3. White wine vinegar
4. Olive oil (made from our own olives)
5. Essential oil
6. A hand-knitted cloth
I love the tips on the uses of bicarbonate of soda on the box.....
My mum knitted me this dish cloth to put in my 'bottom drawer' before I got married!
These products meet most of my cleaning needs, are cheap and have a lower impact on the environment than chemical products.
The only cleaning products I now buy are washing detergent and washing up liquid. I experimented with making my own washing powder but wasn't convinced by the results. I need to experiment a bit with some different recipes and also find the ingredients I need to make my own washing up liquid. In the mean time I buy eco-products, a pretty expensive alternative.
This weekend I'm helping with the olive harvest so fingers crossed the weather stays as warm and sunny as it has been the past few days.
Hi, I'm Sarah Elizabeth, a Scottish girl living her dream in Umbria, the 'green heart' of Italy with my Italian husband and our wonderful brown-eyed girl. This blog is our family's story of leading a simple and green life in the beautiful Italian countryside.