Home Life... made do and mend year 2018

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." --William James

Goodness...is it June?! How did the year get to be halfway already? Thankfully, there's still another half left! And it's another month of Make Do and Mend.  As we've been doing since the top of the year, we're using the Make Do and Mend Sustainable Year Planner from My Make Do and Mend Life. Gen Gale, author of the site, now hosts a great a podcast, A Sustainable Life

The focus this month for making steps toward a more sustainable way of living looks at life a home. And more specifically how we use and consume utilities like energy (electric or gas) and water.

Suggested goals for this month are:

* switching gas/electricity provider to a greener one

* replacing home care cleaning products with ones more eco-friendly 

* research water saving methods and implement them.

We have electric as our form of cooking and heating. We have a small fireplace that we use as supplemental heating and coziness during the winter months. A greener option we would love to try is solar energy! But with such a prodigious cost to establish that, I'm not sure how soon this will happen... likely not this year. So we'll look around at other options available. 

The second item-- we do already, and it's so easy! We've been making and using our own homemade eco-friendly cleaning and home care products for about 16 years now. That does feel good, I have to say.

Currently now through August we are already on water restriction in terms of the garden. With the very warm and very dry May we've just had, it's a wonder our garden is doing so well. But we watch the water. And indoors we try to be mindful of the use of water. No running water unnecessarily!! Full loads of laundry only with the eco-efficient washer. I take a full shower 2-3 times per week, not every day. I rinse, "sponge bath" the rest of the time. Too much info?! haha... It saves water! I read here, that a 4-minute shower can use about 20-40 gallons/75-150 liters of water. Something to think about... :/ And LOT of consumer products contain or use water to make it--everything from food, household products, clothing, etc. So consuming less is opting out of that water use. There are lots of ways to save water, so we're trying more of that! 

Do you have a special project or focus for this month, or for the year?  Do you have any tips or ideas to share?! 


  1. living in an apartment complex doesn't allow for major changes very much.
    but I have always conserved water because as you know our state is always in drought.
    I too take about two to maybe three showers a week.
    I don't think it's TMI at all. LOL! I feel very clean. because like you I take a "petite bath" as my mother used to call it on the other days.
    and when I DO take my showers I don't run the water full out! it's just as refreshing and I get just as clean. and it saves precious water.
    I also do my own dishes. and I don't use a lot of water doing them.
    even when Bob was alive and we had a dishwasher always... I never used it. I kind of enjoy the time doing dishes. it's almost meditative really! :)

    1. A "petite bath"... I love that, Tammy! Now I have a prettier way of saying it! ;) Here's to any way we can save precious water and resources!

  2. I've been doing the sponge bath thing for awhile, which started when my shower was being repaired and I didn't want to go down to Rick's to do it all the time. And it's fine unless you are super sweaty. (I wouldn't want Rick to do it after a 60 mile bike ride!) I think of it as washing from Boston to Chicago! And I've also been saving the water for plants outside when I'm heating it up -- that's a great idea.

    1. Yes, your Rick might need more than a sponge bath after one his 60-min. rides--VERY understandable! ;) You water saving for plants is a good thing. I've been doing some of that too. We don't have many indoor plants at the moment, so that's good. So most is saved for out in the garden.

  3. Wow, I loved reading this one. We do have solar and it's awesome. Our bills are only about $14.00 a month right now; which is great. It was expensive to do so that is a draw back in someways. It won't pay for itself for a while.
    I like that you make your own products and I have been researching on some of that.
    I'm getting ready to clean our gout on our kitchen floor with a homemade product.
    I actually think it is awesome that you shower less frequently. I have heard it is better for your skin. I need to be more conservative in this area. You are an inspiration.
    We have a very large water container to fill soon for our storage. We are encouraged by our church to store a year supply of food, clothing, water and etc. We do have a lot of food storage but we need to store more water. I think cutting back on our daily water consumption is an excellent thing to do especially when we fill this large container. If not we will have a gigantic bill.
    Thanks again for this post I love reading about how you are making do and mending.
    Sending lot of loving thoughts and hugs your way dear friend!

    1. Wow, you have solar, LeAnn! It is our dream! Expensive to set up, for sure, and it takes a while before it pays for itself. Not many have solar here at the moment, unfortunately. I wish it would become a standard feature for new builds! I began showering less 3 year ago or so, to save water, but it also saves my skin--especially in winter when it can be quite dry here. When I do my mini showers I just use water, no soap. I admire how your church encourages preparedness. We just lately restocked our mini food stock. We don't have a lot of space to store a lot of food, or water either. We're getting containers for water storage, and I'm excited about this! I just love these conversations where we can share ideas like this! :)))

  4. Surviving life is my project right now. Also in planning mode for the Portland Tea Festival in July and a big garage sale in August. Both will be good when they are done. The garage sale is to get rid of all I have been cleaning in my house. What a relief that will be. Then on to reviewing diet and making some changes too. Hoping after all of that I can get back to playing a bit. Trying to still take pictures. Maybe in the fall the crochet and spinning will resume. I sure hope so.

  5. I, too, only take about 3 showers a week, with sponge baths in between. Its so easy to waste water if we are not careful. I try to only do two loads of washing a week, one white one dark. I do use my dishwasher, but only once a day and on the economy cycle. We store water because, like LeAnn, its something our church recommends, along with a food storage. We have food tucked in everywhere, because as with you, space is at a premium! I think every little bit helps! Love you my sweet friend. xoxo


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