Monday, December 13, 2010

Drink Your Tree

Further to the below...

'Nother thing you can do with the balsam fir is strain any left over water that you've steeped the needles in, add some more water if you need, and a bit of white vinegar and you've got yourself one fine and lovely scented cleaner. I scrubbed my bathroom with just such a concoction and baking soda this weekend.

My favourite thing about using my own all-natural, homemade cleaners is that I never have to worry about inhaling toxic fumes into my lungs or getting harsh and corrosive chemicals on my skin. I'm not flushing them into our waterways and drinking systems either.

Christmas trees are often balsam firs, 'cause they smell so darn good. However I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be using the needles from those trees for tea or simmering for an air freshener, because most of them are grown with pesticides. If anyone has an organic Christmas tree though, there's no reason why you couldn't repurpose some of it for eating, drinking, air freshening and cleaning! It doesn't even have to be a balsam fir. Fir, spruce, pine and cedar species are all aromatic, medicinal, high in vitamin C and edible (in reasonable amounts- don't overdo it!).

Even if you don't have a real, organic Christmas tree, when you're out and about in the world, take a sniff and nibble of your nearest conifer. If you like the smell and it tastes good, carefully pick a handful of tips to bring home and try!

(Don't forget to practice good wildcrafting ethics.)

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TechChik said...

ooo, I like the pine-scented cleaner idea. I'm slowly converting my other half on the homemade cleaners, but it's a new idea for him and apparently takes some getting used to. I still use two drops of blue food coloring to make glass cleaner though (shhh, don't tell ). Maybe "normal" smelling bathroom cleaners will help too. ;)

Amber said...

Hey TechChik,

I know a couple of people who proudly talk about their natural cleaners, but then admit they keep some chemical stuff around for when they want things 'really clean'. I guess lots of people feel that the only way to kill germs safely is with chemicals. :)

Another thing I like to do is add a few drops of essential oil to my cleaners. Tea tree or eucalyptus are nice, anti-microbial, disinfectant and provide a nice clean smell.

I love the story about colouring your glass cleaner! I'm guessing your other half wouldn't appreciate it that I clean my mirrors with shower steam and a cloth rag. ;)

TechChik said...

lol @ "killing germs *safely* with chemicals".

I clean the bathroom glass & chrome the same way too, but I don't think he's ever questioned it. The magic bathroom fairy just keeps the mirror and taps clean. ;)

He's fine with using baking soda for bathroom ceramic, and he's actually gone no-poo with me for the past 1 1/2 years. The main hangup with the glass cleaner is for the car windows. I guess there just isn't enough testosterone in vinegar/water, so it needs a few drops of food colouring. ;) j/k