Preserving Our Planet

One of the coolest things about writing, well, anything, is the increased awareness you gain about the subject your writing about. If it’s a family history or memoir, you invariably learn more about yourself or your family. If it’s fiction, which is what I write, I try to pick an underlying subject that stretches me, makes me learn more.

I selected a schooner as a setting for the first book in my Tropical Persuasions series, and in the process of writing it, I learned a lot about sailing. Even got to spend four days on a working schooner. For Northern Lights, I learned a lot about the Alaskan indigenous people. In Show Me, I learned about the resilience it takes for a family to survive cancer.

I’ve recently branched out from my romance genre and am working on a series that is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. The further into writing this series I get, the more I want to know about what I can do to help preserve this planet for future generations. So in my spare time (yeah, right, when do we have that???) I’ve been reading blogs and checking out ways to reduce my personal footprint on this earth. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to disappear, and I sure as heck want to be remembered when I’m gone. But I’ve wanted to know what things I can do to recycle, reuse, and protect.

We all know the usual stuff, like changing out light bulbs to more efficient ones, driving our cars less,  turning the water off while we brush our teeth, or using a refillable water container. Below, I’ve listed a few things that either taught me something, were an idea I didn’t know, or just plain made me laugh.

  • Stir your coffee with a stick of dry pasta (like spaghetti) instead of a stir stick.
  • Take your car to the car wash (they use less water than washing at home)
  • Use organic, homemade pesticides. Click here for one of many websites I found that talk about homemade pesticides.
  • Soap nuts as laundry detergent – I’ve never tried this, never even heard of it, but these berry shells have saponin in them, which works as a natural surfactant. Click here to read an article that talks about them.
  • Clean up with vinegar. It’s a natural way to kill bacteria, germs, and mold. Click here for an article that talks about all the ways you can use vinegar to clean.
  • Bamboo, the fastest growing plant on earth, making it more sustainable, isn’t just for floors. It’s a biofuel, can be used to make clothing and towels, even disposable diapers. Eco-friendly diapers. Wow.
  • Unplug what’s not being used. Plug things into a power strip you can turn off when not in use.
  • Use glass, silicone or ceramic dishes in oven – more efficient and reduce cooking time.
  • When landscaping, use native plants.

And my two favorite ideas for staying warm in winter…

  • Invite friends over – they generate heat.
  • Cuddle up with your honey or your pet.

It’s been fun reading about the different ways to help. I’m interested in trying the vinegar thing. Hoping it doesn’t make my whole house smell that way, though. And the soap nuts intrigue me. I might have to give them a try, too.

I hope you have a relaxing, sun-filled sun-filled summer and get a chance to enjoy everything that is good about our planet.

For more information about Laurie Ryan:

8 responses to “Preserving Our Planet

  1. Great blog and made me think. And, laugh, not sure I’m going to stir my coffee with a pasta stick though. 🙂 I do drive a hybred and love it, especially when I got up to 34 miles per galleon on the recent road trip. That’s high as it averages 28+. Not a big thing but that’s how I try to do it, a little here and a little there. I know I could do more, couldn’t we all.

    And, I agree that writing brings us a new awareness. I found myself listening and seeing things that I had missed before.

  2. That’s great mileage! And yep, I think we all have to figure out the best ways to conserve within our life-frame. What we can do easily, plus maybe one or two things that are a stretch. Like me wanting to try nuts for washing clothes. Lol.

  3. Great, thought provoking post, and had to laugh at stirring coffee with a pasta stick – can’t for the life of me think what that is meant to save. I’ve certainly become more enlightened on many things, particularly history, through writing and research. To me, that’s part of the fun.

    I use vinegar around the house to clean almost everything due to my having to cope all my life with terrible chronic asthma, so I don’t use any chemical cleaners or polish, and avoid anything with added “perfume”. Even hair spray can set of an attack. My cleaning kit consists of a damp cloth and a spray bottle made up of a small part cheap washing up liquid, two parts white vinegar and then topped up with water – exact mix guesswork. This is especially good when damp dusting, cleaning floors, glass, mirrors, paintwork and particularly for shower screens. Brilliant! I clean the whole house with this, Fabulous on chrome, keeps limescale at bay and the porcelain shines. Use it to clean jewellery too. And whilst there is an initial light smell of vinegar when using, it soon disappears, which my money doesn’t as it’s far cheaper than buying normal cleaning sprays and such. 🙂

  4. This is exactly the kind of tip I’d hoped to get with this blog. While I hate that asthma made invention a necessity for you, I’m really glad to get a first-hand review of cleaning with vinegar. I’ll have to start small when trying it. My husband, while not allergic or asthmatic, is sensitive to changes in fragrances. I now only light a fragranced candle in my office. (And no, it’s not to keep him from interrupting me while I write. Lol.) But I do try to introduce new smells slowly. So I think I’ll start with the kitchen and go from there. Thanks for the info, Kit!

  5. I used to clean the hardwood with vinegar water but now I’m getting lazy and use Bono. I need to get back to using the vinegar more if not on the floor then on the rest of the house. It also kills weeds if you use it full strength.

    • I had never heard of Bono until you suggested it. But I’m intrigued by using vinegar more to clean with. I really am going to have to research vinegar more. It apparently has way more uses than I knew of! Lol.

  6. Nice post. I, to, like to reduce, reuse and recycle but some of these you listed are new to me. Let us know how the vinegar and soap work. I’m intrigued.

  7. I use white vinegar on loads of things, and thanks to a tip from Kit a few years ago, washing up liquid! My theory is that many of these cleaning essentials are based on these basics anyway, and they charge the earth for them. Really thought-provoking post, Laurie!

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