Microwave Your Food Properly!

For various reasons, I'm not a huge fan of using the microwave, but I understand that for many it's a necessary convenience. However, whenever I see someone microwaving their food in supposed "microwave safe" plastic containers, or microwaving their leftovers covered by a layer of cling wrap I always get the urge to call out, "STOP. You're poisoning yourself."

Although some companies advertise their plastic containers as "microwave safe", radiation is pretty strong stuff, so I've never thought it was a good idea to blast microwave radiation waves at a piece of plastic that is holding food you're planning to eat. This could send all sorts of chemicals and toxins leaching into your food.

By that same thinking, heating up food by radiation while it's covered by a flimsy piece of clear plastic cling wrap is never a good idea. Cling wrap is particularly susceptible to heat and has a low melting point. If any part of it comes into contact with your food while it's being heated up, particularly oily food, it will definitely contaminate your meal with some sort of toxin or chemical.

That all said, if you insist on using the microwave, remember to transfer your food into ACTUAL microwave safe containers, such as as ceramic or sturdy glassware first, then remove any plastic coverings. Worried about food exploding all over the insides of your microwave? No worries, cover your food with a plate instead of cling wrap!

Thanks for reading through my rant!

P.S. In case you didn't already know this, metal dining ware should also never go into the microwave, this includes aluminum/tin foil. This is dangerous and could cause a fire!

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape

I try to be as environmentally friendly in everything I do, and this means limiting my use of plastic as much as possible. This can be incredibly difficult to do since many things come wrapped in plastic or have some plastic component in them. For example, I try to use reused or recycled and biodegradable wrapping paper to wrap gifts, but the tape adhesive that is traditionally used to keep the wrapping paper together can stay in the environment for hundreds of years.

My solution to this is to just not use tape at all.

This is rather simple to accomplish if the gift comes in any kind of box shape. It just involves a lot of creative folding and tucking. If your gift is irregularly shaped, that's not problem either. Read on to find out why.


If your gift is box-shaped, start by laying it down on top of an adequately sized piece of wrapping paper.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
My entire family has a habit of reusing wrapping paper when we give each other gifts.
We've reused this piece of paper so many times it's basically tissue!
Then fold in the sides, folding over and tucking in a consistent clock-wise or counterclockwise direction.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape

When you've reached the last edge, fold the paper over and tuck in the loose end to one of the existing folds, so you may end up with something like this.

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
This is a rather sloppy wrapping job. My apologies, but whatever, it's just an example.
I'm going to take it apart later anyway. :)
If you're still concerned about it falling apart. Well, add a bow or ribbon!

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape

And if your gift is irregularly shaped ...

How to Wrap Gifts Without Using Tape
VoilĂ !


Feels great when I can cut back on waste even for little things like this.

You really don't HAVE to use tape when wrapping presents. If you still feel like you need an adhesive, perhaps try using some non-toxic homemade glue paste?

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar Soap

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar Soap
I don't like most commercial cleansers, soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc. And I generally prefer bar soap over liquid soap since it is better for the environment.

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you probably already know that about me.

But sometimes life simply calls for a little liquid soap, and buying natural vegetable oil-based liquid soaps can become quite expensive.

That's fine though, because again, I can always make my own!


You'll Need:

- Castile bar soap (or other vegetable-based soap)
- distilled water
- a measuring scale
- a grater
- a sterile container large enough to hold your liquid soap

How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar SoapDirections:

1. Weigh how much soap you're using, then measure out 10 times that weight in distilled water. For example, if you're trying to transform one 6-ounce bar soap into liquid soap, measure out 60 oz. of water.
2. Grate the bar soap(s) you're using into fine pieces.
3. Heat the water you've measured out to a boil.
4. After the water comes to a boil, take it off the heat, then carefully place your grated soap into the water.
The green bits you see floating around
here are left over pieces of bar soap I
decided to repurpose into liquid soap.
Nothing goes to waste!
5. Let the mixture sit and cool somewhere where it won't be disturbed for a day. You don't even need to stir it.
6. After your mixture has completely cooled, transfer it into another sterile container that you can close and keep it in a cool place.

To Use:

There are countless ways to use this kind of liquid soap! I personally use it as foaming hand soap by transferring it into my foaming soap dispenser whenever I run out. I use it as an all-purpose cleaner, as it is natural enough that I don't worry about using it to clean the kitchen, and it is mild enough that I don't worry about it ruining more delicate fixtures around the house.

Use it as a shampoo, or face and body wash! All this is is vegetable oil-based soap in liquid form. It is natural and gentle on the hair and skin. My hair has actually never looked better after using this as a shampoo and following up with a vinegar conditioner rinse, and my skin feels completely clean after a shower with no residue or dryness.


How to Make Natural Liquid Soap Out of Bar SoapDepending on the kind of bar soap you use, you may notice that the mixture becomes somewhat gel-like after awhile. Don't worry though, simply add a little more hot water to the mix and it will help liquify it even more. If you prefer it to be more like jelly, just be careful when you're pouring it out of the container because it can easily become a goopy mess, so remember to use a funnel when transferring it!

This is a MUCH more economical way of obtaining natural liquid soap than going out to buy a bottle. I'm not kidding when I say one bar of soap can yield a nice big bucket of liquid soap that will last you ages (come on, at least 60 oz. worth from one bar of soap!).

You can also jazz it up a little by adding your favorite essential oils. I add different oils depending on what I'm using the soap for — a little tea tree oil for all-purpose cleaners, chamomile for body soap and tuberose for hand soap.

Happy washing!