This will be my last entry in this series and will contain miscellaneous information that may not be specific to any particular room.
For laundry, I use the Waterloo Ontario-based Pure Soapnuts, which use saponins to clean clothes and that create no foam or residue. For the dryer, I use the reusable Static Eliminator Cloths, owned by a company in Guelph, Ontario. Two sheets last about 3 years. In addition, I use two rubber dryer balls, such as those made by Nellie’s.
To clean my floors, be they wood or tile, I use a steam mop. I will occasionally use a wood floor cleaner such as the almond-scented product from Method. For daily floor cleaning, an old-fashioned broom works nicely, as well as a fibre-pad sweeper to pick up cat hair. I occasionally use a Method wood product to help remove any smudges, and so forth, from furniture. Vinegar and water works beautifully for windows.
I am a big fan of the Canadian Mabu cloth for general cleaning: I use it for dusting, cleaning windows and mirrors, and wiping down the shower stall to keep mould and mildew at bay. I use a sponge to pick up lint from the sofa and bed, since my cat is allowed to sleep wherever he lives; it is equally his home, after all. I must admit that I do use a lint roller with the sticky strips for my clothing; I keep hoping that a more effective and sustainable product will come on the market, but I simply cannot stand lint-covered clothing.
As you can expect, I use CFL bulbs; the mercury in these bulbs is problematic, of course, but they are so energy efficient and long lasting, that they are still a good alternative to conventional bulbs. I use a solar-powered flashlight for emergencies, and a crank radio.
I make one exception when it comes to animal products; ironically, it’s for my cat. I have tried vegan products for my cat, but he’s not fond of them. Cats are carnivores, so I need to balance my cat’s well being with my ethics. I buy him whole grain, holistic and sustainably-produced dry food from the British Columbia’s Go! Natural. I buy him lactose-free milk, since many adult cats are lactose intolerant, and low-sodium, tuna. When I adopted Alun, I was told that he preferred to drink milk over water, and the tuna helps him with the dry skin to which he is susceptible; the cat EFA oils he will NOT take. I’m not happy about this, but unless I get a vegetarian animal companion, I choose to live with this conundrum.
Four years ago I decided to give up my car. I had been taking the bus to work for a number of years and simply could not reconcile keeping a car for weekend use, given my choice of lifestyle. A monthly bus pass serves me well, although Halifax is in the midst of a transit strike right now, which is limiting my mobility. I rent a car (economy class, of course, to cut down on gas consumption) for holidays and for occasional trips to buy larger items, but I don’t miss not having a car.
I carry my lunch in a stainless steel container, or BPA-free a title=”Preserve products” href=”http://www.preserveproducts.com/products/tableware.html” target=”_blank”>Preserve products (recycled plastic) to heat my soup, and use stainless-steel utensils; I tried bamboo, but I hate that dry, raspy feeling against my tongue and mouth. I tried glass containers for lunch, but I dropped them one too many times. I use a pitcher filter jug in my office and, of course, cloth napkins. I have a small French press and take freshly-ground beans to make my coffee, which I drink in an enamel cup or a stainless-steel travel mug. I do occasionally buy coffee at work, but fortunately, the coffee shop uses the same sustainable coffee that I buy, and I always use my travel mug.
I think that’s about it.