One day a short time ago, an article was posted to NPR’s Facebook page with a caption that stated: “More than 1,000 sick and dying sea lion pups have been found stranded since the beginning of the year, from Santa Barbara to San Diego. As scientists try to figure out why, one animal rescue worker says that in nearly three decades on the job, he's never seen anything like it.” The question central to the investigation asks why these adorable little sea mammals are seemingly starving. The answer seems to be that there are not enough fish for them to eat. But why is the fish population decreasing so alarmingly?
There isn’t just one answer, but a complex web of cause and effect that has rendered our oceans incapable of sustaining life to its fullest capability. In previous articles, there has been discussion about plastic bags, chemicals in household cleaners (and alternative products to use instead), and recycling of plastics into new items such as colanders, park benches and dog beds. None of these things will happen though, if the plastics don’t get to the proper venue for recycling or consumers do not use environmentally friendly cleaning products. All of this leaches back into the water supply and eventually, the ocean. If everyone does their part by making the effort to be sure the plastic gets to its proper destination for recycling, or uses plastic alternatives, the oceans may suffer less. In the meantime, I am very careful about what cleaning products I use, especially on the floors where my animals lay and walk, and then clean themselves. Homemade is the best because I get to customize it.
These recipes are borrowed from Mountain Rose Herbs (and you can purchase all of the ingredients needed on their website):
Super Surface Spray
• 16 oz. spray bottle
• 14 oz. – 1:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and water
• 7 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 7 drops of lavender essential oil
• 7 drops of lemon essential oil
Use this aromatic and disinfecting solution for cleaning kitchen counters, cabinets, refrigerator shelves, blinds, painted wood surfaces, painted walls, molding, fan blades, and more.
Herby Soft Scrub
• 12 oz glass jar with lid
• 1/2 cup baking soda
• 1/2 cup castille soap
• 15 drops of antimicrobial essential oils like rosemary and sage
Mix well until you have a nice consistency like cake frosting. If you have leftovers, add 1 tsp vegetable glycerin to keep the blend nice and moist.
Antibacterial Soap Spray
• 16 oz spray bottle
• 14 oz. water or rosemary hydrosol
• 3 tbsp castille soap
• 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
• 15 drops of oregano essential oil
Use this cleaning spray to disinfect your bathroom surfaces. You can use the Super Surface Spray to rinse away any residue left behind by the castille soap.
Refreshing Linen Spray
• 16 oz. spray bottle
• 3 oz. unflavored vodka
• 12 drops lavender, ylang ylang, peppermint, orange or your favorite smelling essential oil
• 12 oz. organic hydrosol of your choice
Spray to refresh your mattress, pillows, bed linens, couches, and fabric covered chairs, or spritz clean winter blankets before storing for the year. Also makes a wonderful ironing spray. I've also ordered this set from Amazon.com: Calily Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils Kit, and have been extremely happy with the quality of the oils.
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