MaryJane Butters started a program to earn Farmgirl badges - think Girl Scouts for grown-ups - where you learn skills for a Farmgirl lifestyle. I so enjoy being a part of the Sisterhood at maryjanesfarm.org
Anyway, I will share my progress as I learn the skills and do the tasks required for badges. Right now, I'm working on my beginner badge in the Cleaning Up: Going Green section. The tasks to earn this badge are:
- Get rid of all cleaners that are not "green".
- Write a mission statement for your house to use green cleaners.
- Make a journal of projects to share green ideas, projects, recycling and recipes.
- Make a gift basket of green products to give as a gift.
I went looking around my house for cleaners that are full of chemicals and was dismayed at what I found in my kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. I had a laundry basket full of partially used bottles and canisters! Why in the world would I have so many different kinds of cleaners? Did any of them fulfill the promise that the advertisements convinced me they would? They did not. They did not magically keep my shower sparkling or toilet bowl fresh...they did not magically keep our clothes sparkling clean and looking brand new...my floors did not shine like mirrors or was I able to see my reflection in my kitchen sink. I had totally bought into the hype because these companies knew that as a working wife and mother that my housekeeping and homemaking time was in short supply. I had failed to remember that nothing cleans like basic soap and water!
When I looked at the ingredients in all those cleaners, I was truly shocked at all the chemicals. There is a reason why you cannot store cleaners in places where curious toddlers could find them - like under the kitchen sink - it is because they are NOT SAFE! This constant exposure to chemicals cannot be good for us. In my effort to keep a clean home, I had lost sight of having a healthy one.
So, here is my mission statement: Housekeeping and Homemaking are natural extensions of caring for my family and will be performed with love with basic, green products that are safe.
Is there a difference between housekeeping and homemaking? I'm reading Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson and I'm only a couple chapters in but she is making sense.
Housekeeping is the repetitive action that encompasses the basic needs of people for food, clothing and shelter in a clean and healthy environment. Homemaking encompasses the human desire for home - for a place of shelter, safety, love and belonging. It is the daily actions of serving a meal, providing clean clothes and a clean, comfortable place to sleep that keeps a house. It is the daily rhythms of welcoming everyone to the table and sharing all aspects of life in a comfortable space that makes a home.
I'll keep working on the other items for this badge - like creating an e-book to share my projects and recipes for cleaners - so stay tuned for that. I'll close with this:
"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes." Harold B. LeePeace be with you,