Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 56

The Shoppe Newsletter No. 56
In this Issue:
- Laundry Detergent Pact Exposed!
- The Solution: Soap-jelly - an economical environmentally friendly alternative
- Ten Interesting Things to Do with Recycled Newspaper
- My Top Newspaper Uses
- Product of the Month: Lemons

- Lemon Recipes: Lemonade, Sugar free Lemonade. Lemon Hair Bleach, Preserved Lemons, Extracting lemon essential oil

 Laundry Detergent Concentrate Pact Exposed!
When I noticed in the supermarket some years back that laundry detergent powders had been switched to smaller packaging and labelled ‘ultra-concentrate’ suspicious alarm bells rang in my head! “More money for the big guys in the name of consumerism and ‘profit and progress’” I thought. But as I do not buy packaged detergents the change did not bother me too much. So I found it interesting to read this recent newspaper article stating that the switch to smaller packaging had a sinister motive to dupe the consumer and make even greater profits.
  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accused grocery giants and a retailer of conniving a deal to sell super-strength powders for the same price per wash as the standard concentrated powders – but not passing the cost savings onto consumers.
   An example of consumerism at its best! A philosophy of dishonesty and duping consumers merely for the purpose of profit is wrong. The growth of consumerism and greed for money has swayed clear thinking to the point that lying, cheating and manipulation are the expected norm.

But what about the consumer and environment?
Where does respect and consideration for both the consumer and the environment stand in all of this? Not only is the sale of detergents and other chemically based products used to boost profits for a select few but these products have an adverse effect on human health and the environment.
The Reason:
Most cleaning products (except a bar of soap or soap flakes) are detergents. Detergents are chemical formulas designed to 'strip' grease and dirt. They contain many harsh chemicals that take thousands of years to break down in the environment and cause chemical reactions in humans. Thousands of tonnes of detergents end up in the environment every day via our waterways - poisoning plants, animals, and the earth and damaging the normal cycles of nature (ecological balance of the environment). The other problem is that all these commercial detergent based products come in containers (usually plastic) - the disposal of which is a continuing ecological problem. Considering these facts what is the point of partaking in consumerism when it has such an adverse effect on the planet and humans.

Here’s the solution:
Use soap in place of detergent. Soap is environmentally friendly, natural and safer to use and cheaper!
Here's a recipe for making a soap jelly from a bar of soap. It’s quick and easy to do and costs next-to-nothing and creates an alternative of similar consistency as liquid detergents that can be used in place of such things as laundry and dish detergent, shampoos, body washes and liquid soaps.
Recipe: Economical Soap Jelly Mix
(Transforming one bar of soap into 20 litres of liquid washing mixture).
Grate one bar of soap. Put one half in one 10 litre bucket. Put the other half of grated soap in another 10 litres of water. Add ½ cup washing soda and 2 litres of boiling water to each bucket. Stir both buckets until mixture has dissolved. Top each bucket up to full with water. Leave to cool to form a thick jelly.

How to Use: Use in place of detergents in recipes requiring liquid detergents. Use approximately one cup of this mixture per wash (in the washing machine) for a full load of washing. It can also be used for other washing tasks, i.e. dishwashing, hand washing (liquid soap), shampoo, etc.
For more information:
e-book No. 50 - Recycling Soap
  Transforming a simple bar of soap into a array of safe, environmentally friendly products - either in the form of grated soap or soap jelly.
Contains recipes for: rose liquid hand soap, lemon dish-washing soap, rosemary & lavender hair shampoo, soap-based garden spray, wash-balls, heavy-duty cleansing powder, soap-bags, old English wash-balls, 'gourmet soaps' (pet soap, honey soap, etc.), beeswax polish (containing soap) and other interesting uses.
You'll be amazed at the things that can be done with a simple bar of soap - including making putty, poultice and as a drawer liner.   Price: $12.00   Download info here
e-Booklet No. 23 - Green Cleaning:
Alternatives for commercial cleaning products using four basic ingredients: bicarb soda, vinegar, eucalyptus oil and pure soap. Covers an array of common commercial products and lists what can be used 'instead of'. Safe, economical, practical and good for the planet! Includes quick reference Green Cleaning Chart. Recipes for: soap jelly, surface spray, oven cleaner, disinfectant, carpet deodoriser, heavy duty scouring paste, air-freshener spray & more. Price: $12.00 Download info here
Soap Making Workshop Download 
How to make soap - simply and quickly. Easy to follow basic recipe with numerous variations (oatmeal soap, honey soap, antiseptic soap, scented soap, cucumber soap, herbal soap).
Plus transforming a bar of soap into a range of alternative soap-based products (detergent alternatives). 
All safe & environmentally friendly.
Download contains recipes and procedures for making: Basic soap (like Grandma used to make) with 10 variations, Soap bag, English wash balls, Soap jelly, Soap Crayons (for the children), Pressed Soap Shapes, Herbal wash-balls, Rose Liquid Hand Soap
    Price: $25.00   To order/download - click here
Ten Interesting Things to do with Recycled Newspaper
    Kerbside recycling implemented by many local councils is fantastic – a responsible step toward re-using the Earth’s resources. But it’s unfortunate to note that kerbside recycling discourages personal responsibility for re-using recycled materials (in place of purchasing new). Once deposited into the recycling bin it becomes ‘someone else’s problem’ – and exempts us from the responsibility of curtailing the amount of material we purchase or finding ways to re-use what we throw in the recycling bin.
    Not everything placed in recycling bins is recycled. Facts and figures about how much of the material deposited into kerbside recycling bins is actually reused are difficult to ascertain. In some cases, such as with newspaper (which has limited recycling options) there is an oversupply with some of it being placed in landfill – a fact many people are not aware of.
   Recycling what you have is the very best thing – for both you and the planet. It’s a ‘good energy’ to take the time to recycle a precious resource to benefit the planet. It’s also much cheaper to recycle what you have instead of spending money on something commercially made that does much the same job.
Here’s ten recycling ideas for newspaper you may not have considered:
1. Layers of newspaper or shredded newspaper placed around the base of plants will discourage weeds and conserve water.

2. Crumpled or shredded newspaper make ideal protective packing around breakable items for storage, postage, moving house, etc.

3. Newspaper torn into small pieces can comprise up to 10% of your compost heap.

4. Line drawers and cupboards with sheets of newspaper that have been scented with fragrant or essential oil. In fact, by using a scent that repels insects (citronella, lavender, etc.) the newspaper linings have the added effect of deterring insects

5. Eradicate earwigs (small flying insects) from the garden by leaving a loosely folded newspaper in the garden overnight. In the morning the earwigs will have crawled into the paper (which can now be disposed of in the recycling bin)

6. When blinds or curtains are not immediately available (or at the dry-cleaners) secure sheets of newspapers to the windows to provide temporary 'privacy'.

7. Use sheets of newspaper as unusual and creative wallpaper! In 'days gone by' using newspaper as wallpaper was particularly common, and provided ideal reading material for the family, visitors and friends! Quite often the newspaper was coated with whitewash to make a cheap wall covering in place of plaster and paint (which were expensive commodities
8. For a simple environmental statement why not wrap gifts in plain newspaper and tie with string! The ‘comics’ pages look great! Coat with a mixture of 50/50 PVA glue and water or spray varnish for a shiny finish.

9. Newspaper is very useful for crafts and children’s activities – such as homemade paper (using shredded newspaper as pulp). (see Booklet No. 17 - Home Paper-Making). Or make paper mache with pieces of newspaper. Make up homemade flour and water glue in preference to purchasing expensive commercial glues (see e-book No. 18 Homemade Glues, Pastes and Putties). Or, cartoon-type pictures and drawings in the newspaper make ideal 'colouring in' exercises for children.

10. A wad of newspaper heated in a warm oven will retain its warmth long enough to suffice as a 'hot water bottle’. (Paper is a great holder of heat and insulator).

And don’t forget ……. Recycle your daily newspaper by giving it to a neighbour or friend to read - or read theirs!   Or - keep up-to-date on current affairs via the internet instead of purchasing daily newspaper.

For more recycling ideas with newspaper:

e-book No. 31 - 50 Ways to Recycle Newspaper:
   Many innovative, money saving suggestions: making fire starters, fire bricks, protective covers, children's activities, clean-up material, making a hay-box, cleaning, flower-pressing, foot warmer, garden mulch, and many other recycling ideas.
Why purchase expensive commercial items when recycled materials can do the job cheaply and effectively?   Price: $8.00  Download info here
My Top Newspaper Uses

  Although I have the daily newspaper delivered to my home and, as a result, accumulate a large pile of discarded newspaper I still manage to utilise it all and rarely is it relegated to the recycling bin. If it does end up in the recycle bin it’s usually after being used for some other purpose first.
   I use sheets of newspaper as an effective disposable base under the cat litter tray or feeding area for my pets.  In summer shredded newspaper is the best (and one of the cheapest) sources for garden mulch. I first lay damp wads of newspaper around the base of the plants (this ensures limited chemicals from the paper leeches into the soil). I then place piles of shredded newspaper onto top of the wads. When the season has finished – I gather up the paper and dispose of it – either in the compost of the recycling bin.   

   In winter I use it as fuel for my slow-combustion heater. I tightly roll a wad or two of newspaper around a piece of dowel or ruler, tie it with string then remove the dowel. I always use newspaper as a protective table cover during my workshops. It saves me heaps of money from purchasing special table protectors. I use interesting pages of newsprint as gift wrapping – it fascinates people! Shredded newspaper is also used as stuffing for pillows and foot supports (saves on purchasing polystyrene beads!). I always have a few wads of newspaper in the car boot – very handy for covering, lining and carrying unexpected things in the car (I’m a great collector of pieces of wood and branches for my slow combustion heater!). I also find that a sheet or two of newspaper lining the base of potted plants or tubs of vegetables aides drainage.
Product of the month: Lemons!
   It's lemon season again – so I thought it appropriate to cover the many uses for lemons. My neighbour has a lemon tree – every year there are piles of lemons left lying on the ground under the tree. What a pity – I would think – to waste all those lemons!
   At my local LETS market I run a Café selling homemade lemonade. Made entirely from fresh lemons (both the juice and rind), sugar and water - people often comment how refreshing and fulfilling it is on a hot day and that it ‘tastes like real lemons’. I guess that’s not so surprising as ‘commercial cordials’ would have to be the most adulterated of products – rarely made with fresh fruit, but with artificial flavours, colours and whatever else!! After drinking it you feel ‘unquenched and unfulfilled’ and so have another, then another – and so the cycle begins of ‘addiction’ to chemicals, sugar and false flavours!!  I’ve placed the recipe below – it’s easy to make (and cheap!).

Lemons have a multitude of hidden uses - mild bleach, cleaning, deodorising, skin care, hair care, disinfectant, culinary, insect repellent, therapeutic and probably more.
For more information about the many things you can do with lemons see e-book No. 10 – The Humble Lemon.
e-book No. 10 - The Humble Lemon:
The most useful of garden produce - for cleaning, bleaching, deodorising, disinfecting, hair-care, whitening, stain removal, teeth-care, personal deodorant, skin-care and more. All totally chemical-free! If you have a lemon tree this booklet will be very useful. Price: $8.00    Download Information
Lemon Recipes and Ideas:

Homemade Lemonade:
Dissolve 3 cups sugar in water in saucepan on stovetop. Add 3 cups lemon juice and rind of 3 lemons. Simmer 5 minutes. Leave to cool slightly – pour into clean storage bottles. Use as a cordial base by diluting to taste (about 1 part cordial to 10 parts icy water). Store undiluted cordial in fridge. Lasts up to 2 months
(From e-book No. 49 - Bringing Back the Beverage)

Homemade Sugarless Lemonade: Combine juice of 12 lemons with 6 cups cold water. Add 30 sachets sugarless sweetener (or equal quantity loose sweetener). Mix well. (Serve undiluted with added crushed ice - but on tasting you may prefer it diluted to taste. Tastes wonderful with a little added chopped mint).

Lemon Hair Bleach: Mix ½ cup lemon juice with 1 cup flour. Apply to damp hair (usually after shampooing). Cover with shower cap and leave 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wash out. ((Works best on fair or highlighted hair. May require frequent application to attain desired results).
(From Booklet No. 71 – Natural Hair Colours & Dyes)

Preserved Lemons: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sea-salt onto base of a clean and sterilised 500ml jar. Scrub 3-4 lemons in warm water. Juice another 3 or 4 lemons. Cut the washed lemons into quarters. Place in bowl and rub well with approximately 1/2 cup sea salt. Pack the lemons skin side downwards into the jar. Fill jar with lemon juice covering all the lemons. Add 5-6 peppercorns and a bay leaf. Secure the lid. Store in cool place for 6-8 weeks (until the skin is soft). Turn the jars weekly to distribute flavours and salt.
Extracting lemon essential oil:
(Lemon oil is one of the easiest essential oils to extract. The powerfully scented lemon essential oil is located in small pockets within the skin).
Wrap a section of cheesecloth or muslin (or similar open weave fabric) around fresh orange or lemon peel. Twist and squeeze the fabric so that the minute oil particles are extracted and drip into a container. Bruising the peel a little with a mallet may help further to release the oil.
Thank you for reading my newsletter.
I hope it inspires you to make a small change to your daily lifestyle.

Pam Marshall -The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe

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