Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 63

The Shoppe Newsletter No. 63
In this Issue:
- My Story
- Not Much Has Changed
-Basic Household Alternatives
- Benefits of Cleaning without Chemicals
- Extracting Essential Oils from your Garden Plants

Author: Pam Marshall - The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe
Hi There,
It’s nice to be back! My last Shoppe newsletter was published late 2016. Why so long? Unfortunately I’ve been dealing with cancer and related complications. In a 13 month period I spent 6 and half of those in hospital. During that time I thought my terrible journey would never end. 

If you’d like to read more go to My Story.

I’m also asking for your help to re-establish what has been lost after such a long period of illness.  Here’s my Go Fund Me page. 

Thank you so much for your assistance.    Pam – The Shoppe

In the mean-time let’s get on with The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe Newsletter.
Not Much Has Changed
  It’s disappointing to note that in my absence not much in an environmental sense has changed. In fact it seems worse! Issues related to the environment are frequent topics in the media – from concerned citizens protesting about climate change, extreme weather patterns to fragments of plastic now found in the Arctic and Antarctic areas. The list is of planetary deprivation is endless.
   Meanwhile consumerism and ‘progress’ continue unabated. I’m not a great television watcher but when stuck in a hospital bed for days on end there’s not much else to do. Advertising on the commercial stations abounds enticing us to spend money.  Powerful manipulation techniques encouraging us to indulge in the name of profit. The question remains: Where is this heading? What’s the future hold if we keep pursuing this never ending need for money to the detriment of the environment? There have been some positive changes but in my humble opinion not fast enough or soon enough as time is running out. The younger generation rightfully express concern for their future. But it would seem the list of those that ‘see it’ is still outweighed by those that don’t.
  Our earth is not a place to be exploited. It sustains us – our existence and that of all species relies upon earth’s stability. Human changes to rectify the situation are not happening fast enough to avert dire consequences. When the earth is out of balance it will do whatever it takes to rebalance – and humanity will have to weather the consequences. The earth is resilient, it will survive without humanity. But humanity would not survive without earth to sustain it.
What Can We Do About It?
  Not much can be done about people that believe consumerism is the only way to go. But as individuals concerned about the plight of the planet we can do a lot by stepping away from consumerism and living as sustainably as possible. There are lots of ways to do that – the internet abounds with ideas.  
  My suggestion is to purchase less consumer products (which means less contribution to exploiting the planet and less money wasted). How? By replacing common consumer products with simple alternatives. Not only is it cheaper but involves less use of chemicals (for you and the environment), less containers and gives us a sense of self-reliance and control.
  Here’s two charts of common household alternatives and their uses.

Here's my website link to more information about basic household alternatives:

Environmentally-friendly Basics e-Book Set
Get the complete set - all six e-books covering the most common household alternatives – Bicarb Soda, Vinegar, Lemon, Eucalyptus Oil, Soap, Oatmeal. 
Contains: e-Books  No. 9 - Uses for Bi-carb Soda, No. 10 - Humble Lemon, No. 33 - Versatile Vinegar, No. 51 - Uses for Eucalyptus Oil, No. 50 – Recycling Soap, No. 58 - Old-time Oatmeal.
(Also available for purchase individually).  Price: $42.00  
CLICK HERE for more information & download link
Benefits of Cleaning without Chemicals
 Scientists say inviting 'good' bacteria into your home can prevent allergies and possibly asthma. "Its a common misconception that all microbes found in one's home are hazardous to your health". The Report says.
Green Cleaning without chemicals is the way to go!
Here's a quick reference chart to get you started.
for more about Green Cleaning click here

Extracting Essential Oils from your Garden Plants
   Spring has nearly arrived. Gardens will soon be full of wonderfully perfumed flowers. I've been asked many times by people for a way to extract the aromatic perfumed oil from flowers for household use. Distillation or extraction by chemicals means is the most common commercial way to extract essential oils. This is difficult to do at home - but here's a simple technique that transports the essential oil into another medium (oil) that can be used in place of commercial essential oils. The recipe is from e-booklet No. 45 (see details below) which contain other techniques that may suit you better:
Making Perfumed Oil
1. Place a layer of fresh highly scented flower petals (such as roses) into a clean jar. 
2. Sprinkle with 1-2 dessertspoons salt (to help extract the oil and moisture from the plant).
3. Dip and soak cotton wool balls in almond oil*. Place a layer of soaked balls on top of the plant material and salt.
4. Add another layer of fresh flowers, salt and cotton wool dipped in almond oil.
5. Continue adding layers until the jar is full.
6. Seal with lid or plastic wrap. Leave in sunny position for 1-2 weeks.
7. Squeeze out the perfumed oil - the best way to do this is to pour the mixture into a double layer of muslin, cheesecloth or panty hose. Close in the ends and squeeze as tightly as possible. Discard the plant material.
8. Strain the perfumed oil again (through muslin, cheesecloth or pantyhose) to ensure all impurities have been removed. (Any remaining plant material may rot and contaminate the delicate perfume of the oil)
. Bottle ready for use.

For stronger scented oil repeat the process with fresh petals and the same oil.

*You can use grape-seed oil as an alternative - which is cheaper and in supermarkets but almond oil is better.
NB: I've found that the recipe works OK without the salt if you prefer to leave it out. Just make sure you place the jar in filtered sun (i.e. window sill) so that the warmth aides the extraction process 

e-Booklet No. 45 - Home Distillation of Essential Oils: Essential oils purchased commercially are expensive. This booklet covers simple home-based techniques for extracting essential oils from your own garden using herbs and flowers. Covers: basic techniques, suitable flowers & plants, special blends, recipes for homemade eau-de-cologne, perfumed water.
Price: $12.00 Download here
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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