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sustainability starts at home

How to Make Vanilla Extract (With or Without Alcohol)

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Condiments | 21 comments

The vanilla extract you can buy at the store often contains sugar, additives and flavorings you don’t really need or want. And most varieties are also made with alcohol, which might be a problem for some people.

In contrast, homemade vanilla extract has all the depth of flavor and high quality ingredients you would expect from a homemade product. Here’s how to make vanilla extract at home—with or without alcohol. And if you start a batch now, it will be ready in time for holiday gift giving! 

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Allergen Free Non-Toxic Finger Paints

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Green Parenting, Non-Toxic Home | 14 comments

Did you know that conventional, store-bought fingerpaints can contain toxic chemicals like toluene, ethylene glycol, petroleum-based waxes, polymers, and artificial colors that can be easily absorbed through your child’s skin?

Even the brands labeled “non-toxic” can contain these dangerous ingredients! (How this is legal is anyone’s guess.) And if that weren’t enough, genetically engineered soy, corn and wheat byproducts are also common ingredients too, which can be an unexpected disaster for the allergic child.

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Gluten Free Non-Toxic Play Dough

Posted in Arts & Crafts, Green Parenting, Non-Toxic Home, Saving Money | 2 comments

My child has many food allergies, and she likes to play with kids who, often, also have food allergies. This homemade, gluten free playdough recipe can be made with your kids, and unlike the commercial brands, it is also chemical free for the safety and enjoyment of all children.

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