During the holiday season one of my most favorite things to do is to go outside and gather natural decorations such as pine boughs, pinecones, magnolia leaves, and different types of berries. I love the smells of these decorations. To me, these smells are synonymous with the holiday season. Even if one doesn’t live in the country, it’s easy to gather natural decorations for the home. As a child, I grew up in the suburbs and I remember my mother stopping on the side of the road to gather pinecones or boughs. Magnolia leaves can retrieved on any type of university or park grounds. Berries are often found along country roads and ditches.
Following are four ideas for sustainable, ethical, and environmentally friendly gift or tourist-finds from Wilmington, North Carolina.
We recently vacationed to Wilmington, North Carolina and visited the Cotton Exchange and shops along the Chandler’s Wharf, famous for it’s artisans and entrepreneurs. As many people do when they vacation, we visited gift shops filled with knick-knacks and touristy gift items. Also as many people do, we have collected cheap tourist items, filling our home with tacky-looking items.
Recently, we have become a tad bit more savvy when it comes to purchasing tourist relics. We make it a rule to only purchase practical, usable, and sustainable items. Practically speaking, it makes more sense to spend a few more dollars to purchase items that we can use, rather than throwing money into a plastic cheap items that collect dust and serve no purpose. Continue reading “Sustainable, Ethical, and Environmentally-Friendly Gifts”
A simple google search on the “world’s trash” reveals that the United States is leading in the amount of trash generated. We produce more trash than China, which has a population four times larger than the United States. The world’s trash problem is predicted to produce 4 billion tons by 2100. Check out this video and article on “The Guy Wearing 3o Days Worth of Garbage Around NYC.” He certainly makes us think about the amount of disposable trash the average American generates.
I believe that conservation comes down to individual actions and thought processes. Awareness is important, but being willing to try something new is key. I must begin by pointing the finger at myself. I love living in the Ranchette household because one of our goals is to live sustainably.
The Ranchettes have been busy harvesting both lavender and yarrow at our farm. We mostly use lavender and yarrow for decorative purposes. However, both lavender and yarrow have an enormous amount of medicinal and culinary benefits.
Lavender is Lavandula in Latin. It grows in temperate climates around the world. While it is used as an ornamental plant for gardens and it’s extracted oils are used commercially, it is also used in food and medicinally. Lavender has been known to alleviate anxiety and restlessness. Continue reading “Lavendar and Yarrow; It’s Uses and Benefits”
The Ranchette’s love for nature is reflected in the items our sister, MichelleLynnDecor, makes and sells on Etsy.com. Currently, Michelle is selling organic ticking pillows faster than she can make them.
For years, we have made an annual trip to Colonial Williamsburg to admire hand-made decorations displayed throughout the town. Many of these decorations are created self-sustainably and with natural elements. These ornaments surpass any plastic, store-bought ornaments a person can buy in a store. In addition, they are free, gathered from from the forests floors, seashores, and gardens. To create natural ornaments only require a little bit of creativity and elbow grease. Continue reading “Simplicity; Eco-Friendly Sustainable Decorations”
The Ranchettes recently completed side-porch renovations with the inspiration of Farm House Country or Shabby Chic interior decorating design. Canvas is a popular material used with these interior decorating approaches. Who might imagine that one can make their own trendy Farm House Country or Shabby Chic sofa covers with the purchase of Lowes canvas painting drop cloths? The cost for this material (12 ft. by 15 ft) is $31.98.
Here are three of the six chairs Jennette and Michelle recently refurbished. The backs of the chairs were falling apart and the seats were in disrepair. In a matter of three simple steps, they recreated these chairs for under $10.50 each.
Sanded and spray painted the chairs with colorful Rust-Oleum purchased from Walmart. Cost: $3.86.
Reupholstered the seats with upcycled wool purchased from a local second-hand store. Cost: under 50 cents.
Replaced the backs of the chairs with cute tin signs they found on sale at the Hobby lobby. Cost: $6.00.
Here’s our kitty, Solé, who decided to improvise his modeling abilities in front of the backdrop of Michelle’s hand-crafted pillows. These burlap, felted wool pillows are available to purchase at the Ranchette’s Etsy store, MichelleLynnDecor.