My son was sleeping at the time. I was rushing around, about to leave for work. If I hadn’t noticed the smoke – I shudder to think of what could have happened. We were mere minutes away from not only losing the entire house but so much more. As it was we only lost things. We are incredibly lucky. We have each other and we have our home
It did inspire me to try to be as earth friendly as possible during the whole fire recovery process. It is pretty easy to be green when life is running smoothly but my greenness has been known to drop on the priority list when life gets hard. The entire summer has been difficult and I have been slacking more and more. I saw this as an opportunity to get back on track. I had hoped to minimize waste and limit the use of nasty chemicals as much as possible. I am determined to use my go-to natural cleaners where I can. That didn’t quite work out in the laundry room. Baking soda couldn’t touch the black soot that was starting to penetrate the sheetrock. We had to go with a pretty nasty chemical that the fire marshal recommended.
I put my green efforts into high gear after that to offset any bad vibes we were generating – starting with the recycling system. My old system had me separating everything into bags in the laundry room and tossing recyclables on the floor when the bags got too full. Not a great plan. The image of firemen trampling over cans and bottles as well as flammable paper bags is forever etched into my brain. Since my county only requires separation of fiber from containers – I put only two bins under my sink along with reusable bags. I make a trip to the recycling center every other week. So far so good.
My green cleaners have been surprisingly effective in much of the house. It is amazing what vinegar, baking soda, borax and elbow grease can do. Cornstarch is quite little wonder too! It really puts a shine on glass and mirror – two things that are in great abundance in my house. Each time I discover a new cleaning challenge I hit the internet in search of the most echo-friendly solution. I have come across some great information like this link for cleaning leather furniture at DIY Life: http://www.diylife.com/2010/05/05/the-daily-fix-how-to-clean-leather-furniture/ . Note the caution to seek a professional cleaner if you are unsure about any of their methods. Our couch is 9 years old and a bit weathered already so I feel comfortable trying their advice.
For now, I vow to slow down and not be in such a rush that I make careless choices. I also vow to never again leave the house with the dryer running.
Be Careful out there!