DIY Plastic Free Aloe Vera

An essential part of my skin care routine involves aloe vera. I have come to rely on the cooling, healing elements of this amazing plant. The reason I feel so strongly about it is partly because I found a microbiologist’s blog about skin care and her views aligned with everything I already felt and was basically the routine I had intuitively been following for a while. I’ll be honest though, I’m not always the best practitioner of skin care on a regular basis. I love masks, and oil cleansing, even rose water and making facial sprays, yet I still am just not as disciplined with doing these steps every single day.

The easier thing would be to just own an aloe vera plant, and I do. However, it isn’t large and I think I would end up using it up super fast. I don’t live in the climate the plant needs and therefore the growth is stunted and is really only for decoration. There are places where I have sliced off the ends, and it heals well, so this is an option.

When I spotted very large aloe leaves at my local co-op, I snatched one up and decided to get started on making my own liquid.

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First, I sliced it into manageable pieces. Working with one piece at a time, I took a serrated knife around the perimeter, in between the pulp and the skin and was able to squeeze out a large chunk, then used the knife to scrape out any pulp still attached to the skin.

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The leftover pieces go into compost, and the pulp now will get blended up.

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An immersion blender will work, as will a stand up blender.

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When done, it is frothy and smooth. Now is the time to strain it using a mesh strainer or even a nut milk bag, or some tripled cheesecloth. There wasn’t much pulp left over, so not much is going to waste or the compost gods.

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Pour the strained liquid into a container of your choice. It is best to keep it in the refrigerator, which has been heavenly since it reaches 100° every day in the summer. You will notice it is less viscous than anything bought in the store, but it still works really well and has no additives.

I have read that this lasts a month, but I’m going to see how long it stays fresh and update. I don’t know if it could go in a freezer, but I know I won’t be able to use this much in one month, and I don’t have a way of getting more aloe during winter months.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Garden Pasta

This is an on-the-fly post and a quick snapshot before devoured as I was at my sister’s house visiting her and her newborn and had brought lunch ingredients.

The night before I quickly made a garlic scape pesto which was highly improvised with just garlic scapes, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and some salt. I had it with some sourdough bread and it was super spicy!

This dish has:

Spaghetti noodles: found in bulk at WinCo

Peas: picked from my garden

Garlic scape pesto: from the garden + bulk ingredients

Mint: garden

To make pasta:

Boil water and salt and cook spaghetti, adding in peas (shelled peas or snap peas with shell) in the last minute.

Reserve a couple cups of pasta water.

Drain.

Add in 3/4 cup of pesto into pasta water and stir to combine.

Put pasta back into pot, pan, or bowl then top with the pesto sauce.

Top this off with about 1/4 cup or fresh mint leaves.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Reuse: Newspaper Bin Liner / Package

I’m not convinced this serves the purpose of a trash bin liner very well. The newspaper size would need to be much bigger if it were to work in a functional way. However, I did use my first attempt at this with a smaller paper as a sort of package to tote my extra pens to school instead of keeping at home. I like the idea of this as a sort of street food package or burger or potato chip holders at a barbecue or even popcorn for a movie night.

Here are the steps to making one:

Layer 2 – 4 pieces of newspaper together.

Fold up one corner the way one would to find a perfect square, but keep it in a triangle shape.

Cut off the rectangle of excess.

Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top left corner.

Repeat on other side with the right corner to meet the top left corner. Crease.

Unfold those last two folds. Take the bottom corner to meet the crease made by the right corner when it met the left corner.

Repeat with the right corner to meet the new crease created by the previous fold.

Separate the 2 or 3 or 4 layers of newspaper you used and fold over the top. Crease.

Flip it over and repeat on the other side.

Open it up and place into a bin!

I think this still could work as a trash can liner if you are living a low waste lifestyle and therefore do not put wet items into the trash, and recycle anything that can be recycled. Or make one just for fun to try it out!

Peace and love,

Kristan