Love Bomb (for frontline workers)

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Do you know someone on the front lines during the COVID crisis? Healthcare workers, grocery staff, delivery people, childcare providers, and other workers are truly the heroes and sheroes of the day.

I created the Love Bomb just for them.

A carefully curated collection of LüSa products for this profoundly stressful time, it’s a thoughtful way to say thanks to someone working hard to take care of the rest of us.

The Love Bomb includes one each of the following:

Be among the first 50 customers to order, we’ll include a large, organic lavender sachet, while supplies last. (As shown in the second photograph.)

Don’t forget the gift message for your (s)hero!

Gifting your Love Bomb to a front line hero? Use *coupon code “LOVEBOMBGIFT” for free US shipping on any gift order that includes a Love Bomb. Contact us for reduced shipping for international orders. (Feel free to add additional items as well, that will be shipped to the same address. A few suggestions are below.) *This is a proper coupon code, and belongs in the coupon field during checkout.

As a courtesy, we ask you to reserve use of this coupon for gift orders only, please. Thank you!

We’re essential

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Here in Wisconsin, Govern Evers issued a “Safer at Home” order earlier this week, closing all non-essential businesses. However, as providers of cleansing products and personal care items, LüSa will remain open, making and shipping products to all who need them.

We’re breathing a big sigh of relief to know that we can continue delivering essentials like soaps and balms to local coops, natural food stores, and your homes.

Our staff, of course, is taking every precaution to stay healthy, and they have the option to pull the plug and stay home if coming in begins to feel like too much. We’ve established new sick leave benefits specifically for COVID-19, because we love our team like crazy and want them to be well (in body and in spirit). And members of our team who can work from home have already been doing so for 2 weeks now, leaving a team of just 1 to 2 people on-site at one time, to make product and pack and ship orders.

All this to say, great news: the soap making will continue. It certainly feels like more important work now than ever before.

Stay well, friends. This is a rocky road indeed, but we’re traveling it together.

Be well,

Rachel + Team LüSa

Wash your hands!

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Pro tip: wash your hands with soap.

Why? Because the weakest layer of a virus is the lipid (fat) layer. Soap molecules act like a magnet, with one end that bonds with water, the other that bonds with fat. Through this sudsy miracle, SOAP DISSOLVES FAT.

And when a virus loses its fat layer, it dies.

In a pinch, you can also kill a virus using alcohol (ie: hand sanitizer) but soap + water is far more effective.

Wash your hands, yo.

You’re welcome.

Psst… if you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter now! Because we’ll be giving away free soap later today, and everybody loves free soap. Amiright?

 

Learn more about how soap works to kill viruses here.

Natural immune support for adults + kids (bonus elderberry gummies recipe)

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Cold season, the flu, and now the dreaded coronavirus. Many of us worry to some degree about falling ill in the winter every year, especially during the bridge between seasons when the weather swings unpredictably from cold to warm.

And with the onset of every potential pandemic, we worry even more.

Our first line of defense from any virus? A healthy, robust immune system.

Take simple, sensible actions to support a healthy immune response, and reduce your risk (and fears) for whatever bugs you might be exposed to. With regards to fear, I encourage you to not fall into the fear cycles perpetuated by an overzealous media. Weigh the actual risks, not the hype. Then get busy shoring up your immune system with some simple, tried-and-true tricks that can make all the difference in helping you stay healthy and strong.

Support a healthy immune system

Follow the six tips below for your healthiest immune system yet. Then talk to your holistic health care provider or family doctor for even more solid options to better health, and to ensure that the options below are a match for your family and your existing health conditions.

One Small Step toward sustainability: swap plastic bottles of soap for bars.

1.Wash those hands!

Sometimes the simplest tricks are the most effective. Your first line of defense to keep bugs out and good health in? Proper hand-washing, especially when you’re out-and-about.

Pro tip: My daughter and I carry a small bar of LüSa Organics soap in our bags whenever we go out, so that we don’t have to use the fragrance-drenched detergent in public bathrooms. We’re sure to practice better hand-washing if we have soap with us that won’t scent our skin or give us a fragrance oil-induced headache.

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2. De-stress + rest

High stress often translates to a suppressed immune response. Support your body, mind, and spirit with plenty of sleep, and by managing your stress.

3. Upgrade your diet

Reduce sugar intake, and boost your consumption of healthy veggies and proteins. These steps benefit more than just our immune system, and can lead us to greater health for bones, teeth, gut, and brain. You’ve got nothing to lose making this (relatively simple) shift.

What is the best education for your child? The answer might surprise you. #education #homeschooling #school #parenting

4. Check your D levels

Vitamin D3 is critical for a spunky immune response. Check your levels and supplement with a natural source, like fermented cod liver oil.

5. Oh, Mg

Look into topical magnesium (I offer my own version here), which can help support healthy sleep cycles and a healthy immune response.

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6. Herbs for the win

Bring on the immune-supporting herbs! From a daily shot of homemade fire cider to spiking your chai with astragalus, or adding medicinal mushrooms (like rishi + shitake) alongside aromatic herbs in your bone broth, there are a plethora of simple herbal ways to support your immune system.

Which herbs are a great place to begin your research to see if they’re a match for your family? A handful of my favorites include:

  • Astragalus
  • Echinacea
  • Usnea
  • Chaga
  • Rishi
  • Shitake
  • Rosehip
  • White Pine
  • Elderberry

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Elderberry love

One of our very favorite immune-supporting herbal remedies is elderberry. It’s is one of the ten herbs I feature in-depth in my beginner’s herbal book, Herbal Adventures. With tips on using foraged/fresh berries or purchased/dried, there are recipes within these pages to savor throughout the year.

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Whether you choose homemade our boughten elderberry tinctures, elixirs, teas, syrups, or gummies, there is a plethora of excellent options to incorporating this immune-supporting powerhouse into your winter and spring routine.

Want to get started making your own kid-approved elderberry gummies? Then turn to chapter 4 in Herbal Adventures. Don’t have your own copy yet? There’s  another way to try my recipe! (Read on.)

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I was honored last week to have Kelly from Primally Inspired share her love of Herbal Adventures (and my elderberry gummies recipe) on her blog.

Click here for both her feedback on my book and my recipe! Then get to work boosting your (and your children’s) immune systems.

Be well, friends.

Love,
Rachel

What are your family’s favorite natural immune boosters? Add them in the comments below!

 

One Small Step: up your laundry game

20200126-_RJW1172For challenge 8 in One Small Step, let’s dig in and make small changes to something nearly all of us do every week (if not almost every day!)–laundry.

Whether you wash your clothes at home or at the laundromat, in a modern, high-efficiency washer or a well-loved top-loader, chances are there’s still a little room for improvement. (I’m certain there is at our home.)

Read on to find suggestions for a more sustainable wash day–including better detergent options, tips on reducing drying time and saving energy, and more.

Plus, I’m sharing my tried and true HE-compatible DIY laundry powder recipe. We’ve used it with great results for over a decade!

Read on, then share your own ideas in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear your additions!

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Five easy tips for a more sustainable wash day

1. Do less laundry.

Let’s start with the most radical (yet simplest) item on my list: wash your clothes less frequently.

I know. Radical.

But it makes sense that when we do less laundry we save resources. We can reduce wear-and-tear on our clothing (too-frequent laundering wears them out in a hurry), save water, use less soap or detergent, and save electricity. And all it takes is washing our clothes a little less frequently!

No, I’m not suggesting you show up for work next week wearing a balsamic vinegar spattered top. But how about wearing the same spot-free shirt on Friday that you wore on Monday, or the same pants you’ve been rocking for most of the week?

Indeed, many clothes stand up to multiple wearings without looking any worse for the wear! So look over your clothing and linens before dropping them into the hamper to make sure that they really need to be washed (wool in particular is a wonder at staying clean without frequent washing).

And the next time you pick out new or upcycled clothing to add to your wardrobe, seek out clothes made of natural fibers, which wear better and require less frequent laundering. If possible, avoid white, which is the least forgiving of all (and most prone to a short life due to staining).

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2. Swap out your liquid liquid.

While there are a few notable exceptions, most liquid laundry detergents are packaged in plastic. We’ve already discussed how all too often plastic “recycling” is really a one-way trip to the landfill, so the less plastic the better.

Finish up your current plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, then upgrade to something more gentle on the earth.

Upgrade to what, you ask? There are loads of great options (see what I did there?). 

  • Find a liquid in a cardboard container. It’s still not perfect, but it’s leagues better than a plastic jug. Check your natural foods store if your grocery doesn’t have options.
  • Try a purchased powder. There are lots of great brands out there making fragrance-free, phosphate-free, environmentally sustainable powders. But read those labels. Because what’s in the detergent matters as much as the packaging material.
  • Make your own laundry powder. My DIY recipe (below) costs just 25¢ per load. We’ve been using it for over 10 years it in our HE washer with excellent results, despite our extremely hard well water. And it’s been trouble-free for our plumbing and septic system. You can find my recipe at the bottom of the post.
  • There are other low- to no-waste options out there, including “Sheets“, “Dropps“, and even homemade horse chestnut laundry liquid. Don’t discount Soap Nuts either, despite a bit of questionable press recently regarding their sustainability. Soap Nuts are still an excellent, sustainable option to keep on the table!

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3. Replace your synthetic fabric softener with vinegar.

A generous splash of white vinegar in the fabric softener cup of your washing machine can make all the difference in your laundry load (with none of the toxins found in conventional fabric softeners).

Vinegar helps remove detergent and soap reside, and results in brighter, cleaner laundry. Vinegar also helps to soften clothes, brighten whites, and reduce odor and stains. We keep a gallon in the laundry room and add it to nearly every load.

4. Give dryer balls a spin.

Ditch the toxic dryer sheets, and toss in a set of reusable, wool dryer balls instead. Wool dryer balls can reduce drying time by up to 25%, by helping fluff your laundry while it tumbles. 

Years ago, my kids and I made our own using a retired wool sweater cut into scraps, bundled with waste yarn, wrapped in wool roving, then felted. We’ve been using them for more than a decade, and they’re holding up brilliantly.

You can find a simple tutorial online, or buy wool dryer balls by the set. (4-6 is a good number to start with.)  Or go quick and dirty (er, clean), by washing and repurposing a few old tennis balls from your garage.

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5. Better yet, line dry.

If you can swing it, give line drying a go.

Full transparency: I can make some huge improvements here. I depend on our dryer nearly every day, even when line drying would be a more simple and sustainable option. We can all do better, myself included.

To my friends who line dry everything (year round!), despite having a consistent source of grid-power: you know who you are. I am humbled by your commitment and hard work and your fresh smelling linens.

If you have access to an outdoor space (whether a giant yard or a tiny patio) there’s probably room for a clothesline. Indoor spaces are drying friendly, too–especially in winter.

But avoid buying a cheap, flimsy drying rack which is nothing more than a wobbly legged frustration machine. Instead, find something stable and solid. (We use a long ago discontinued wall-mounting metal rack from IKEA, while my friend Ginny recommends handmade Homestead Drying Racks. Search around and you’re bound to find something good.)

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While there are countless other ways to reduce our laundry impact, these five tips felt easy and accessible. I look forward to seeing what you add in the comments below!

And now, are you ready to give homemade laundry powder a go? Find my easy recipe below.

 

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DIY Zero-Waste Laundry Soap Recipe + Tutorial

We love to make this by the double or triple batch. Then we have enough to last you for many weeks of daily use. Better yet, get together with a few friends and make a huge batch to share! Each load costs only 25¢ (with optional oxygen bleach).

Pro tip: our new Zero-Waste Dish Soap Bar is ideal for homemade laundry soap! It’s our favorite soap for this to date. We often have scratch-and-dent 1 lb. bags available at a bargain, just perfect for making laundry soap, or use ordinary LüSa soap bars or Imperfect Soap Samplers.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz LüSa Organics Dish Soap Bar or Classic Bar Soap, finely grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 1/3 cup washing soda
  • 2/3 cup oxygen bleach (optional)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax

Instructions

  • Finely grate your bar of soap on a box grater.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, being mindful to not stir to vigorously and create airborne dust that you might inhale. (Consider wearing a dust mask if you prefer your mixing on the enthusiastic side!)
  • When mixture is relatively uniform, transfer to a plastic pail or glass jar to store in laundry room.
  • To use, add 2 to 3 tbsp per load, directly into the drum of your washer. Wash laundry with warm or hot water.

How do you reduce your laundry’s environmental footprint?

You can find the entire One Small Step series here, or click through below for individual posts:

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