Horticulture Chair Nancy Percivall gave an informative talk on Soap Nuts and How to Use Them.
Soap nuts (sometimes called soap berries) are the fruit of the Sapindus mukorossi tree found naturally growing at the foothills of the the Himalayan Mountains. The soap nut is actually a berry that forms a hard shell when dry and resembles a nut. The berry shells contain saponin, a natural surfactant that is released when the shell absorbs water giving it the ability to produce soapsuds.
Soap nuts are considered a natural detergent and have become a popular environ-mentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent. Place about five soap nuts into a small muslin bag, typically provided with your purchase, pull the drawstring tight, and throw it in the wash with your clothes. Each bag of soap nuts should last for about five washes.
To make liquid soap, use one cup of water for each soap nut used. Boil water, add soap nuts, simmer for 20 minutes, cool and store in a jar. Use ¼ cup liquid for one load of laundry. You can also pour the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze for later use.
At the October meeting, JoAnn Cook briefly mentioned that she would send an update to members regarding the opportunity to recycle certain Styrofoam products right here in Crofton at EPS Industry Alliance.
The collection bin is well marked and easy to find -- close to the Post Office, in the back parking lot of the SECU Credit Union Building. They accept Styrofoam food packaging, cups, egg cartons, meat trays, and coolers. Just be sure there is a #6 stamped on the product and that it is clean and doesn't have any labels or tape.
If you have any questions, please contact JoAnn. Feel free to spread the word to your friends and neighbors.
A map and additional information on the products they accept is available by clicking the button below.
Photo Credit: lunchskins.com
Nancy Percivall, Committee Chair for Horticulture, encouraged members to think out of the box when purchasing plastic wraps and shared better alternatives –– wax paper, parchment paper, reusable sandwich and snack bags, wax paper bags, silicone bags, and beeswax wraps.
Plastic wrap was invented in the 1940’s by a chemical company and was originally made with toxic PVC plastic. Plastic wrap is now made primarily of LDPE (low-density polyethylene) which is deemed safe by the FDA but safety concerns about plastic wrap still exist. Many film plastics are recyclable, however, cling wrap is not – the chemicals and resins added to make the cling wrap "clingy" and stretchable cannot be removed, making it too complex a plastic to recycle. Because cling wrap is not recyclable, it ends up contaminating the environment by sitting in a landfill for years.
Kelly Mackall, Recycling Project Specialist, Department of Public Works, discussed how to recycle right in Anne Arundel County – from the basics such as curbside pick-up, yard waste, and hazardous waste to the latest improvements such as food scraps. After a Q&A session, members watched a brief video which takes us through the process at the recycling center.
A recent sort of Anne Arundel County recyclables showed incorrect items in curbside recycling carts and bins. For more information on what to keep OUT of your recycling container and what to put IN it, click the button below.
Plastic bags, wrap, and film are NOT accepted in curbside recycling. You can recycle clean, dry plastic bags, wrap, and film at County Recycling Centers and local retailers! For more information, click the button below.
To view the video which takes you through the process at the recycling center, click the button below.