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Resilient Action Day teaches about natural living

Happy Dancing Turtle hosted its annual Resilient Action Day (RAD) Friday, Sept. 23, featuring practical, fun, hands-on workshops to help build resilience.

Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal Christine Jones, of Pure Soap Flake Company in Pine River, discusses her recipe for homemade a Vaseline-like lotion using castor oil and coconut oil. Jones' presentation was part of Resilient Action Day Friday, Sept. 23.
Theresa Bourke/Echo Journal Christine Jones, of Pure Soap Flake Company in Pine River, discusses her recipe for homemade a Vaseline-like lotion using castor oil and coconut oil. Jones' presentation was part of Resilient Action Day Friday, Sept. 23.

Happy Dancing Turtle hosted its annual Resilient Action Day (RAD) Friday, Sept. 23, featuring practical, fun, hands-on workshops to help build resilience.

Participants attended various workshops and were encouraged to go home and use their newfound knowledge. Workshop titles included: High Tunnel Basics, It's All Energy, Essential Oils Everyday, Starting Herbs for Winter Enjoyment, Forest Management, How to Find Your Passion in Life, Bicycle Maintenance and Repair, and many others.

Christine Jones, of Pure Soap Flake Company in Pine River, gave a presentation called The Art of Living Naturally where she discussed natural solutions for household cleaning and personal hygiene, a topic she is especially passionate about.

"I started Pure Soap Flake Company because of the fact I am one of those people that, I come near sodium lauryl sulfate - it's a synthetic material that's in over 94 percent of our personal hygiene products - (and) I completely break out and just have a terrible time," she said.

Jones gave attendees a list of the key ingredients she uses for everyday cleaning that don't contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Ingredients include sodium, baking soda, natural soap, hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar and white distilled vinegar. She then explained how she combines these products to produce safe, natural cleaning solutions.

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The first secret she gave away was the combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains and odors from clothing and other surfaces. Sprinkling baking soda on a stain and then spraying it with hydrogen peroxide, Jones said, is "the most amazing stain removal and odor removal."

"You have to be a little bit careful with that method on darker clothes, but it works with everything," she said. "This is so old school. It amazes me that this day they have all these products with synthetic chemicals to be a deodorizer, but it's as simple as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide."

This mixture also works to remove skunk odor from pets or cars.

Another laundry tip Jones presented was the use of distilled white vinegar as fabric softener. She said adding a quarter cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle in the washing machine will work better than store-bought fabric softeners.

Jones discussed another use for hydrogen peroxide and distilled white vinegar.

"One of the best disinfectants that I have found - and since we're going into cold season - is the combination of spraying white distilled vinegar and then coming back the second pass with hydrogen peroxide," she said.

While Jones stressed that the two ingredients can't be mixed together, she said the use of them separately on the same surface will kill more germs than bleach and help prevent illnesses.

"My sister with little ones - they haven't had a cold or flu in three years," she said.

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As emphasized by her business' name, Jones is also a big proponent of soap flakes for cleaning. She often mixes the flakes with distilled water and uses the solution for hand soap, shampoo and other general cleaning. Soap flakes are available for purchase from Jones' company, but she also said that buying a bar of natural soap and shaving off small pieces works as well.

Jones' last secret regarding natural living is that, when done right, it can actually help save money.

"One of the things that's so interesting that I think about living naturally is how much money it saves you. I call it fashionably frugal," she said. "I save hundreds of dollars and save other people hundreds of dollars."

The money-saving element comes from using the same products and ingredients for multiple purposes, like the use of hydrogen peroxide as both a stain removal and a disinfectant.

Jones' presentation also included advice for natural skin care and toothpaste and healthy eating. In November, she will release the book she's been working on called "The Art of Living Naturally" that will serve as a compilation of her tips for living a natural, healthy life.

Resilient Action Day events were held at the Hunt Utilities Group Resilient Living Campus in Pine River, and participants got the option of touring the campus at the end of the day.

Related Topics: HUNT UTILITIES GROUP
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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