About Zero Waste Classes

I tailor my class for the organization and my audience.  This is a sample of my typical class topic;

Class: Your Zero Waste Home; Save Money While Living a Sustainable Life

With an emphasis on financial and resource effectiveness, this class will adds value to your daily routine regardless of your budget, lifestyle, or how much you want to hug a tree. Topics will include food and personal care product waste, shopping tips and tricks, housekeeping and zero waste skills, our actions and how they shape the world’s behaviors, and resource mindfulness. Attendees will leave this class better prepared to deal with the onslaught of waste associated with the activities of daily living.

Classes can be from 1-2 hours in length.

I can speak to 10 or 1000 people.

All classes have an environmental education component to them but are presented as accessible and helpful.



Horse Chestnut laundry detergent (Don’t Eat these chestnuts!)

I was literally driving down the road and saw Horse Chestnuts on the side of the busy rural highway, hung a u- turn and decided to fill a cloth bag (of course it was cloth) with the nuts littering the shoulder. I had seen a few posting on Instagram about making laundry detergent from Horse Chestnuts and right then and there decided to give it a try.

After some internet research and a lot of nonspecific recipes, I came up with a recipe that I think works pretty well:

To make the dry stage of the process you start with:

  • Pounds and pound of fresh Horse chestnuts without the hull (green spiky flesh that surrounds the nut). I read that you need 10-20 pounds of raw shelled nuts to get you through one year. I am collecting around 20- 30 pounds this year (yes, I do lots of laundry).
  • Process the hulled nuts with either a grater, hammer, or food processor with a grating wheel/blade. I used my mothers food processor’s grating wheel.IMG_20171001_151255_308
  • Then put them in a blender, in batches, to make a pulp. Repeat.
  • Place a layer of the pulp on a cookie sheet and dry in your oven for 1-1.5 hours on 200 degrees Fahrenheit or until nice and dry.  You will need to do this stage in batches. Cool and then place in a jar to store your “detergent”.  Repeat. This dry stage will keep for 18-24 months in an air tight container.

To make the liquid washing solution: makes 2-4 loads (depending on load size and machine requirements). Don’t make a large batch of solution, it goes bad in about 7 days in the fridge.

  • Place about 1/2 cup dried nuts in a jar and cover with 1 cup boiling water, let steep for 15-30 minutes, strain through a fine sieve.the liquid will be a milky yellow/white solution (where will be some fine bits of chestnut in the bottom of your jar, that’s okay. I carefully pour my solution when I use it and always leave a little solution at the bottom of my jar with the bits, when it is empty.
  • One load uses 1/4 cup -1/2 cup solution (depending on load size and machine requirements)
  • I added 5-8 drops of Lavender or peppermint essential oil to the solution to make my laundry smell fancy.
  • If you make a bunch of solution a head of time, store it in the fridge. I should last about 7 days.

Have fun with this recipe. I sure am excited about this rediscovered zero waste recipe.

I might just try to wash my hair with a chamomile/horse chestnut shampoo. Keep you posted on that one.IMG_20171002_122345_359

*Some of the stages in the process of making Horse Chestnut laundry detergent. The bottle on the right is the final product.