2008 - [Sustainable Concepts] Cohousing and Laundry Soap
2008, vol. 63
Welcome to the June 2008 newsletter from Design
Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's
Quote of the Month: "In the end, our society
will be defined not only by what we create but
by what we refuse to destroy."
-John Sawhill, past president of the Nature
Lisa A. Swan
What is Cohousing?
Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing
in which residents actively participate in
the design and operation of their own neighborhoods.
Cohousing residents are consciously committed
to living as a community. The physical design
encourages both social contact and individual
space. Private homes contain all the features
of conventional homes, but residents also
have access to extensive common facilities
such as open space, courtyards, a playground
and a common house.
Cohousing communities are usually designed
as attached or single-family homes along one
or more pedestrian streets or clustered around
a courtyard. They range in size from 7 to
67 residences, the majority of them housing
20 to 40 households. Regardless of the size
of the community, there are many opportunities
for casual meetings between neighbors, as
well as for deliberate gatherings such as
celebrations, clubs and business meetings.
The common house is the social center of a
community, with a large dining room and kitchen,
lounge, recreational facilities, children's
spaces, and frequently a guest room, workshop
and laundry room. Communities usually serve
optional group meals in the common house at
least two or three times a week.
The need for community members to take care
of common property builds a sense of working
together, trust and support. Because neighbors
hold a commitment to a relationship with one
another, almost all cohousing communities
use consensus as the basis for group decision-making.
Article and Picture © The Cohousing Association
of the United States
Your Own Laundry Soap
Looking for a easy way to save a few dollars
and also have a little fun - making your own
laundry soap is easy and cheap. There are
several recipes out there for making your
own laundry detergent, but here is one:
1/3 Bar Fels
Naptha Soap or any bar soap
1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Make sure
it says "Washing" not "Baking"). This is also
Sodium Carbonate and can be found at pool
1/2 Cup Borax
2 gallons of water
Optional - 1/2 to 1 ounce of your choice of
essential oil or fragrance oil
Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan. Add
6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.
Add the washing soda and Borax and stir until
dissolved. Put 4 cups of hot water in the
bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add
1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let
sit overnight and it will gel up (if using,
add fragrance or essential oil at this point
and stir). Use 1/2 Cup per load.
The laundry detergent is great for washing
all types of clothes and taking out even the
Article © Lisa A Swan
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