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Lazy F: 10 Eco-Friendly Ingredients for Everyday Green Cleaning

Here at Lazy F, we do our best to care for God’s creation, and you can do your part at home! Here are some ideas for green cleaning in your life!

The following is from http://greencleaning.about.com (also same web site for recipes). These products are all natural, environmentally friendly, and cost effective. However, some recipes only have a shelf-life of a week or two so make small amounts

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate):

This versatile product is probably one of the top most important green cleaning ingredients. Very alkaline in nature with a high pH, it’s great for its ability to absorb grease and spills, neutralize odors, and scrub surfaces effectively, but gently without scratching. It also has bactericidal and stain removing abilities.

Castile or Natural Dish Soap:

Indispensable for washing, soap helps loosen dirt and break down grease. Castile soap, which is made from olive oil, or natural dishwashing detergent that is free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and additives, are an essential part of any green cleaning kit. They can be used in products, such as all-purpose sprays, cream cleansers, etc.

Club Soda:

Useful for treating difficult stains and spots (e.g., blood, chocolate, coffee, tea, wine, etc.), club soda is also an ingredient in some homemade cleaning and deodorizing sprays.

Essential Oils:

Enhance the natural cleansing properties of your cleaners with these potent, natural plant-based oils that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Many essential oils, such as Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree (Meleleuca alterniforia)  have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties so they are a great addition to unscented, green cleaning products and homemade natural cleansers, such as this aromatherapy cleanser. As a bonus, essential oils even provide some health benefits while you clean; for example, lavender calms the nervous system.

Hydrogen Peroxide:

This product is an earth-friendly alternative to chlorine bleach due to its gentle, non-toxic bleaching action and antiseptic properties.

Kosher Salt:

Think about how great salt is as a natural preservative in curing meat and preventing contamination and you can get a pretty good idea of how it might be great for cleaning. Salt, which is primarily sodium chloride, is beneficial for scrubbing and fighting mold and mildew. It also has some surprising uses; for example, when combined with lemons or limes, it’s an effective rust remover.

Lemons and Limes:

The fresh citrusy scent of these fruits can’t be beat for their ability to cut through grease and grime. The low pH (i.e., 2.0 pH for lemon) and citric acid content of lemons and limes make it difficult for many microorganisms to grow, so they are great for combating germs while you clean! In addition, their high acidity level helps loosen alkaline mineral deposits, such as calcium, and dissolve soap scum.

Non-GMO Cornstarch:

Made from non-genetically-modified (GMO) corn makes cleaning windows, buffing, polishing, and getting rid of grease, grime, and dirt a snap.  And, of course, it can also be used as a laundry starch!

Organic Olive Oil:

This is an awesome product for creating your own earth-friendly, safe cleaners and polishers for stainless steel and wood

Vinegar:

With this absolutely essential ingredient, you can easily clean more than 90% of your home. Vinegar’s low pH (2.0) and acetic acid content make it an effective cleaner for combating soap scum, alkaline mineral deposits, inhibiting mold, and more. It’s also an effective disinfectant that kills viruses and bacteria as several studies have shown.  For example, a 2010 scientific study showed that a 10% malt vinegar solution was just as effective as commercial cleaning wipes in killing the Human Influenza A/H1N1 virus.

Lazy F: Why Volunteer?

Lazy F: Why Volunteer

By Ryan and Laura Tullar

Laura writes: The question is short but the answer is much longer. The journey for volunteering at Lazy F actually began for us as staff members in the summer of 2012. We met working in the kitchen and, we eventually fell in love in our favorite place. Ryan always wanted to work with kids and would join in on the games during breaks, often dragging whatever kitchen crew was on shift with him. This led to his first time as a volunteer small group leader at Senior High Camp, and eventually a full time position the following summer. While Ryan led small groups, I volunteered as site staff helping where needed as a swiss-army knife of sorts.

Ryan writes: Seeing kids succeed for me and seeing them do it surrounded by their friends and completely immersed in God for an entire week is what brings me back year after year. It’s not volunteering when it’s this fun and rewarding. I feel that the kids give me so much more than I could ever give them. Coming into my first summer as a kitchen worker my own faith walk had been so damaged by past experiences; I didn’t feel that I would ever feel quite right at camp. But the kids, and the camp saved me honestly.

When Laura and I started dating, she believed in some sort of higher power but not sure what, and by the end of our first full summer working with the kids she didn’t deny the Lord anymore. Neither one of us is your cookie cutter, suit and Sunday dress, church-going Christian, but we have both been moved to tears by the incredible stories we have witnessed over four summers at Lazy F. The question we were asked to answer was how does volunteering impact our faith, and the truth of the matter is: it has given us our faith. The youth that come through these camps year in and year out are all the proof that either of us will ever need. The future lies in the world’s youth, and we are blessed each year to get to work with some of the greatest young minds in the state. Continuing to see them succeed will be what brings us back as often as we can.

Lazy F: Who’s Here This Weekend?

By Dave Burfeind – Director of Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center

Like the other three sites in our Conference, we are blessed to have a variety of guest groups utilizing our facilities and being a part of our ministries.  It is great to see the variety of groups that come each weekend and also throughout the week.  I know this is an important part of our mission to reach out in Christian hospitality to these groups, but it also plays a important role in the vitality of the camp and supporting our summer camp program.

The variety of groups we serve is incredible!  My summer camp name is the RingMaster, after the fact that many times Lazy F is like a three ring circus.  At the most extreme end of the spectrum, one weekend we had a seven ring circus: seven different groups utilizing our site on a spring weekend.  The great forethought our founders and subsequent leaders had in the design of this place allows for this to be successful.  Seven is extreme, but it is not uncommon to have three different groups here on a weekend. 

Each week we see different types of groups: schools, churches, family reunions, government agencies, universities, quilting groups, nonprofit organizations, military  groups, and the list goes on!  They may be composed of all men, women, children, families, co-workers, church members, athletes, student leaders, etc.  Some come to simply play and connect more closely with their other participants, others are involved with strategic planning, many come closer to their God, and some hole up in their meeting room, not seeing the light of day!  There have been a couple of very interesting groups we have served:  Washington Animal Control Association (they knew we had a “no pet” policy), Washington Boomerang Club (for the World Championships in Ellensburg), and we just took a reservation for the Robotics team  from West Valley High School in Spokane.  As they say, variety is the spice of life….

I firmly believe that our four Conference sites are here to exemplify fine Christian hospitality that helps make our guests be comfortable and open to the Holy Spirit that I know is present in all four places.  Serving this varied constituency is an important aspect of our outreach.

To learn more about retreats at our four sites click HERE

A quilting group sets up camp in Ridgeview for the weekend

The view of out famous cross from the pond in the Fall

An elementary camper enjoying our tubing hill in the summer

Lazy F: DIY Ice Rink

by Dave Burfeind, Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center Director

DIY Ice Rink

Constructing your own ice rink is a labor of love, but also provides immense enjoyment for those involved and those who get to the opportunity to get on the ice. Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center has a glorious ice rink in the woods that is enjoyed by hundreds of people each year. Dave Burfeind, Lazy F Director, grew up in Minnesota, and has ice running through his veins which may translate into knowledge about making an ice rink. Not exactly, but some trial and error and many people who are willing to chip in have created this memorable experience.

So, here are some steps we took at Lazy F in creating our own ice rink. Use these concepts to construct your own rink in your back yard!

Obviously, there are a few simple things necessary for an ice rink:

  • a flat shady spot that is consistently cold
  • access to water
  • ice skates

Preparation:

Find a great flat spot that will not be in the sun late in the winter and turn your rink into an undesired mud pit. We tried the front playfield once; it looks flat, but once side was about a foot and have lower than the high side. That takes a lot of water! Also, come late February, the sun is higher in the sky and warming everything up on that side of the camp. Not much skating that year….

Our good friend Dan Sherman has lots of heavy equipment and comes over frequently to volunteer. It is good to have a friend with a backhoe or road grader, Dan has both, plus much more. So Dan came over with his equipment and laser level to give us the even ground to work with. Find a friend with some heavy equipment and a location you don’t mind tearing up a bit in making your dream rink.

Pray for good conditions as you set the base:

About Thanksgiving it starts getting cold in Eastern Washington. Ideal conditions for making the ice rink are cold, dry weather for several weeks. Some years have been terrible: snow right after some rain. One year we had about 8 inches of snow in November, insulating the ground. Dave does not have the ability to look into the future, so he thought it best to get on the rink (no ice yet) with the plow truck to clear the snow so the ground would freeze harder. Well, it worked for awhile, but one section of the rink was still wet and the truck sunk into the ground. He did not get stuck, but created some big ruts that went against our desire for flat ground.

Putting on the water:

Our Challenge Course and Maintenance Guy, Travis Britten, hit it right this year. The air was cold, ground hard and without snow, so he got out several garden hoses, a splitter, a couple of sprinklers and hooked it up to the frost-free spigot next to the rink. The temperature was about 20 degrees and he let them run for hours at a time, moving them regularly to lay down an even coat.

After you get this good base, it is time to just put in the time with a garden hose, no sprinkler attachment now. This allows for a better volume of water, leveling out the rink a bit more with each successive coat. The initial coats take up to an hour and 15 minutes. In the middle of the season when you are making the rink like glass, it is only about 45 minutes. This is a great time to talk with God, enjoying the solitude and glorious surroundings. This year, Chris Burfeind has been our Rink Master and put a number of layers on, I think we may be up to 10 – 15 coats.

Be sure to take the hose off, drain the water, roll up the hose, and store in a heated location. Nothing worse than going out in single digit weather to discover a section of hose has a chunk of ice and is blocking all the water.

Clearing the Snow:

Ideal ice conditions mean that the conditions on our tubing hill are terrible. We are ok with putting in a bunch more time into clearing the snow off the rink so our guests can have an incredible time screaming down the inner tubing hill.

You want a big rink, so you need some serious snow removal equipment; shoveling would be a ridiculous amount of work. Chris again has pulled through and been on the tractor numerous times to clear off anywhere from an inch to 10 inches of snow. It really doesn’t matter how much snow you have, it must come off the ice! You wait for the storm to pass and then clear off the snow. Ideally, it stays cold and you can put another layer of water on before people are ready to skate.

Ice Skates

With a great rink, it is crucial you have some decent ice skates. Lazy F has been collecting ice skate for years and our inventory has been improving each year. This year we hit the jackpot, scoring 15 pairs of quality skates from one Craigslist ad. Kristy and Jim Grob were awesome in making the transaction in Federal Way and delivering the skates to the camp. Over the years, Paul Ferris in Ellensburg has kept an eye out for skates and donated 5 – 10 really good pairs. Currently, we have 93 pairs of ice, but are always looking for additional good quality skates!

So now, Do It Yourself:

So that is it in a nutshell! Find a good flat spot; put some water down when it is really cold and have fun skating away!

If all this seems daunting to you, come on over to Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center and have some winter fun. The setting is incredible and we also have opportunities for inner tubing and snow shoeing. You can actually come over Sunday, January 31 from 1:00 – 4:00 to enjoy our winter wonderland and enjoy all these activities. Check us out on Facebook or visit our website for more information.