Going Green Merit Badge, Expert Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,065 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,688 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Cleaning Up/Going Green Expert Level Merit Badge, I burrowed myself into my abode for a couple weeks and buckled down in some serious green projects. See, there’s a nasty piece of carpeting in my bedroom I’d been ignoring for quite some time, and I’d been feeling guilty each time I ran my dryer when there’s perfectly excellent sunshine right outside, and, well, suffice to say, I needed to spruce up my green living a bit to earn this badge.

I rolled up my proverbial sleeves (and the literal ones, too), donned my cutest and hardest-working apron, and got to work.


Here’s what I accomplished with a couple of afternoons, some know-how, a little grit and determination, and several slices of Gluten-free Apple Cake:


  • I yanked and pulled, tore and ripped, pushed and shoved, rolled and kicked, and in all other ways, completely and utterly abused the poor carpet. No, I wasn’t beating it clean; I was removing it altogether. I could have gone the cleaning and out-gassing route, but let’s be honest, I’m more of a dismantler than a … uh, mantler. You know what I mean. And also I wanted an excuse to buy an adorable little shag rug for right beneath my bed to squish my tootsies into each morning. Call me shallow.
  • I bought a length of clothesline and squinted my eyes at my backyard. To be honest, the front yard would have been slightly more perfect in my quest for line-drying clothes, but I kind of figured my neighbors didn’t want to stare at my unmentionables fluttering in the breeze. I’m selfless like that.


Short of waving my magic wand and making two trees line up perfectly in my backyard, I was stumped. I stood, feeling dejected, in my wide-open space, with my coil of rope in my sad hands. Then it came to me. The laundry room window lined up perfectly with my one lonely pear tree! Voilà! I was back in action. I rigged it up just like they do in all the old-fashioned movies with shots of the cities. You know the ones that go from apartment to apartment, sometimes slung right over the streets? With my clever pulley system, I am feeling several shades of grand. I even feel a little like a Disney princess somehow, and I must confess to singing to the squirrels and chipmunks and birds as I line up my yummy-smelling laundry to dry. Another point for the backyard and the neighbors, as my singing voice is … well, unique.

  • I also needed a new coat of paint in my pantry (holiday baking is here, my pretties), and so I took advantage of my green streak to purchase a couple of small tins of non-toxic paint. My cinnamon-colored pantry with ginger-colored trim is begging for a batch of Christmas cookies right now.


  • I arranged my best go-to books about greening up your life in alphabetical order, and then let my friends and neighbors know they were available for borrowing. My books, not my friends and neighbors. Rent-A-Friend? Ha! I may be onto something there. But in all seriousness, have you seen this?


The next part of this badge (hey, it’s the Expert Level, dahlinks—it takes time) was to donate six hours to a friend in need of greening up. But first, let me bask in the glory that is my shaggy rug, munch another piece of cake, and finish crooning to the woodland critters.

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    So many easy and ideas shown here to pretty up one’s place. I like the idea of the bright paint for a pantry and the blackboard paint on the bookshelves for a perfect Farmgirl inspired upgrades too.

  2. Ah Maryjane, how oddly coincidental! my laundry line # 1 is strung from the old antique pear tree to the old lilac by the stone cottage. The second #2 line goes from the pear tree to the antique apple tree. So they make a corner. Nothing better than fresh wind flapped laundry on the line. its gonna be cold ( high of only 45-50) today but really windy , so I may do another load this morning, you have inspired me to get out there despite the chilliness.

  3. …have to add, how lucky you are that you can pull up your old wall to wall rug. I am renting this farmhouse and despite it many fine attributes ( huge 18 X 19 ft custom oak kitchen, lots of closets including a monster linen closet, and everyone’s favorite -a laundry chute to the basement ) it has the worlds ugliest dirt colored shag wall to wall carpet in the downstairs rooms. Nothing keeps them clean or odor free. If it were my home I’d rip those stinky carpets out and have a bonfire! Did put down various antique and newly made hooked rugs on top of it to keep my sanity for beauty. Oh well,the dirt doesn’t show at least !

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