Saturday, April 28, 2012

It IS easy being green!

Kermit the Frog said "it isn't easy being green" well here are a few easy ways to go green in your everyday life


Stop receiving unwanted mail
Free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
go to: Catalog Choice

Don't buy bottled water
I used to buy bottles of water by the case but my husband and I decided to stop so I bought everyone in the family a cool new water bottle (Sigg's are great!) Easy huh?  Need a flavor boost?  Add some cut up lemons, limes or even strawberries to you water. 

Give up paper towels or limit your use
This was easier than I thought! I went to the dollar store and bought 2 buckets and a bunch or cloth dish rags and towels. I put one bucket next to my washing machine so I can throw clean towels in- easy & convenient and the other bucket I keep under my sink- instead of grabbing a paper towel to dry my hands or wipe up a mess I grab a cloth one.

Get the kids involved
-reusable water bottle, sandwich box and snack containers for school lunch
-my kids love art, we have taught them to use both side of the paper and to make recycling easy we have a  container next to the desk for recycling
-plant an herb or vegetable garden with your kids. Great reminder of where our food comes from

Meatless Monday
REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide (far more than transportation). And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
(Source meatlessmonday.com)

Green Cleaning

Wood Floors
Vinegar: Whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or towel until lightly damp. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.

Porcelain and Tile
Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. If you have tougher grime, sprinkle on some kosher salt, and work up some elbow grease.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar: Got stains, mildew or grease streaks? Spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar. Let sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
Disinfectant: Instead of bleach, make your own disinfectant by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. It's easy!

Kitchen Counters
Baking Soda and Water: Reclaim counters by sprinkling with baking soda, then scrubbing with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before you remove. This method also works great for stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, containers, refrigerators, oven tops and more.
Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs without strong products, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on counter tops and other kitchen surfaces.

Windows & Mirrors
White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking.
If you're out of vinegar or don't like its smell, you can substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.

Carpets & rugs
Club Soda: You've probably heard the old adage that club soda works well on carpet stains. But you have to attack the mess right away. Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag. The soda's carbonation brings the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.
Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes, and vacuum up the gunk.
Spot Cleaner: Make your own by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.
To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
Clogged Drains
Baking Soda and Boiling Water: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that isn't doing it for you, chase the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to break up the gunk. Then flush that with one gallon of boiling water.

Silver
Aluminum Foil, Boiling Water, Baking Soda and Salt: Keep your sterling shined with this seemingly magic method. Line your sink or a bucket with aluminum foil and drop in tarnished silver. Pour in boiling water, a cup of baking soda and a dash of salt. Let sit for a few minutes. The tarnish will transfer from the silver to the foil.
Toothpaste: If you can't immerse your items or are otherwise inclined to polish by hand, rub tarnished silver with toothpaste and a soft cloth. Rinse with warm water and dry. Instead of toothpaste you can substitute a concoction made of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water.
Copper
Ketchup: To keep your copper pots, pans and accents looking bright and shiny, try rubbing with ketchup


What are some of your favorite ways to go green?


Great blogs:
Keeper of the Home
Simple Homemade


Sources:
The Daily Green
Simple Mom

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