Archives for "Go Green"
To tell the truth, I wish we didn’t have carpet, but my husband insist on keeping it in some rooms. However, we have this sweet little pug who is “potty trained” but still likes to sneak off and have accidents every once in awhile. Every time I catch her it makes me furious. But, then she gives me those sad little eyes, as if to say “I’m sorry.”
With this in mind, you can see why we carpet clean a lot. At first, I bought all the special steam-cleaning products. They all promised perfect results. But, I was very concerned with the air-pollution in our home, and all the chemicals that were left in the carpet too. So, we tried a variety of different things.
The concoction that we found to work the best was a combination of vinegar, water, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. First, you vacuum to get up and bigger stuff. Then, you use the steam cleaner with it full of hot water and a couple of cups of vinegar. Then, you sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it set for about 10 minutes. Then, run the steam cleaner over the carpet again, this time fill it with hot water, a cup of peroxide and a couple of drops of Dawn. Finally, run the steam cleaner, with hot water only, to get it all up.
The vinegar actually neutralizes the pet urine because it contained so much ammonia. The baking soda acts as a general deodorizer. And, the peroxide with dish detergent cleans and oxidizes. The peroxide creates an oxidation reaction, similar to the “oxy-cleaners”. This process is somewhat long, but it creates much better results. This works wonderfully when your carpet gets really dirty.
We have all heard it, and it is still just as true today as it was yesterday. Drink water. I want to do it. I know I need to do it. But why does it have to be so hard? As an extension of that, don’t drink bottled water unless you are willing to recycle the bottles. Seriously you don’t usually need to pay a buck or two to get clean, good tasting water!
On the days that I work, I do a lot better if I remember to take my thermal cup with me. But when I am at home, just doing house work, it is so easy to just grab a soda or a glass of tea. Not that there is anything wrong with these drinks…. I just forget to make myself drink water too.
Just in case we need a refresher on the benefits of water:
- Cleanses the body & the mind
- Keeps you hydrated
- Calorie free
- Helps the body regulate (temp, metabolism, etc)
- Decreases risk of heart attack
And the list goes on and on. I guess I will get down off my soap box and go drink a glass of water. Then, probably chew on the ice that is in the cup with it… but that’s another issue.
This seems to be an on-going internal debate in my life. So, I thought I would share what I have come up with. I am learning that “organic” means a lot of different things from how things are grown, to how they are kept, to how they are harvested.
Fruits and Veggies are grown without traditional pesticides, and do not have chemical growth enhancers. Animals are grown without steroids and hormones to influence their size, what you might call grain-fed. According to the Mayo Clinic, there has not been any proof that the safety of non-organic foods is anything to be concerned about. If you properly clean your produce before consuming it, the amount of chemical residue you might consume is minuscule. However, the hormones are what really concerns me. I don’t know all the health precautions of ingesting them through our food, but it can’t be good for us.
Then cost is another issue. “Organic” foods cost a lot more due to the more labor intensive growing methods and lower crop yields. But, they are also a lot more environmentally friendly. Growing these crops does not add more chemicals to the environment. Plus, they are grown in a fashion that promotes water and soil conservation.
One thing is for sure, I love buying locally grown produce from the farmers market. It is amazing how much fresher and better it tastes!
Ebay is sponsering a 30 days of green promotion,and are giving away a $5,000.00 shopping spree along with a lot of other prizes. Click here to go and register yourself, plus they have many useful tips for making your life more eco-friendly! Who wouldn’t love to have $5,000.00 given to them, to use to make their life more green! Why support Ebay? Well they are mostly selling previously owned items to a new owner, therefore less items go into land fills and there is not a need for as many new products. You have until April 20, 2009 to sign up.
I have just taken another factor into consideration since I have started looking at all of my household cleaners and chemicals… laundry detergent and softeners. Did you realize that the chemicals you wash your clothes with can actually be absorbed through your skin? Before I started researching all of the ingredients in my household cleaners, I had not even thought about the chemicals “hidden” in my laundry room. Amazingly, there are many surprising ingredients in those cleaners as well. Then when I started thinking about the possibility of buying eco-friendly laundry cleaning materials, I was sure that they would be so expensive that it would not be budget friendly for my family. However, I have been surprised with what I have found so far. Here are a few websites to look at if you are considering buying a green laundry agent.
Dryer sheets are a problem all in them-selves. We all want that fresh from the laundry smell and we want our clothing static-free. But the list of unleashed chemicals contained in those dryer sheets is astounding. If fact most brands do not list the chemicals on the box, they simply give you a number to call if you want more information about the ingredients. Why is that? They don’t want you to know the truth! Giving us that information would greatly weaken their sales! I think it is time some of these companies air out their dirty laundry! For more information of the chemicals and hazards involved in laundry detergents and dryer sheets, click here to link to a “back to the basics” laundry and cleaning website.
What alternative is there to dryer sheets?
- Dryer balls
- Using soap nuts as a softening agent.
- Also, Target has a line of products that are supposed to be “green” called Method and another cleaning line they just started selling called Nature’s Source.
When you start looking I think you will be surprised at how many different options there are out there. I have yet to try any of these eco-friendly laundry options but I cannot wait to have some feedback for you. If you have any feedback for me feel free to leave it in the comments.
Learn to use white vinegar as a major cleaning agent in your home. It is amazing how many different things you can do with it. Here are just a few tips to get you started. For more on vinegar look at vinegartips.com/cleaning
- Use equal parts of vinegar and water to make a cleaning spray. Perfect for cleaning counter tops, refrigerators, mirrors.
- Make a cleaning paste with 1 teaspoon vinegar per 2 tablespoons of salt. Perfect for removing lime build-up or shining chrome fixtures.
- If you’re really ready, here is how to make a glass and mirror solution. In a gallon of water, add 1 cup of ammonia, 1 cup of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of corn-starch. Mix together and you have a great cleaning spray solution.
*Another “Green” benefit of cleaning this way is that you don’t have as many cleaning bottles that you go through every month or so.
If you are like me, after taking down all of those treasured holiday items you are ready for a good house cleaning. I like my bathroom to smell “clean” and sparkle after a good scrub, so I admit I have been skeptical about Green Cleaning Products. However, after reading the precautions behind several of my household cleaners, I made a 180° turn in my thinking.
Its easy to say that all the “green thinking” is just hype to get us to buy different products etc. But I think it is time that we all take a look at what exactly we are exposing our families to. For example, a little known fact: The major ingredient in most air fresheners is formaldehyde. If you have ever taken a biology lab, you probably known this is what is used to preserve carcasses for dissection. Hmm…. so how does it end up in our air fresheners? According to an article I read on greenlivingonline.com, there are actually ingredients that deaden the nerve ending in our nasal passage ways in a lot of these air fresheners. Wow!
So how do I know which household cleaners should I stay away from? It is so obvious, but somehow we all miss it because for years we have used them without even thinking about it. Look at the warnings stamped right on the bottle! If they say CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER there is a reason. Anything that contains a large amount of Chlorine is very dangerous. They are usually prevalent in dish washing detergents, so look for ones that say “chlorine free” or “phosphate free”. Bathroom cleaners are the worst, they contain a multitude of harsh chemicals. And often we thrown them all together in a small closed up room and the end result is often a major headache. Consider cleaning with natural things like vinegar, or borax.
Instead of exposing yourself and your family to these terrible fumes, make a goal for 2009 to gradually change the way you clean. What is the worst that could happen? You may just cure your own headaches, dizziness, fatigue, etc. Getting rid of these carcinogens in your very own home is sure to have a profound affect on your life. When you go shopping next time think natural and look for cleaners that say NON-TOXIC. Clorox brand has come out with a whole line of non-toxic cleaners called green works, but you can also use regular old vinegar, borax, etc. More to come later…