Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ten Tips for a Cleaner, Greener Home

One priority in our home has been to make our home cleaner and greener and we are always looking for new ways to do so.  A Greener Home is one that uses practices that do not harm the environment but help sustain it.  Part of our motivation for making our home greener is that I have asthma and allergies so I try to avoid strong cleaners.  We also utilize a septic system so we only use products that we can use without disturbing the balance of a septic system.  Here are just a few ways that we keep our home cleaner and greener.

  1. Use re-useable cloths for cleaning.  I have microfiber cloths for cleaning and dusting and they work well for dusting without any chemicals at all.  They also work beautifully on our wood floors.  When they are dirty I just throw them in the wash and can re-use them.
  2. With two girls in our house with long hair we have the challenge of keeping our drains clear.   Baking soda sprinkled down the drain followed by vinegar does a good job of clearing drains without harming the environment.
  3. Use natural lighting.  We open the windows and let the sun come in to help heat the house in the winter and to light the house naturally.  We have a skylight in one of our bathrooms that also works wonders keeping the toilet and tub clean.  Sunlight is a wonderful cleaner!
  4. When Spring rolls around and the ants come marching in, I use vinegar to wipe down the point of entry.  After a couple of applications the problem is solved without harsh or poisonous chemicals.
  5. When doing laundry I turn to detergents that are environmentally safe.  I also use 1cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle as a fabric softener.  Don't worry about the vinegar smell, just dry as usual and your clothes will smell clean and fresh.
  6. Re-use!  We re-use several items in our household.  The item we re-use the most is coffee grounds.  They are great for our flower beds.  I just sprinkle them throughout our flowers and they love it!  This is a safe chemical free boost for your flowers.
  7. Lavender is our friend around our house.  My dd especially likes the scent to help her sleep.  I love it since reading that lavender helps repel head lice!  That is a great function for homes with school aged children.
  8. I recently purchased a handheld steam cleaner and absolutely love it for cleaning and sanitizing hard to clean surfaces.  It eliminates the need for chemicals to clean those grime monsters like your oven.
  9. Hydrogen Peroxide isn't just for the medicine cabinet.  It has many uses including removing tough stains like blood from laundry.  You do have to be careful since it acts like bleach so make sure you do your research and dilute it properly.  You may use it to whiten whites in lieu of chlorine bleach and Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down without harming the helpful bacteria in septic systems.
  10. I am not a cook nor do I claim to be so I have had more than my share of pots and pans with burnt or caked on food left on them.  Use Baking soda or a little borax and you can safely remove these little mistakes and leave your cookware looking as good as new without harsh chemicals.
I am always looking for new ways to make our home greener and would love to hear your suggestions so please feel free to comment.  I also make sure to follow blogs that post green options so that I can improve our Greener living practices.
Our family is also AVID recyclers.  If it can't be recycled do we really need it?  We try to limit household garbage to less than 3lbs a week.  Believe it or not, this is easier than you think.  Once you get in the swing of it recycling will become second nature and should leave you feeling good about yourself.  Don't forget to pass along green tips to your neighbors!  We need more Greener homes!

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1 comment:

  1. Great Ideas! Wonderful post! Thanks for all the awesome tips!