Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ten tips for a cleaner, greener home (and earth)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils instead of harsh chemicals, so you can clean like the dickens yet your home still smells like a garden. I think these sound like great products and would love to try them in my own home, but until I have that opportunity, we find other ways to have a clean green home.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

Clean, Green Home

First on our list is saving paper. Our printer normally prints on only one side, which for some documents is fine, but for others, it's a waste of paper. So we decided to configure our office printer so it prints on both sides of the page, to save paper and limit waste!

Second did you know that electronics draw electricity when plugged in, even when they aren't on? This is why it's a great idea to unplug items at night like the TV and DVD player, or the computer and printer. It may not be a noticable difference on your bill, but it's helping to limit wasting energy

Third you can re-use bags. We get a ton of plastic bags when we go grocery shopping, so we've decided to save them and re-use them as lunch bags. Many stores are now rewarding shoppers for re-using bags, or for bringing their own bags, such as CVS and other stores!

Fourth is try not to waste water. When we were young my mom taught us to turn the water off while we brushed. I've heard this saves nearly 5 gallons of water each day. When you think of all the countries without running water, it should make you appreciate it more, and not waste it.

Fifth suggestion is to Run a full dishwasher whenever possible. The dishwasher probably uses the same amount of water regardless of how full your machine is, so doesn't it make sense to clean the most dishes possible with one load. This limits the amount of water (and energy) wasted.

Sixth idea is Install a programmable thermostat. My husband and I bought one about a year ago, and sadly have not installed it yet, but my husband learned in a home projects course that this can save a lot of money. We had more selfish reasons for buying it like wanting a warm house to come home to in the evening, and keeping the kittens cool in the summer months. :)

Seventh tip is use lemon juice next time you need a good clean. I've heard that the acid in lemon juice dissolves buildup and dirt on wood, and tarnish on silver. I think I'll give this a try next time i need to polish my silver, if I have any.

Eighth ide is try to make your own cleaning products from ingredients you probably already own. For furnituer polish mix 1 cup lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp water; lightly apply to furniture using a soft cloth. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then buff. Voila - natural, and easy and leaves a great scent and polish behind!

Ninth is a way to cut down on air pollution - two ways actually. Teach your kids early on that taking fewer cars is better for the environment. On top of this, teach your kids where oxygen comes from (plants) so that they can learn that trees are good for the environment, and that we need to protect them.

Finally, my tenth tip is buy organic - fruits, veggies, meats etc. In most areas you can find grocery stores that have organic sections, or find a local farmer or butcher that offers organic products. I've had organic fruits and meats and the quality is far superior to others. Not only does it taste better, but you are supporting farmers who don't use pesticides and harmful chemicals, which is a wonderful thing.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

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