Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ten Tips for a Cleaner, Greener Home

Twittermoms is at it again. They have teamed up with Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day and challenged us to create a post giving our ten tips for a cleaner, greener home. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products are a great place to start because they are made from plant-derived ingredients and essential oils. You can clean like the mad and your home smells like a garden, instead of harsh chemicals! My family and I have been trying to do away with the chemical cleaners and use more natural, green products. It is cheaper and healthier!

                             Here are my ten tips! I hope they are helpful to someone. 
  1. I use cinnamon sticks and cloves and orange peels simmering in water on my stove as an air freshener.  No nasty aerosol spray or chemical.  The essence is wonderful and keeps my house smelling fresh, not like a hospital. 
  2. Skip the dangerous chemical drain cleaners.  Simply mix a cup of distilled white vinegar with a cup of baking soda and some hot water.  Pour this down your drain and then run your hot water for a minute or so.  Your drain will unclog.  For stubborn clogs, you might have to repeat!  I actually do this as a pretreatment once a month to prevent any build up in my drain.
  3. De-clutter your home.  I realize that this is easier said than done.  If you de-clutter, you will reduce your cleaning time and also cut out some dust as well.  I'll admit, this is very hard for me, but if you don't need something and it is just sitting around collecting dust, it's clutter.
  4. Recycle! We do not have a recycling program in our community, so I purchased a three compartment laundry sorter at a yard sale and I sort out my glass, plastic and newspaper.  There is a recycling center within a few minutes drive of my husband's job, so he drops it off for me once a week.  Since they have a cardboard recycling bin at his work, he takes any cardboard boxes we have when he goes in! 
  5. Reuse what you already have.  Instead of buying paper towels to clean up my counters, I use old towels.  When I have a towel that is getting "old and ratty," I simply cut it into smaller pieces and use for cleaning.  I wash them after use, and can use over and over.  Since I garden as well, I will use small strips of the towel material to tie up my tomato plants,or any drooping plant to keep it from breaking.
  6. Freecycle or donate your unwanted clothes and other items.  Just because you can't wear something doesn't mean it's trash.  I have posted an old washing machine that did not drain on freecycle and someone wanted it.  It was picked up within a few hours.  Don't have freecycle in your area?  Think about donating good, lightly used toys and other items to a battered women's shelter, or homeless shelter.
  7. Update your old appliances and buy energy efficient ones.  I'm not telling you to throw out your appliances and go broke buying new ones, but if your appliances need replacing, spending a few dollars more for the more energy efficient appliances will save you more money in the long run! 
  8. Use curtains and window blinds or shade to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  We purchased "black-out" curtains for our bedrooms and living room.  In the summer, the temperature in our living room was reduced significantly buy having the curtains closed during the heat of the day.  In the wintertime, open your curtains to allow the sun to help you heat your home.  Pull them at night to retain your heat!
  9. Change your light bulbs over to the CFL light bulbs.  They last longer and are more energy efficient.  You might also get a rebate from your power company.  My power company offered us a $30 credit when we sent in our receipt showing the purchase of 10 or more CFL light bulbs.
  10. Go green with the rest of your household cleaners by either buying green cleaning products, like Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, or by making your own.  You can simply "google" it!  I was very surprised all the cleaning supplies I could make.  Distilled vinegar has hundreds of uses.  Check it out!  We have used it as a weed killer!  No harmful chemical there!
Thanks for reading my tips.  I really hope they were helpful. If you have a tip for me, please leave me a comment!  I LOVE getting tips and comments from my readers!

Have A Blessed Day!!


Disclosure: 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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