Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Green Housekeeper

My dinner post will be up later this afteroon (I actually want to make it for you all today), but I thought I would start the day by talking a bit about green housekeeping.

This year I have made it one of my goals to reduce the amount of trash we throw out.  This means composting, buying items with less packaging (HARD!) and putting a bit more thought into the things we buy.  I have a couple really great resources that I wanted to share.


Okay I have not read Green Housekeeping in it's entirety.  It is really more of a reference manual and it is laid out so you can find what you are looking for very easily.

Both of these have excellent tips on how to clean without harsh cleansers, and how to keep things clean without spending all your days scrubbing a toilet.

Now you can't go all "green" in one day.  I am by no means completely green in my cleaning practices.  My goal is to implement 2 new green practices in my cleaning a month.  I am also by no means a tree hugger, I am doing this to eliminate as many chemicals as possible from the home, but we also need to remember that we should be good stewards of the things the Lord has blessed us with, and I think that does include being responsible about what we put back in to the earth.  Sounds a little "crunchy", but I do think it's true.
Tip #1
A great place to start (and where I started) was with the SPONGE.  This is really more of a cleanliness thing than anything.  Plus, you save a ton on buying expensive sponges that claim to be antibacterial.  Replace your sponges with cloths.  Sponges are just breeding grounds for nastiness.  Then you wipe the nastiness over every surface in your home. YUCK.  In order to avoid the nastiness, you would literally need to use a new sponge every other day.  Simple solution, grab a rag!  They are cheap and easy to clean.  I usually have a rag for dishes and one for cleaning.  I use a new one everyday.  I have a place in my laundry room where they hang until its wash day.  Once they get too grungy for the kitchen, they get relegated to dusting cloths or wiping the toilet.

So go to Walmart and buy a huge pack of them.  You will love bypassing the sponge section at the grocery store and you can be confident that you aren't wiping crud all over your house :)

Tip #2

Start a compost bin.  This is actually much easier than you think.  Here is a great link on how to make one out of a trash can.  Just this past week I started putting my kitchen scraps, used coffee grounds, filters, strips of paper towels, etc in my temporary bin (my big bin isnt ready yet).  I absolutely noticed the difference on trash day. 

You can use your compost in your garden, in your potting soil and your landscaping.  Make what you don't eat work for you!  

My new goal is finding a way to clean with vinegar that doesn't smell like vinegar, or a substitute that is natural.  So if you have any ideas, please feel free to leave me a comment!  I love hearing from you!



4 comments:

Beth Shee said...

Erin...love keeping up with your blog. I use rags all the time too. It drives my dad crazy because whenever he comes over and possibly spills something, he always asks me where my papertowels are. I tell I don't use them because they are a waste of money and space. He doesn't like that answer very much. Also, I saw a commerical for a new sponge that I wanted to try. Link below.

http://www.scotch-brite.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Scotch-BriteBrand/Scotch-Brite/Products/Catalog/?PC_7_RJH9U52300V2E0I02BK7KM0GT3_nid=GL2L9CLJ2Rgs5RLSG1S0CFglKR2SK1C218bl&prodID=GL2L9CLJ2Rgs&lang=en_US


Lastly, creating a compost is so worth it. We have had a garden for three years and has gotten better and better because of composting. Good luck and would love to hear about your garden.

jaime said...

Oh I 'm so crunchy! Lol ok, where to start. Try dr. Bronner's all in one miracle soap. Its the BEST for everything, comes n lots of "flavors". It can be used full strength for some things but mostly dilute it so a little goes a looooong way. Its super gentle on skin but super strong on grime. It got spagetti sauce out of my carpet! Peppermint is the best seller I think, btw real mint extract is antibacterial so is most essential oils if not all. So u can add a few drops of any to the vinegar solution to make it smell nice and up the cleaning power. U can add a bit of baking soda to anything u wash, dishes, clothes, hair anything and it ups the power of the water/cleaner. Oh and look into soapnuts, a dried berry that naturally contains saponin (soap) . When they r used up u can compost it so no waste :-). Ok I'll stop now, I can get going about this hehe.

Rebecca said...

I love the idea of using rags instead of sponges. I am forever throwing them away after only using them for like a week bc I get so grossed out by them. Good idea. :)

Eva Scott said...

I've started using rags instead of sponges this week. :-)