We often talk in this space about helping the environment by reusing items to keep them out of the landfill and by being thoughtful with what we purchase. We believe that together we can difference in the world.
Making a difference in the world sounds a bit daunting though, doesn’t it, so let’s start in our homes. If charity begins at home, then maybe making environmentally responsible choices can begin there, too.
In making good choices at home, there’s no better place to start than with cleaning. We all clean, at least occasionally, and what we choose to use makes a big difference. When we use natural ingredients – almost all of which are easily available in the grocery store – we help the environment, reduce our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, and leave our homes smelling better. And these ingredients cost less than commercial cleaners, too.
Here are four essential ingredients.
Baking soda – is an all-purpose cleaner. It soaks up dirt and grease, removes stains, and deodorizes.
Lemon juice – is a natural disinfectant that cuts through grease and can remove perspiration stains. It is fresh smelling.
Salt – can be used as an abrasive. For tough jobs, use Kosher salt, which has thicker crystals.
Vinegar – is a powerful cleaner. It cuts through grease, disinfects, and deodorizes.
Other ingredients you may want to add to your shopping list include hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant; essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and lemongrass which impart a lovely fragrance or tea tree oil which is a natural disinfectant (oils are strong so use them sparingly); cornstarch for soaking up spills; and olive oil or beeswax for polishing furniture.
Put “natural cleaning ingredients” into a search engine and you will discover many formulas for cleaning all sorts of household items from pots and pans to the bathroom sink, from clothing to hairbrushes. Here are a few sites to check out.
Green Cleaning Recipes from The Daily Green
25 DIY Green Cleaning Recipes from Apartment Therapy
Spring Cleaning from broccoli cupcake
We can clean our homes, keep ourselves healthier, and help the environment, all at the same time.
≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.
Filed under: downsizing the home, environment, gratitude, green living, happiness, having fun, living with less, peacefulness, spring cleaning | Tagged: downsizing the home, environment, getting rid of clutter, gratitude, green living, spring cleaning |