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Earth Day – Every Day Tips

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: April 21, 2008 | Categories: Around The house

 Yesterday, I gave you some safer alternatives and tips to clean your kitchen.  Today we will finish up with the rest of the house.  If you really want to save money and go green, and stay green, try these ideas out!  Here are some tips for the living room and bedroom:

  1. Windows –  A solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water is a well-known window-washing trick. Dip black and white newspaper pages into the solution and wipe the glass until it's almost dry. Finish wiping with a dry newspaper page. The streaks will disappear and the window will shine.
  2. Carpets – To remove scents from a carpet, sprinkle with baking soda. Let stand for at least fifteen minutes, and then vacuum. Repeat as needed.  Stains on your bedroom carpet? Combine 2 tablespoons of detergent, three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Work mixture into the stain, but do not soak. Blot with clean cloth.
  3. Hardwood floors – On hardwood floors or tile, vacuum or sweep first. Otherwise, you'll simply be moving dirt around as you mop. To quickly wax wood floors throw a piece of waxed paper under your mop. To clean wood floors use Murphy's Oil Soap. For a polish, use any cooking oil and a bit of lemon juice.
  4. Wood furniture – To clean wood furniture use Murphy's Oil Soap. For a polish, use any cooking oil and a bit of lemon juice.
  5. Mini blinds – Put some old socks on your hands. Spray the socks with soapy water or one of your homemade cleaners from the recipe from yesterday’s blog. Hold the blinds between your hands and rub back and forth until clean.
  6. Walls – For wallpaper, wood and other delicate surfaces use Murphy's Oil Soap. For plaster and surfaces that are more durable, use one of your homemade cleaners.
  7. Odors – To remove odors sit bowls of vinegar out and it will absorb the odors.

More random hints/tips:

  1. Small holes in window screens can be glossed over with clear nail polish to keep the bugs out.
  2. For drying window after washing them try coffee filters.
  3. To get dust and grime out of nooks and crannies, use a paintbrush or old toothbrush with your homemade cleaning solution (or plain vinegar) and work it around with the brushes and rinse.
  4. Keep lint from clinging to your dark clothes by adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  5. Replace half of each measure of laundry detergent with baking soda to keep clothing fresh.
  6. Unplug household appliances and electronics (like the coffee maker, toaster, and cell phone charger) when they’re not in use.
  7. Bring your own (reusable) grocery bags to the store.
  8. Replace burned out light bulbs with CFLs.
  9. Remember the three Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle!). Take note that recycling comes at the end of the list. The most important step toward going green is to reduce your consumption and buy less, and you’ll have less to recycle. In the home, that means buying materials, furnishings, and other items that are well-made, durable, and long-lasting (in other words, go for quality, not quantity).Then, of course, there’s recycling. Recycle everything you possibly can-plastic, paper, bottles, cans, you name it. It is important to recycle electronics, batteries, toxic household items, and more as well. Learn where to recycle at earth911.org. Oh, and buy recycled too-all sorts of household items from carpeting to dog beds to paper products are available with recycled content.

Just remember, you don’t have to be a complete tree hugger to make a few changes in your life, and go a little greener.   And as Henry David Thoreau said ~What's the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" If you have more hints/tips please let us know.  Happy Earth Day!  Hope to hear from you.  Enjoy life!!!

 

 

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