September 18, 2013

15 Mindful Household Tips to Stay Green & Get Clean.

I remember going over to my great grandma’s house, where, as a person who survived the great depression, she made sure to not waste a thing.

She’d even save the simplest piece of string because one never knew when it would come into use.

Luckily many of those tips have survived and what I’ve discovered is that for every problem with a chemical solution there is almost always an equally great green one available.

Here are 15 green household solutions that will save time, energy and money.

1. Easily unclog a drain by dropping three Alka-seltzer tablets down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar, then wait a few minutes and run the hot water.

2. Have nail holes in your white walls? Fill them in with regular toothpaste.

3. Put a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water and it will prevent any bubbling over or spillage.

4. To easily clean a microwave, put a bowl of water (with an optional lemon or orange rind for extra scent) in it for five minutes, all the stuck on food will easily wipe away.

5. Left-over wine? Freeze it in ice-cube trays and use it for cooking later.

6. With all the trimmings from making salads etc. such as onion peels, the tops of peppers and the ends of carrots, freeze them and after accumulating enough, use them collectively to make vegetable stock.

7. Have an ant problem? Draw a line of chalk where you want to keep them out and they will surprisingly not cross it.

8. Short on space? Set up an ironing board for a little more counter room, or take a cutting board and place it over an open drawer (just don’t actually cut/cook on these as they’re flimsier than a regular counter).

9. Apply a paste of baking soda and water on the walls and floor of the oven and keep the oven on low heat for about half an hour. Dried food can easily be removed.

10. Did your sparking wine go flat? Don’t pour it out. Throw a couple of raisins in the bottle and the natural sugars should help get those bubbles bubbling again.

11. Have a candle that got carried away? If wax has hardened on fabric put a brown paper on top of the wax and press with an iron on low heat. The paper absorbs the wax, and your iron stays clean.

12. Instead of paper towels, recycle newspapers to clean mirrors and windows without streaks.

13. Accidentally break glass? Use play-doh to pick up tiny slivers that you can’t see. (Be sure to wrap the glass up carefully before throwing it away.)

14. Scorch your pan? Sprinkle with baking soda, add four tablespoons of salt, cover with water and let stand over night. The charred remains should easily scrape off with a spatula.

15. One of the greenest cleaning tips is to keep a spray bottle filled with half white vinegar and half water and a little bit of lemon juice for a fresh smell and use it as a multi-purpose cleaner, great on counters and shower walls as it kills a range of bacteria.

Luckily for us, it hasn’t come down to saving every last string, but these tips can help make a home, a sweet (greener) home.



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Ed: Catherine Monkman

{photos:  Mildly Diverting, Derek Gavey, Oneras, Deep Fruit}

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