Small Changes Today for a Healthier Planet Tomorrow!
Late Summer 2009 Edition
Greener Living - It's Simple and Saves Money!
Did you know you could make your own air fresheners by placing fresh coffee grounds in a dish in your kitchen? Lavendar bunches and lemon do the trick too. To prevent lingering odors, simmer vinegar (1 Tablespoon per 1 Cup of water) on the stove while cooking fish. The sprays you buy coat the inside of your nasal passages which helps mask the odor, poisoning you while doing nothing to remove the smell.
I always have a fresh lemon handy. I slice off a thin layer to get to the next fresher slice for tea, and pop the slightly shriveled slice in the disposal to keep my kitchen fresh the next time I grind,and as a bonus any extra juice makes a great antibacterial surface cleaner and degreaser. Did you know that dried lemon peel is a natural moth repellent? Put a few dried strips in cheesecloth and hang it in the closet or use in drawers where moths tend to nibble.
Also, it takes alittle getting used to, but not much effort to reduce the amount of paper towel you use in your kitchen. Try using microfiber washcloths for cleaning counters and spills with just water and lemon or a little vinegar (for shiny surfaces like toasters and windows), and have a stack of cotton towels close by for hand drying. Wash the cleaning towels in the dishwasher or washer every other day to prevent bacteria build up.
Farmer's markets are a wonderful sensory experience. You can explore new varieties of fruits and veggies you won't see in most supermarkets, meet local growers and some vendors will even let you taste test before you buy. It's a great way to be part of your community, meet new people and share ideas.
Find growers and organic sources in the U.S.
Grow Your Own
This year, with growing season just beginning in most areas, why not squash your grocery bill and grow your own? Along from buying fresh and local markets, why not try planting a garden of your own? Even with limited space, home growing options are better than ever. One product I would stay far away from is the upside down tomato garden. We tried that last year and it was a disaster. It ended up in the landfill after the season was over. Instead, get a pot, cherry tomatoes or another small variety and use renewable bamboo stakes and twine. There are tons of home gardening websites, and lots of reviews you can peruse to help you grow the best greens for your green.
There's no reason you can't be clean and green at the same time. I primarily use BioKleen products. They clean well and are so much kinder to our environment than the major brands. NOTE: I've tried both BioKleen automatic dishwashing liquid and powder and they leave a white filmy residue that's very hard to wash off (I had to scrub with vinegar), but the cleaners and the laundry detergent are excellent. BioKleen's "Free and Clear" detergent is the most gentle I've found of the dozen I've tried and it cleans clothes well.
Here's an online resource if you can't find BioKleen products locally, and Amazon's prices are about as low as they go.
If you want to take a more home grown approach, mix up your own cleaners. Make your own non-toxic cleaners with ingredients you already have!
Live Ducks says: "Go, Green, Go!"