10 Tips to a Cleaner, Greener Home

It isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a way of living so that while we enjoy our lives we leave the world a better place for everyone to enjoy. My family recently watched Wall-e for the first time. For those who have seen and fallen in love with this movie, I know where have we been, it was wonderful For those who have not, where have you been – it is a must see. In addition to falling in love with a robot in a cartoon with very few words spoken, it is a striking call to action for the green movement. I already consider my life fairly green, but this movie really hit home to me as to why I do this and why we must continue to strive to get others to join our movement.

As with most things in life, when you first get started it can seem overwhelming because there are so many things to do. Don’t let that stop you from doing anything, start with one or two small things and go from there. Here are 10 tips to a greener home:

  1. Recycle – Don’t stop at soda cans, milk jugs and the newspaper, many curbside pick ups have expanded to include cereal boxes, Styrofoam, junk mail and more. The key is to research what your local municipality will pick up. Then designate one place for your recyclables to go. In time, recycling becomes second nature.
  2. Resale – If your house is like mine, clutter takes over. Don’t toss your unwanted items out with the trash (that makes me nutty), find a new home for your stuff. The obvious is donating your items to charity, but how about making a little extra cash for your stuff. Look for a consignment store for clothing, kids stuff and even home items. Your clean up your clutter and keep your clutter out of the trash.
  3. CFLs – I have been a long standing holdout on this one, but I am finally coming around. Frankly, I was freaked out about breaking one with the whole mercury thing… but how often do you really break a light bulb anyway? And with the CFL you replace so infrequently, there is even less chance of breakage. (I would still freak if I broke one, but one by one I am making the switch.)
  4. Squeegee – We keep a cheap squeegee in the shower, and after each shower we squeegee the glass walls. This habit comes to my family by way of my hubby’s OCD and used to drive me nuts, but then again I don’t have to scrub the scum off my walls because I keep it at bay. It’s green and saves me time! Yippie!
  5. Green Laundry – I recently switched from my fav brand of laundry detergent to an eco-friendly detergent. Not only is it plant based, but it is more concentrated so it takes less packaging. Not only does it clean just as well, but it’s easy to use and green. I switched to Method, but there are lots of brands to choose from.
  6. Cold Water – Unless your laundry really needs a complete germ cleaning, like bath towels, your laundry doesn’t need hot, and probably not even warm, water. I wash sheets, towels  my hubby’s undershirts in hot, everything else in cold. Saves money and energy. Two thumbs up.
  7. Baking Soda – There are so many uses for baking soda, you can even give your odor eating fridge baking soda an extra life. After my odor eating baking soda has gone dud in the fridge, I pour it (slowly) down the garbage disposal with some ice chips. It freshens and sharpens the disposal blades.
  8. Select-a-Size – My family can’t give up their paper towels. I admit it, we use them for everything. But one way that we cut down on waste is by using select-a-size sheets. I rarely need more than 1 sheet for any job, and since the sheets are smaller it saves paper towels and money by making the roll last longer.
  9. Reusable Totes – People who know me, may be tired of hearing this, but it is time to make the switch. I use reusable totes for everything, in face, I have a whole platoon of totes ready for multiple uses. Grocery store, mall, Target, returns, etc… Say no to paper or plastic and bring your own.
  10. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products – Whether you are cleaning the shower, sink, dishes or floor opt for products made from plant based materials and skip the harsh chemicals. If you have ever noticed yourself choking and gagging at cleaning products, there’s a reason for it chemical overload. Say no to harsh chemicals and go with green products to do your cleaning.

These are just 10 things you can do, there are so many more. I challenge you to try to adapt just one of these green tips into your routine, I promise once it becomes routine you will forget you are even being green. Hey, if I can do these things, I know you can too.

Disclosure – I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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