October 9, 2009

A Tip from Method's Twitter Page

As you've know, I'm a big fan of method products. I love their fun fragrances and how well they clean, but most of all I love that they are safe for the environment.

I follow Method on my Twitter page, and today they posted something that I thought would be a useful tool  for everyone. Below is a chart making your trash and recycle day a little easier for you. You can right click and copy this image for yourself to print out. It also highlights what can go inside a compost pile too. You might remember this post on composting that we shared a couple months ago.

What do you recycle or compost most often? Is it water bottles, yogurt containers or banana peels? Share with us!

October 7, 2009

The Truth About Antibacterial Soaps

With flu season on the horizon and the talk of a new vaccine for the Swine Flu (H1N1), I thought this topic was appropriate. Is anti-bacterial soap truly the best way to keep hands clean and germ-free or is the good old soap and hot water enough? What about that infamous ingredient calld triclosan. What do we really know about it? It's time to find  out!

I was inspired to post about this topic after visiting one of my favorite decorating blogs called Young House Love, which often post on green products and solutions. Since they have taken the time to write a informative post on the topic, I thought, why re-invent the wheel?

Here is the link to learn the truth about antibacterial soaps and how they affect you and the environment. You might be surprised at what you learn!

One of my favorite soap brands is called Pure & Natural. They have four great fragrances and I can easily pick them up from Target. They are often on sale there and I find coupons for them too, so I can usually buy them for under $2. Another great options include Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap.

Do you use antibacterial soaps? Will you continue to? What is your favorite brand of natural, non antibacterial soap?

September 19, 2009

Sweet Savings at Method!

I love sharing the green word and with that often comes green savings. Right now if you go to the Method website, they have a $1 off coupon which can be used on any Method product. Pair this up with a sale at Target, Whole Foods or wherever you get your green cleaner and it equals one sweet deal!

If you're not familiar with Method products, they consist of a whole line of wonderfully smelling and equally powerful cleaners, baby products, body washes/soaps, air fresheners, etc. You can expect scents like cucumber, eucalyptus mint, sweet water, lavender, vanilla-apple and the list goes on! The best part is they are all eco-friendly, they started their company this way and have not jumped on any 'green' bandwagon. Their products are priced reasonably and they are widely accessible.

Check out their website at http://Methodhome.com for more information and to check out all of their amazing products! They have starter kits that you can order online and they can frequently be found at HSN.com as well!

*I am not compensated for this post, I am simply sharing a wonderful product at a great price that I believe you'll fall in love with too!

Happy Cleaning!

September 3, 2009

Green & Organized

Two weeks ago I was asked to write an Organizing piece for a prominent Design show's website. I'm not yet able to reveal who it was for as it's not posted yet, but the goal was to incorporate loads of storage ideas into a garage area all while making it organized too. I listed a bunch of useful ideas, many of which were free or very inexpensive involving existing items that could be reused another way. I wanted to share one in particular with you.

I was reminded of it as I sit in my office. In front of me are two magazine holders that I picked up from the AS-IS section at Ikea, oh how I love that store! These are great because I keep a different category of magazines in each one and then place them in the holder by date. If you're like me and you love to stay organized and are looking for new ways to be more green, try this homemade magazine holder made from a cereal box.

Existing Ikea Magazine Holder (used as my template):

Step 1:

Cut the top off of a cereal box, the wider and larger, the better! You'll want to cut from the top on a diagonal leaving about an inch from where the side and top meet. Do the same to the other side as well.

Step 2:

Use some existing wrapping paper in your preferred color and cover the box. I recommend wrapping it all the way around so you know for sure the exact circumference. Then take tape and fold the bottom tabs in place, like a present. Leave the top and diagonal piece for last. You will have to use your scissors and make some small incisions so the paper can fold inside. You can trim back any excess as well. Fold everything in and place your magazines inside.

Voila! Instant Magazine Holder in under 5 minutes! You can't beat FREE!

August 24, 2009

See you in September!

I'm long overdue for a trip back home to Toronto to see my family and friends, so I'll be heading there for one week.

Until then for more of my blog postings, check out my Classy Woman blog and I'll chat with you all again on September.2nd!

August 1, 2009

Start a Compost!

I challenge you to start a compost! It's very easy, costs next to nothing to start and is a great way to add nutrients to your lawn and avoid more waste from ending up in our landfills.
I'll admit I'm no compost expert but I started a compost pile along the side of our home (where we had a small empty space next to a long strip of hedges) about a year ago, I also had one in our family backyard as a child too. I've grown up with the concept of recycling and composting so it was natural for me to start one once I moved into a home with a yard of my own.
As I live in a very hot and humid climate year round I really did some research before getting started. At first I was worried about a bug infestation or animals getting into it-especially because it was a pile and not a bin. In my reading I learned that it was very unlikely with just veggies and other vegetation. In FL I thought for sure it would stink and it does a little but only when I'm right next to the pile if I don't have it covered. You will see some fruit flies, etc. feeding on the scraps but that is all part of the breakdown process.

A compost is NOT the place for meat or fish of any kind. You must stick to veggie remains, fruit peels & seeds, dirt, dried leaves, eggshells, coffee grinds, yard clippings etc. In places like Toronto, ON where I used to live they have city-wide composting programs and they pick up anything from cotton balls and tissues to banana peels and coffee grinds. I wish every city would implement such a service.

If you want to implement the most simple of compost forms (the compost pile) below are some steps so you're compost will decompose quickly and be effective fertilizer for your lawn.


1. Find an area that is somewhat inconspicuous or hidden away from pets and children. In fact, if you have children you probably won't want them playing in it (which they'd be likely to do) so you'd want to opt for a bin.

2. Once you find the space you'll create a square perimeter and you can use which ever materials you like to contain the scraps. I used bricks we had on hand and lined the perimeter, you can also use wood or rocks too. You can dig a whole about one foot deep, you'll want to clear out the grass if there is currently any there and turn the soil over a few times.

3. Take any collected scraps out to the pile right away and pour some water over it. You can then cover it with a little dirt if you like. The pile works best with heat and water to keep it moist and warm. If you live in a cooler climate you might also want to opt for a bin as the temperatures become much warmer. By the way-these bins have no bottom so all the material can go straight into the ground. Bins work faster too if you add worms to them, they'll eat right through the waste.

4. To get the most out of a compost many suggest to use a layer of food scraps and a layer of dried leaves as well as a bit of newspaper, cardboard and sawdust or wood chips. You see, each has different levels of various elements such as nitrogen which are crucial nutrients but also aid in the quick turnover of the scraps. You can create that lasagna type effect if you like. Mine is very basic-I literally dump scraps in the pile and leave them, I try to keep the pile moist and then I use a hoe to turn it over about twice per month. It does what I need it to and I can see it's making great soil. In fact some cantaloupe seeds that landed in the pile soon sprouted some leaves and a full on cantaloupe! We went on vacation where it was in extreme heat with little to no water for two weeks and it has since withered but you can see my point-it is great fertile ground!

5. Set up an inside bin in your kitchen so it is easy to take the scraps outside. We just use a large yogurt container with lid and fill it up about once per day and take it out. This will make your life so much easier than going outside several times per day. In fact, there are stainless steel bins you can buy with lids that are a good size and can live under your counter. The yogurt container works the best for us. Plus, once it gets really stink (hubby says it smells like chop suey) then we can just rinse and place in the recycle bin and use another one and on it goes.

The compost pile over time will start to produce darker, rich soil which is great for potted plants, flower beds an vegetable gardens. Because you may use it in your garden, be sure to avoid putting any weeds into it. Toss those instead, otherwise the weeds will takeover your compost and eventually where you place the soil which will be a huge headache down the road. To trap heat inside a pile you can cover it with a sheet of plastic and some bricks if you like.

Once you begin your compost you'll realize how much food waste was going into the landfills vs. feeding your lawn. Remember, those scraps previously lived in tied up plastic garbage bags that will take hundreds of years to break down, so those scraps would not get to benefit the earth. You'll save a little money too on rich planting soil (as you'll have your own) as well as garbage bags. If you think about it-fall pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew, potato skin peels-all this can really start to add up!

My husband was a little skeptical when we first began and thought of it as an extra thing to do (as he did with recycling) but now he sees them as second nature and actually looks forward to taking the scraps out and seeing the little leaves and shoots of things growing in the pile-he was certainly excited about that cantaloupe growing!

I hope you'll venture out and start a compost of your own this summer!

June 17, 2009

Green Your Home Decor

Many people like to change their decor as the seasons change. The color palettes, textures, and overall look and feel of their home become transformed, often with just a few simple ideas. For those of you who desire all that and want to be green at the same time, I've got some Decor suggestions for you this Summer.

1. BEDDING- Spring or Summer are great times to get a fresh new duvet cover, sheet set or entire bedding set. The colors are often more simplistic, ligher and tranquil. The materials often are too-soft linens, cottons vs. the heavier fabrics of fall and winter that we long to leave behind. When shopping, be sure to look at all of the wonderful Organic Cotton options, hemp might be another great selection for you. Organic cotton is free from pesticides, and lets face it, we spend about 8 hours per night snuggled up in these linens, so we might as well ensure that they are good for our health! In stores like Target, Walmart and other specialty bedding shops you'll find a lot of beautiful designs. The web is filled with options, simply google "organic cotton bedding, duvets, sheets", etc.

2. MATTRESS-While we're on the subject of bedding, I couldn't jump ahead without mentioning mattresses. All of the mainstream mattresses that are available to us are filled with sythetic fibres, filling, formaldehyde and if you opt for stain guards, you up that factor. Organic mattresses are more expensive but well worth it in the end. Your new mattress will last you up to 10 years and you spend 1/3 of your life on it! Look for organic cotton, wool, and those without all of the nasty chemicals. You'll have a lot more available to you online but it is important to test it out before you buy it.

3. PAINT- One of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a room, is with paint. Nearly every brand has a low or no VOC option available so you should never have to smell paint fumes again! They are generally a few dollars more per gallon but worth every penny! This is great news if you ever choose to paint in the winter or extremely hot summer months when opening the windows isn't really an option.

4. CANDLES- Traditional candles have lead wicks and are made from regular wax and artifical fragrances which can often contain phthalates and allergy triggers. They product black soot and smoke which is not healthy to be breathing in. Instead, opt for natural soy candles made with pure essential oils and contain lead-free wicks. My absolute favorite brand at the moment is actually Whole Foods' own brand. They are located in the personal care aisle and they have heavenly combined scents that I want to devour! They offer votives, travel candles, and those in glass containers. They burn for a long time and are well worth the extra investment. Another brand they offer is called Pacifica, they also happen to offer perfume too which smell amazing. A must-try for sure!

5. WINDOW TREATMENTS- When looking at replacing or putting up new blinds, consider the earthy look of bamboo. They offer beautiful blinds and because bamboo is a renewable resource, it's a great choice. If you are looking at drapery, be sure to investigate organic cotton fabrics and drapery. These are all great selections for shutting out summer's strong rays that often cause your home to heat up and your energy bill to soar. In the winter during the evening they help keep out a draft.

6. BATHROOM- If you've been thinking about getting a new decorative shower curtain, now's a great time. There are so many organic options that aren't just boring beige or cotton white. Organic has come a long way and many vibrant colors and pretty patterns are now within reach! The interior plastic shower curtain that you likely have can be swapped out for a healthier, more eco-friendly version too. The regular shower curtains off-gas a lot of chemicals when you take it out of the package (that is what the smell is)! You can purchase one from Target called EVA which does not off-gas any icky chemicals and a side benefit that I've noticed in my own shower is that it really does inhibit mildew growth, which is common in humid Florida. They are a bit more than the usual but I assure you they are strong and will last you far longer in the long run!

7. ACCESSORIES- While stores have a plethora of goods available, why not spend a lot less and have some fun by hitting some yard sales, investigating the thrift stores for unique finds, or hosting a home accessory swap with your friends? You'll come across some really great stuff and best of all your keeping someone else's items so they don't wind up in the landfill. You can always look on craigstlist too or visit a local antique store or even spend a Saturday at the Flea Market! You can find some great furniture for a fraction of the price that may just need a fresh coat of paint and voila you have a custom piece to complete your decor transformation!

I hope that you'll find some inspiration from some of these green suggetions and start to decorate the green home of your dreams!

May 13, 2009

Green Your Party!

While many of us are busy ridding our homes of chemical-filled cleaners, taking our weekly recycling to the curb and trying to buy Organic when possible, there is another great way to go green!

This spring and summer you may be planning to host some BBQ's, birthday parties or maybe even a baby shower. Whatever the occasion, alway consider the greenest options when planning for your big event.

Here is a list of items to consider:

1. Email your Invites with Evite- Consider using http://www.evite.com/ as a way to send out free electronic invitations. They have hundreds of gorgeous invitations for every occasion and it's a quick and easy way to check your RSVP's and saves the cost of the invites, stamps and your precious time. All you need is an email address!

2. Use Reusable items instead of Throw-away Whenever Possible- This goes for plates, cutlery, gift wrap and decorations.

  • Use real plates and cutlery for your event vs. plastic or paper tossables that end up in our landfills after one use. Paper plates also tend to become soggy and collapse. Yes, you will have to wash them but you can use them over and over and you already own them, so it won't cost a penny! Dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing so load it up and let it do all the work for you.

  • Decorations and giftwrap can really make an event look spectacular. Be sure to use items you already own whenever possible. Decorate with small and large vases with flower bouquets or a single small bloom in each. Use tea lights (preferably soy-based) and reuse ribbon that you've received. String white lights for an outdoor party vs. premade paper banners. Wrap up gifts in reusable totes that are practical and also encourage your recipient to be green themselves. Loads of gift wrapping just wind up in the landfills. If you happen to have some reused gift bags and tissue at home, use that by try to avoid buying more!

3. Encourage your Guests to Recycle-Here's a chance to remind guests of the importance of recycling. Maybe they'll remember and take this tip home with them. Always keep an actual recycle bin or other plastic bin available with a recycle symbol on the front so that all aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles will be recycled and not tossed. You can place it right next to a separate garbage bin. This also makes clean-up a breeze. Just bring it to the curb or your garage after the party.

4. Give Green- If you are hosting the party and gifts are welcomed, why not tell your gifts that green gifts are accepted. You can also list a few organizations of choice that the guest of honor might want to donate to in lieu of a gift such as http://www.worldwildlife.org/. Alternativley, guests could bring green items such as soy candles, organic cosmetics, restaurants vouchers, reusable totebags or something unique like a personalized Sigg bottle found at http://www.cafepress.com/designer/sigg/. If it's a baby shower, I recommend including this information on the invite and that purchased items are BPA-free, non-toxic, and organic. This might included some cloth diapers, organic & natural baby washes and products, glass bottles, BPA-free soothers, etc.

5. Better Thank You Notes- I strongly advocate thank you notes for those that have dropped off a gift or attended your event. Always be sure to send a heartfelt hand written note. Invites are more generic with the time, date and RSVP info, but thank you notes are personal and specific so I recommend writing vs. emailing these. If you already have thank you notes on hand, use those first before buying anything new. However, if you are in the market to buy, be sure to check to see if the cards are maid from 100% recycled paper, or close to it. This means virgin trees weren't cut down to make those notecards. Alternatively, you can make your own as well if you are crafty, from leftover papers, embellishments from other projects, this way you are reusing what you already own. If you absolutely must, e-cards are eco-friendly, free and can be sent instantly stamp-free!

April 25, 2009

Eco-Friendly Paint with NO Odor!

Each spring many people feel the urge to freshen the look of their home with a new coat of paint. Many people love the look that a fresh new coat of paint can offer but dread the hideous scent that the paint emits into the air. Even if we open the windows and set up fans, it can be tough to take.

This year, as I endeavoured to look for a low or no VOC paint for my guest bedroom, master beedrom and kitchen, I started looking at Home Depot for ideas and what I found was a fantastic paint called Freshaire Choice that has NO Volatile Organic Compounds, NO odor and is actually good for the environment and my family. They even used recycled plastic for their paint cans as well as recycled paper for their paint chips and label including the use of soy-based ink. WOW! I'm impressed! The best part is they claim to have better performance than he likes of Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams and are cheaper than many brands.

If you are looking to paint your home this spring, look no further! Home Depot's got the paint you need. Here is a video clip on the Freshaire Choice paint.

Happy Painting!

April 6, 2009

House Plants that Purify Indoor Air

Many houseplants are great at filtering your indoor air. Spider plants for example can remove formaldehyde fumes which are common in most homes from nailpolish to building materials and furniture finishes. Plants also increase oxygen levels and even act as a humidifier.

Before you buy your next houseplant, think about the following which will significantly improve the air quality in your house. They do so by reducing the vapours that are released by chemicals.
Aloe Vera

Bamboo Palm

Boston Fern

Chinese Evergreen


English Ivy


Lady Palm

Peace Lily


Rubber Plant

Spider Plant

Weeping Fig

One of my favorites was given to me by a client, it's the peace lily. It can suck up ammonia, acetone (think nailpolish remover here!) as well as ethyl acetate, benzene and also formaldehyde from the air.It has many green leaves and small stems with beautiful white flowers that bloom year round. This plant doesn't need or like a lot of direct sunlight and if you forget to water, it will simply wilt a little and the minute you re-water it, it perks back up, it's very resilient.

March 25, 2009

Spring Cleaning the Natural Way!

Clean your Home the Natural Way with nature's finest ingredients. Here are a four that are not only very inexpensive but are eco-friendly to boot!

1. Lemons
2. Baking Soda
3. Distilled White Vinegar
4. Toothpaste

Here's how you can use them:

Fabric Softener

Since most fabric softeners contain toxic ingredients both for the planet and for you, try something a little different. Use 2 tbsps in your rinse cycle for great results that will never leave your clothes feeling coated and won't irritate your skin. Don't worry-your clothes won't smell like pickles, I promise! Make sure you are using Distilled white vinegar, not malt, or something sticky.

Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Vinegar has yet another wonderful use and that is getting your dishes sparkling clean! Yes, that's right, just pour vinegar into your dishwasher's rinse aid dispenser and it will keep them clean and spot-free.

Carpet Deodorizer

Use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer, especially if you have pets. Pour some on, let is sit for about 15 mins and then vacuum it up. Since baking soda absorbs odors in your fridge/freezer, it will do the same for your carpet and rugs too! (On a side note-I had a lost rotton onion that stunk up my cabinet, and poured baking soda on it for a whole day. It absorbed the moisture and most of the odor, then I kept an open box of baking soda in the cabinet for a month and smell was gone!)

Shower Mildew Preventer

They say vodka is a natural mildew preventer. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to drink the expensive stuff vs. clean with it. There is another natural alternative though. Vinegar will do the trick. I keep a spray bottle filled 3 parts vinegar, 1 part water and spray the shower after each use, especially the chrome. It keeps it shiny and free from hard water spots.

Garbage Disposal Freshener

While little citrus discs are available from the store, wouldn't you rather use something natural to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal? Use left over citrus rinds or rinds/flesh from squeezed lemons and oranges. Put one or two in with a little water into your disposal and voila, any bad smells will be gone! The citrus is biodegradable unlike the store-bought disks and do not contain artificial fragrance, phthalates, etc.

Cutting Board Cleaner

When you have finished using your cutting board whether it be wooden, plastic or my favorite-glass, always use the flat side of a lemon-half or slice to clean the cutting board afterwards. This is my favorite thing to use after cutting garlic, it takes the smell away.

Get Chrome Super Shiny

I mentioned that vinegar is great for getting chrome to sparkle, you can use a little baking soda too if you need a little paste for extra scrubbing on a stubborn hard water scale. However, another great alternative is toothpaste! Maybe you bought a brand that you don't prefer, don't throw it away-use it with an old toothbrush to clean stubborn hard water stains and grime. You can use it in your bathroom, kitchen, for scrubbing between tiles, etc. The best part is the natural mint smell you'll enjoy while cleaning!

Drain De-Clogger

Once my drains get a little clogged I always checked for hair first, as this is generally the culprit. Once you've cleaned that out, if your drain is still not working right, use a little baking soda and vinegar. First pour some baking soda in, maybe about 3 tbsp, then add some white vinegar and try to cover the drain and let it fizz and foam away. Once it sits for about 10-15 mins, pour boiling water (from a kettle or very hot tap) down the drain. It will start dissolving the grime naturally unlike the usual drano-type products that are horrible for the environment.

Window Wash

Use vinegar in a spray bottle and recycled newspaper to clean your windows/mirrors. This is a much more eco-friendly and non-toxic way compared to ammonia-based products.

There is a plethora of great natural products available to you, if you don't feel like mixing and making your own. Try Seventh Generation, Method, or Ecover. These are my three favorite brands. They offer everything from hand soap to dishwasher detergent to dryer sheets and diapers!

I hope you will try these natural methods so that you can reap the benefits of Spring Cleaning without the toxic cloud that will pollute your indoor air quality as well as our waterways, fish and ground.

February 19, 2009

5 SUPER EASY Ways to Save $$ on your Utility Bill

There are so many great ways to save money while helping the environment too. Here are 5 Really Easy ways to save money on your utility bill without having to invest a dime or sacrifice your lifestyle.

1. Turn down your hot water heater. Your hot water heater should be set at 120 degrees or below. Many are set far too high and in turn require more energy to keep the water heated. This will make a dramatic impact. While you're at it, insulate your heater so that it stays warm and saves even more energy.

2. No need for extra cooking time. When you're roasting meats or baking casseroles, turn the oven off 10-15 minutes before cooking time runs out; your food will continue to cook without using the extra electricity.

3. Clean out dryer lint. Clean your dryer lint screen with every use and don't overload the dryer. You could save up to 5% on your bill since dryers are the #1 energy consumer in most homes. In addition, try to use the washer/dryer during off-peak hours for extra savings.

4. Line Dry your Clothes. Whether you use a clothing line outdoors, hangers on hooks or a drying rack, line drying your garments is the way to go. Not only will they smell wonderful, and preserve their appearance but whites become whiter in the sunshine and you don't use any energy from your dryer. On a hot summer day your clothes can dry in about an hour! What's more is you'll save the cost of dryer sheets too, they won't be needed as your clothes won't be tumbling together creating static!

5. Unplug it! Did you know that a large portion of energy consumed is for items you aren't even using?! That's right, our cell phone chargers, lamps, electronics and appliances still draw energy even when we aren't using them. Unplug anything you don't use daily such as various lamps, a printer, blender, coffee maker and remember to power down your laptop at the end of the day and unplug it too! This one simple change takes a moment to plug something back in and you'll be amazed at how you'll save on your bill and help the environment's resources also!

Of course there are so many ways to save energy that will ultimately be reflected on your bill, but here are just a few to get you started. They might even inspire you to do more!

February 6, 2009

How Much Water do You Consume?

Find out your family's water footprint by using this fun tool designed by Kohler!

It's important to remember that a leaky faucet or toilet not only wastes our precious water resources but also increase your consumption and your overall bill. By how much, you ask?
Repair a leaking toilet and you can expect to save about $30 per year, which may not sound like a lot until you realize it equates to 73,000 gallons or 200 gallons a day! A drippy faucet can waste up to 74 gallons per day!
As a general rule of thumb, look for faucets that use 2.0 gpm (gallons per minute) or less and the standard for toilets is around 1.6 gpm. Some toilets are dual-flush allowing you to use more or less water when needed, which is a great invention I think!

5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

It may be surprising for some to know that the air we breathe inside our own home can often be more toxic than the air outside!

With all sorts of chemicals, glues, toxins, off-gasses, and dirt tracked inside our homes, it's important to consider making a few small changes to make a big impact for you, your family and your pets!

1. Replace Harsh Chemicals with Eco-Friendly products.

With the 'Go Green' movement moving full speed ahead, there are numerous companies creating better products for you and the environment. They do not contain harmul chlorine bleach, sulphates, and other poisonous and toxic ingredients. Most are made from corn alcohol,coconut, plant, mineral salts, citrus fruit extracts and have some wonderful essential fragrance oil blends to boot!

2. Bring some Green INDOORS.

By bringing some plants indoors, you will increase the quality of your indoor air. Plants are also a great way to add some color and life into your home too! Many plants do not require you to be a gardening expert or have a green thumb, nor do they have to be expensive.

3. Go PVC and Vinyl-FREE.

When it comes to shower curtain liners, must people are used to the plastic, vinyl type. Shower liners off-gas some nasty chemical fumes like polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC). One of the chemical additives, DEHP, a phthalate, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans. An EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can elevate air toxins in your home for more than a month.

Choose a natural fabric, such as cotton (organic if you can find it) or bamboo, for your next shower curtain and look for liners with the name EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). They are virtually odorless and much more healthy than PVC and Vinyl and can be found at many local stores including Target!

4. Dual Doormats do Double Duty.

Outdoor welcome mats are a great way to stop dirt from entering your home and contaminating your home. However, adding a secondary mat inside at the front entry will provide double duty. Many Americans wear shoes inside their home, this is a sure-fire way to track in dirt, disease and chemicals like pesticides to a floor/carpet where your baby, child or pet might hang out.

5. Open a Window!

With heating and air conditioning keeping our homes at the perfect temperature, some forget to open up windows. Let the fresh air in! It will make your home smell better, release stale air that has been trapped all winter long and eliminate the amount of toxins in your home as well. Plus, who doesn't love the sound of a singing bird.

January 28, 2009

Living Green While Getting Your Home Clean

Okay, so you've heard about global warming, the importance of recycling and a lot of talk about organic food. You get the idea that going green is the wave of the future but are not sure how you fit in. By making simple changes you will not only help the environment but you'll save your family and pets from toxic chemicals that are present in regular household cleaning products.

Whether you know it or not there are many products on the market that are extremely harmful to your health and that of your family and pets. These can cause many irritations to the skin, eyes and nose. Not to mention, these chemicals linger for days and weeks after you are finished using them. You wind up creating a little toxic mixture in your own home that you're breathing in all the time. This is in part due to cleaning products but also the paints we use on our walls, varnishes on our furniture and the formaldehydes and glues in our carpet-but there is hope!

New products are revolutionizing the way we clean and live in our home. These days you can buy an eco-friendly home and install anything from flooring to window treatments that are better for both you and the environment. Yes, these options are a bit more expensive but well worth it in the long run. You can't put a price on your own health and that of your family. There are also wide ranges of fun cleaning products that smell great, are non-toxic, biodegradable and won't hurt our precious earth. These ingredients do not include the harsh chemicals, that regular products have such as bleach nor do they contain sulfates or petroleum-based contents, rather they have plant-based ingredients. Why is this important? Well, let's not forget that petrol is a non-renewable resource that is quickly being depleted. Sulfates cause an overgrowth of algae in our waters and kill off fish everyday. We can do something about this!

All of these next generation products are also usually made from recyclable plastics and are recyclable themselves. They can also be reused for your other homemade cleaning concoctions such as vinegar, or water while using baking soda.

There are many new companies providing products at the moment, you might have seen some recently on Oprah. Such companies are Method Products, Seventh Generation, Melaleuca, Shaklee, and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day. Of all of these products, I can personally attest to using a variety of each. Of all, my favorite is Method Products. A girlfriend got me to try her hand soap and I was hooked! I soon explored the mint window wash for glass and windows as well as their all purpose cleaner in such great scents as cucumber, lavender and pink grapefruit. Who wouldn't want to clean with these fun-smelling products?! What I started to realize was that while I was making a difference to our planet, I actually looked forward to cleaning with these great solutions because they smelled so wonderful AND they cleaned phenomenally well to boot! For those of you who prefer fragrance-free they also offer a line called "naked" that does not have any scent at all.

They sell their products conveniently online and in your local Target stores and some drug stores carry a range of their products as well as Home Depot also. Easy to find, Easy to use and Easy on your skin, eyes and nose. So safe you don't even need to use gloves to protect your hands! Their wide range of offerings include soy-based candles, oil diffusers, dish washing liquid, dishwasher tablests that work better than anything else, laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets to all purpose cleaners, tub and tile sprays, toilet bowl cleaner and they now even include body wash and hand soaps! They have a product to match every regular product on the grocery store shelves without the chemicals. I love their micro fiber cloths, which eliminate the need for paper towel waste and provide a streak-free shine! Do you have a specialty surface like granite or stainless steel? They have you covered there too!

Check out their website today to see why Method Products are top selling eco-friendly cleaning products and why everyone is talking about them!

**Note: Method does not compensate me for my articles and promotion, this is strictly personal preference based on great results. I highly enjoy promoting their products to encourage others to make the right choices for both themselves and their environment.

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