Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Green Tuesday :)

I still haven't thought of something clever to call the day that I post on doing greener things.  By the time I get around to updating my blog, all my brain cells have been toasted.  Some days charred.  Either way, neither lend themselves to my being at all with it while writing.

Lydia's snoring away in the other room.  She's working her way through a sniffle, and is much better at being a little sickie than either of her parents.  Although I'm very pragmatic and resourceful when it comes to feeling ill, I still wallow in it and stay crabby throughout the process.  Charlie dogs his way through whatever comes his way, be it a migraine, stomach flu or cold.  She's best at acting like nothing's coming out of her nose all the time, and is a smiley little thing just like always.

Anyway, back to green living.
I'm not great at it yet, to be frank.  Mostly because I feel that Charlie and I don't always have the money to buy organic cleaners, organic foods, eco-friendly products, fair-trade teas and chocolate, upcycled goods from Etsy instead of clothing my child in Walmart brands, and the like.  But I'm slowly learning that green doesn't have to equal expensive, something at which my MIL (mother-in-law) is AMAZING.

For instance, a few weeks ago she gave me a five-gallon bucket of homemade laundry detergent.  For 4-5 cents a load, she created a laundry soap that works great and is super cheap to make.  It's basically laundry soda, Borax, water, fragrance oils of choice (mine were lavender and sandalwood), and a splash of another laundry soap to give it some extra stain remover and suds.  I'm sure I missed something, but those are pretty much the ingredients.  She hires herself out from time to time doing green cleaning for households, which has inspired me to phase out all my non-organic/toxic/not-green chemicals I use to clean.  Right now I'm using Mrs. Meyer's basil scented all-purpose cleaner, dishwasher packs and dish soap, but that stuff gets expensive too. My MIL has a ton of recipes for green cleaning products that are not only environmentally sound, but cheap too.  And at this point, I'll take all the cheap I can get!

So this all brings me to focusing in on one aspect of green living: green cleaners.  I grew up spraying Pledge, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, the Works, CLR, you name it, without really thinking about the chemicals under the fake pine scent.  All of us did.  But I don't buy the argument of "We used them and lived, what's the big deal?" The big deal is that we should always strive for better.  It doesn't matter that I haven't happened to develop lung cancer or a skin rash from using conventional products; the fact is that the less harmful ingredients around my house, the better. Especially when I think about Lydia, who will soon be hell on wheels and into everything.

I've looked up a few green cleaners, and here they are in no particular order:
Baking soda for any kind of scrubbing: kitchen sinks, shower floors, whatever.
Vinegar (plain white) for any kind of dirt or grime buildup.
Cornstarch for cleaning windows and shampooing carpet.

Disinfectant/all-purpose cleaner:
2 c. water
3 Tbsp. liquid soap
20-30 drops tea tree oil

Creamy soft scrub:
1 part baking soda, 1 part liquid detergent

More on this to come. I found a ton of recipes and ideas for creating a green cleaning kit that would entail concocting a whole other post.  So. Stay tuned for more tips on green, non-toxic and cheap cleaning. :)

1 comment:

  1. You are SO right. Your "MIL" is an amazing resource! I so miss Gaylene :( I have tried to green up my home as well, and it can get expensive. I have found that the Melaluca shampoo and body wash is great for the kids. I have also heard arguments that this stuff isn't as "green" as they boast that they are, but it is better, and similar in price to the stuff I can get at Wal-Mart. I also buy all my laundry stuff from them along with bar soap and shampoo for myself. It's just another thought for you... Take care, and tell the "MIL" that I miss her!