"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which all loveliness arises." -Pedro Calderon de la Barca.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Green Homemaking Ideas

Not much exciting happened this weekend to write about, so I decided to give you some of my green house-keeping hints and participate in 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday.   (I love her blog! She always has the best recipes!)


Some things I do:

  • Make my own cleaning products!  Cheaper, easier, greener, (and did I mention cheaper?)  So far I make my own laundry detergent, glass/general purpose cleaner, tub scrub.   I haven't perfected an automatic dishwashing soap yet.  I use either Seventh Generation or try and find the lowest phosphorus content brand at the grocery store.   Does anyone have a good recipe?  Also, I can't figure out what to use on the hardwoods that is all-natural and not store-bought.  Now I use Method's Good for Wood, supposed to be natural but the smell bothers my hubby to no end.  (It is pretty strong smelling.)   I am saving SO much money on laundry detergent alone.  One bottle of my old standby, All Free, costs the same as the ten or so I get from this recipe!  I use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach in the whites.  (Safer and cheaper!) The other recipes are cheap too, just buy big bags and bottles of rubbing alcohol, borax, baking soda at discount stores and you'll be set!   Pure rubbing alcohol works wonders on stainless steel!
  • Compost!  (I've composted for a long time, but starting to get more serious.  My honey bought a cool rotating composter last summer and we've been composting more- all table scraps, leftovers (with no meat,) bread that is moldy, egg shells, peelings, leaf cuttings, yard waste...  I am hoping I get something good out of the composter this spring! (It's getting very full!)
  •  Recycle!  We are lucky.  Our town has curbside recycling for almost everything.  (paper, plastics up to #7, aluminum, tin, cardboard, even yard waste!)  Makes life easier.   Also recycle all those things you don't use anymore or the kids have grown out of by donating them to your favorite local charity!  
  •  Eliminate the unnecessaries!  We don't buy paper towels (although before I party I have been known to get a roll or two, and just found a new brand that is 100% recycled.)  We use rags instead.  Don't buy paper napkins either (cloth are prettier anyway!)  Do you really need all those new dust gadgets they keep coming out with?  A good microfiber cloth is nice though, I must admit. 
If you have any good tips, please comment and leave them for us! 

17 comments:

goosey said...

Man, I need composting tips. I bought a little composting bin for the countertop last year, and it was a disaster. Even though it had a charcoal filter in it, it got stinky when I put a few vegetable scraps in it. This is something I REALLY want to figure out. I am throwing away my vegetable scraps now, and know that's stupid.

panamamama said...

What I do, but not saying it's best...
I use a little stainless steel canister (don't have a fancy charcoal filter thing) I put the end from a loaf of bread in it on the bottom (because my kids won't eat them and I detest WonderBread.) to soak up any yuk that collects. I add to it and try to not breathe when I open it. :) If I was smart I would take it out every day and it wouldn't get yukky.
I want to figure out if I need to add stuff to the bin outside I think. You know- on nice veg scraps, I mean tops of onions, celery parts, etc. I put in a freezer bag in the freezer and add to it. I make veg broth out of it once a month.

Chrissy MacCEO said...

great ideas! we, too, don't use paper towels or napkins. we don't miss them at all ;)

Unknown Mami said...

San Francisco now requires us to compost.

panamamama said...

That's cool about San Fransico requiring you to compost, but how do they enforce that?

Jenny said...

Here from SITS! Great tips in this post. I make my own cleaner too. So much cheaper and I feel so much better using it around the kids. Plus it works really well!

Anonymous said...

Just stopping by from SITS. I love this post, and you've inspired me to get on the ball with composting. It's difficult to remember when we've got the garbage disposal right there

Anonymous said...

Great tips, thank you!!
Droppin' in from SITS

Mesina said...

All of these are great ideas! I need to get a hold of the recycling - our borough is very good with it to be honest.

Composting I didnt have much luck with, need to get to grips with that! xx

c2cmom said...

Great green ideas for the home! Composting is the most difficult green tactic for me to come to terms with, just haven't been able to make it work for us yet: the smell, ya know - on the counter. Ewww. Any suggestions for great composting bins that make it easy to do, and take the ickiness away?
Stopped by from SITS :-)

Melissa B. said...

We're trying our best over here, too, to be environmentally friendly. SITS sent me by, and I'm glad they did...

The Saturday Sphinx

Emalee said...

Oh my gosh!! thank you so much for all the tips. I am excited to try some of these things. I have been wanting to try 7th generation. BUT was not sure how it worked. I have used some organic dishwasher soap that has been horrible. SO I have not wanted to try anything else. Stopping by from SITS. Happy Saturday sharefest!

"And so our stories go..." said...

when we have a party I always use what's in the cabinets not paper or plastic. I'm hoping this helps.
Mary

Danielle said...

My favorite little "green" thing to do is to bring canvas bags with me when I food shop. #1 it is by far a good thing for our environment - that much less plastic bags and #2 it makes carrying the groceries into the house soo much easier. You can just "fling" multiple bags over your shoulder (not to mention, you can fit alot more in these bags, then the plastic ones!).

Anonymous said...

We try to avoid using chemicals too....I clean with oil of oregano

http://www.n101.com/north-american-herb-and-spice-oreganol-p73-oil-335824000531.html?gclid=CIWX3PWpzZ8CFWEO5QodYney3Q

a few droppers of that in a pint of warm water and a spray bottle...kills staph and smells much better than bleachy stuff.

I have been searching for a good natrual diaper rash cream...and I would love to make my own baby wipes as well...its baby steps though...living a more "green" and healthy life.

Mindy~ (a fellow SITStah!)

panamamama said...

Thanks, Mindy! I will have to try that also. Sounds neat!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Hi Panama-mama! I really like this post. I have a question. What is washing soda and where can one purchase it? I would love to try this recipe for laundry detergent. I love the tea tree addition. Just love how that smells!

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