Going green tips for the home

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Going green paper cup
A discarded cup stranded on an algae-covered pond stands witness to neglect of the planet.
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Following these going green tips for the home can be beneficial to the earth.

The nose knows. All around the house, the increased use of natural compounds and products manufactured with environmentally friendly materials is helping homemakers maintain a squeaky clean home—and a sparkling conscience.

Today, almost everyone admits that polluting the earth is a sin against nature. Folks are more aware than ever of the health of this planet. Littering tends to trigger guilt trips. The dumping of hazardous waste tends to trigger jail sentences. Healing is underway, however, via individual efforts to help the earth rejuvenate. In addition, numerous organizations are specializing in clean-ups, education and prevention.

Nevertheless, the mandate to go green starts at home. Citizens everywhere are embracing the chance to become stewards of the earth. The mission to treat Mother Nature more kindly can be carried out in small ways—through changes that start in the home. People now understand that going green is the only way to keep on going—if future generations are to thrive.

Try to substitute natural products

Going green at home may entail abandoning old, established habits. Eschew the use of household cleaners chocked full of chemicals. Instead, use vinegar whenever possible. It's a valuable household staple. A cup of vinegar mixed with a cup of water and a few drops of mild dish soap makes a superb general cleanser.

Baking soda is another gentle and effective compound. Fluff some baking soda into a pan crusted with baked-on food residue and notice how quickly the pan washes clean. In the laundry, sprinkle some baking soda into the rinse cycle when washing clothes and notice how fresh they smell when dried.

Going green at home is an easy first step in stretching the world's natural resources. There are many ways to incorporate going green into your family's daily life and into routine household chores.

• Use fabric shopping totes instead of plastic bags.

• Store food scraps in the freezer until disposal.

• Diaper babies in cloth instead of plastic-based diapers.

• Reduce the use of paper towels; use cotton towels.

• Donate instead of discarding unwanted clothing.

• Drop off used engine oil at approved collection centers.

• Never flush medications; they sneak into the water supply.

Check product labels for recycled content

More and more businesses recognize that there is a limited amount of natural resources in the world. It makes good dollars-and-sense to offer the public as many products as possible that make going green an easily attained goal.

Green items abound. There are window curtains made from recycled fabric. Bedding and pillows frequently contain reprocessed fibers. Products such as eco-friendly floor mats are durable and colorful. Some of the mats now available owe their environmental merits to technology that utilizes shredded plastic bottles and rubber tires.

Know the ramifications of ignorance

There is no excuse but apathy—or laziness—for ignoring the obligation to support the environment. A neighborhood pond that looks beautiful from afar may have along its edges an ugly morass of waterlogged debris—soggy disposable diapers and half-submerged beer bottles. Why not squelch that scourge at its source—the home? 

It can be done. For example, consider glass. Glass lasts forever, or thereabouts, as it is composed primarily of the main component of sand—silica. Luckily, glass recycling is commonplace. Beer bottles, milk bottles and glass jars are reincarnated into new products. Fill that recycling bucket behind the kitchen door. And don't oversleep on collection day.

Plastic is another story—a sadder story. No one refutes its wizardry in replicating a multitude of useful items—dishes, furniture, etc. Unfortunately, plastic does not decompose when left to wind, rain and temperature changes. It is not biodegradable—broken down by microscopic organisms and returned to the earth. It only breaks up into less obvious pieces. Today, a variety of biodegradable products are available. They mimic the look and performance of plastic but are earth friendly.

Going green at home is a process that takes time. If every household cleaned greener, fewer chemicals would be found in rivers and on the land that produces our food and livestock. If families would buy more local fruits and vegetables and refrain from buying produce shipped long distances in gas-fueled vehicles, perhaps the air would be cleaner. There are lots of ways to be kind to Mother Nature. But charity begins at home. Why not begin today?


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