Going Green Tips

Going green is a gradual process. Make one small change per week and you'll be living eco-friendly before you know it.

Try one or more of the following tips to live a more eco-friendly, green life:

Going Green Tip #1: Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Home

Use one cup of baking soda and several jugs of boiling water to clear blocked drains to avoid the toxins in commercial drain cleaners.

Sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of trash bags to control odors.

Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and water to a spray bottle to use as a "Green" air freshener.

Mix two parts of olive oil and one part of lemon juice to use as an eco-friendly furniture polish.

Make a chemical free, toxin free window cleaner by mixing a half gallon of water with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Drop some lemon peel into the garbage disposal while running to keep a fresh smelling disposal.

Rub olive oil into wood cutting boards to prevent cracking, repel stains and avoid marking.

Revive stiff, used paint brushes by soaking in heated white vinegar for a couple of hours followed by rinsing in soapy water and avoid using the toxic chemicals found in paint brush cleaners or turpentine.

Removing coffee and tea stains from cups. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on a piece of orange or lemon peel and rub the marks off, then wash as usual.

Going Green Tip #2: Eco-Friendly Shopping

Avoid packaging as you can. Do you really need to put your bananas, head of lettuce, or bunch of carrots in a plastic bag? You'll probably end up throwing the bag away anyway, so bypass the plastic in the produce aisle and wait until you get home where you can store the food in a reusable container.

Avoid individually packaged items. Food such as yogurt, pudding, granola bars, soft drinks, juice, cereal, and snack foods may come in packages of multiple single-serving sizes in addition to larger, "bulk" sizes. Even though the individual sizes do seem more convenient, they also produce more waste with their packaging than the larger sizes. Buy larger sizes and divide up the food at home in reusable containers to avoid the excess garbage.

Bring reusable tote bags and canvas shopping bags with you while shopping. Can't remember to bring them with you? Simply toss them in your car and make a habit of taking them with you in the parking lot. Not only will you cut down on the use of plastic bags, you can sport your green style with fashionable reusable totes.

Going Green Tip #3: Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Gardening

Spread a thin line of baking soda where ants are active, they will not cross the line and you will not be spraying harsh chemicals into the air.

To treat roses for black spot fungus, mix one tablespoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of eco-friendly dishwashing detergent with a gallon of water in a spray bottle.

Going Green Tip #4: Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Banking

Take advantage of on-line bank statements, credit card statements, etc. to eliminate paper usage.

Pay bills on-line. This saves paper as well as eliminates pollution caused by fuels used in mail delivery vehicles.

When using an ATM, say 'no' to a receipt to eliminate paper usage.

Going Green Tip #5: Recycle and Help Others

Sneakers: Reuse-A-Shoe program (www.letmeplay.com/reuseashoe) accepts old sneakers (any brand) and recycles them into courts for various sports so kids around the world have a place to play. You can drop them off at various locations around the country (check their website for locations).

Six-pack rings: See if your local school participates in the Ring Leader Recycling Program (www.ringleader.com), kids collect six-pack rings to be recycled into other plastic items, including plastic lumber and plastic shopping pallets.

Envelopes with plastic windows: Recycle them with regular office paper. The filters will sieve out the plastic, they'll even take out the glue strip on the envelope flaps.

FedEx: Paper FedEx envelopes can be recycled, and there's no need to pull off the plastic sleeve.

Jiffy paks: Many jiffy envelopes - even the paper-padded ones filled with material similar to dryer lint - are recyclable with other mixed papers.

Pizza boxes: If cheese and grease are stuck to the box, rip out the affected areas and recycle the rest as corrugated cardboard.

If you live in and around the Orange County, California area contact Green Girl Maid Service for outstanding green cleaning services. It's yet another going green tip you'll appreciate every day. Call (949) 325-5405 for a consultation today!

For the Sake of a Healthy LivingTM