Looking for a way to introduce green products and practices into your household? Try these 10 easy and green tips that are environmentally and wallet-friendly.
- Glass is Good
- Coffee Filter Capers
- Foiled Again
- Crack an Egg
- Fruit Fly Futility
- Down the Drain
- News for Newspapers
- Garbage Disposal Magic
- Double Duty Dryer Sheets
- Clean Cleaners
Glass is Good
Wide mouth (easy in and easy out) glass canning jars are great for storing food and provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic bags.
- Leftover food stored in the refrigerator stays fresher in glass containers.
- Food stored in cupboards is sealed tight and see-through containers make it easy to see contents.
- Canning jars are sturdy and come in ½ pint, pint, and quart sizes. Wash or wipe off sealing rings. Jars and sealing lids may be washed in the dishwasher.
Coffee Filter Capers
Use coffee filters instead of plastic wrap to cover food when heating a small amount or melting substances like butter in a microwave oven. Paper easily molds to container shapes and can later be composted.
Wrap chunks of cheese in aluminum foil instead of plastic. Foil helps cheese stay fresh longer and prevents mold from forming on the cheese.
Crack an Egg
Want to remove tea and coffee stains from your cups and mugs? Skip the bleach. Save some egg shells, break them up and put them in a cup, fill it with water, and let stand overnight. In the morning the eggs shells will be brown and your cup white.
Fruit Fly Futility
Capture pesky fruit flies by placing a small container of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dishwashing liquid next to the fruit bowl. Vinegar attracts the flies. Soap breaks the water surface tension and the flies drown in the vinegar.
Down the Drain
Baking soda and vinegar keep drains clean and sweet smelling.
- Put about ½ cup baking soda in the drain and then pour about ½ cup white vinegar into the drain to wash the baking soda down. Step back and watch it bubble.
- Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and then turn on cold water to rinse.
News for Newspapers
Skip the plastic weed barrier. Layering wet newspapers around outdoor plants before covering with mulch deters weeds and will eventually biodegrade.
Garbage Disposal Magic
Ice cubes clean food particles and smells out of your disposal like magic. Regular ice cubes can be used, but give these a try.
- Fill an ice cube tray with water and put a small piece of lemon rind or a sprig of mint in each section.
- Freeze and then store ice cubes in a freezer safe jar (an empty and cleaned plastic mayonnaise jar works well).
- Put several ice cubes in the garbage disposal, turn on the cold water, and run the disposal for a minute.
Double Duty Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets do more than soften clothes. For a fresh scent, place a sheet in the bottom of a wastebasket, musty drawer or cupboard, or another smelly place. Ants and other bugs are discouraged from the area which is more “pet safe” and environmentally-friendly than bug spray.
Ammonia, chlorine bleach, and glycol ethers in household cleaners can be dangerous to your health and the environment. Try these less toxic solutions to common household cleaning challenges.
- Baking soda sweetens sour smelling dishcloths and socks.
- Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away dried blood.
- Vinegar removes lime deposits from hard water.
- Rubbing Alcohol cleans and shines chrome water fixtures.
Reader Note: These ideas were provided by my mother-in-law, Nan.