Green Lifestyles

It occurred to me that some may feel only certain people can go green because the cost, work, and expected outcomes of those who chose to go green would certainly require a bit more income. However, no money at all is required to help the planet and there are no jet sets for those living green. No exclusive club awaits you nor will you receive any grand awards or positions because of your efforts.

What you will get is pride in doing something that will have benefits beyond the immediate and a sense of belonging since living green definitely ties you to the global community to which we all belong.

Simply growing your garden can become a symbol of a lifestyle change if you choose to let nature control pest and not chemicals. Many farmers are now doing just that and are reaping the benefits along with the healthier clientele that utilizes their produce. If they can do it on a large scale, then you can grow a summer garden on a small scale.

Here are some great gardening tips for growing herbs, veggies, and even watermelons without grabbing the pesticides.

To keep your tomato plants from being food for worms, surround them with the shells of eggs. Just crush them roughly and cover the ground around the base of the plant. The eggshells cut the worms and they won’t cross them.

Refrain from killing the spiders that take up residence in your garden. These creepy little friends make meals out of pests who would otherwise make a dinner of your garden. Nature is well balanced and versed in the preservation of what she grows.

Lady bugs do more than make cute things to play with on hot summer days by the children. They also eat aphids, which eat what you’re growing. Sprays can harm and kill these helpful insects, so don’t spray.

Bees, while bothersome at times, are a wanted insect when gardening. It is the work of these pollen collectors that ensure you have a yield at the end of the growing season. They are too busy pollinating to notice you anyway. Swatting at them only tells the bees you are a threat to their work and they will protect themselves with their stingers.

Citrus peels will keep your dog from joining the fray of insects in your garden and will repel cats as well. In addition, rodents don’t like them, either. Best of all, they won’t add any poisons to your ripened fruits and veggies that you will need to scrub off.

For your efforts, you can, at no cost at all, enjoy the taste of organically grown food that is healthy. In the off season, try to buy organic foods. Support those who are trying to live green while you are also doing you part and conservation can be had easily by all.

In the efforts of preservation and conservation are attainable by all, regardless of pocketbook size.

Getting Kids Involved in Conservation

Today as I cleaned up my office and sorted through an ever growing stack of paperwork, I opened my door and let in fresh air from the outside world.

First, there is a dollhouse in my office that is a constant source of stress relief and a great model for all of my designing ideas. (this is a great thing as it keeps me from moving furniture into odd arrangements and then moving it all back when I decide I don’t like it!) What I hadn’t counted on is the influx of neighborhood kids who stared longingly at my little world of miniatures. It wasn’t long before I had to give a play session to the kids (and to me). This is the one little disruption I enjoyed.

As we played, I began thinking of what to do a blog entry on for the night and realized that I had never asked a child what they thought living green was or how they thought one should go about living green.

“We can be like bunnies and eat the grass,” Chelsea, a four year old responded.

“No we can’t. That’s just dumb.” Her six year old and very sophisticated sister Jordan replied.

Logan, a little boy who lives just a few doors down from the girls, chimed in “It means we can’t pull up Mommy’s flowers ‘cuz they’re alive too and that would be killing.”

I chuckled but decided that perhaps a little experiment was in order. I pulled out the habitats I have for butterflies, ants, and frogs. I let the children decide which one they wanted to have for the experiment. Next, we collected some unsuspecting lizards, ants, and moths. I let the kids put in whatever they thought the animals would like in a natural world and got another surprise.

For those parents out there who don’t think your kids listen, please read on.

The children all chose vegetables for their new little friends. Unfortunately, the vegetables were the worst choices for food for the animals. I explained that the diets of their new “pets” were indeed many plants and foods that are not good for humans. The veggies, though, were like the pollution we put in the air with cars and the pesticides we use on our foods. They would slowly kill the very animals that the children had collected.

After a bit of research to show them using sites such as national geographic for kids, the children changed the natural world back to the way it should be for their pets. Then, we talked about how we could really do the same thing for ourselves.

I explained what organic meant and that it was kinder to the planet than any of the chemicals we used in a large portion of our foods. I discussed the experiments both NASA and Disney were running concerning how to grow food without water or soil and how to help the plants produce more fruits for eating.

They were most amazed with Disney’s 9 lb lemons. This lemon makes one gallon of lemonade and is grown organically. The sheer magic of this to them was that Disney created it so it had to be something from the fairies of Pixie Hollow and worth remembering.

By the time the afternoon was complete, I had gathered the mothers of these children and volunteered my teenage daughter and her friends for an outing to a local park this weekend. We are going to set the little pets free there and then work on teaching the children all about living green by helping to clean up the park.

I think if more of us did this just one weekend a month, there would be more understanding in the younger generation of what green living is and a better level of health in the older generations. In the middle of the conservation, you get some real quality time with the kids.

Our plan is to visit the science center as they have an area for kids to plant trees and flowers. Then, we’ll spend some time making a game of gathering the trash from the ground to make the park more beautiful. In return for their efforts, all the parents are giving the kids a pizza party. They’ll learn the beginnings of recycling and conserving our planet and we’ll be making memories to last into our golden years.

The idea is to get them involved. Kids will be more apt to be passionate about that which includes them than that which they are told they have to do without any input of their own. In the process, you will steer them toward a greener lifestyle without any resistance as they will be a part of it.

I think I’ll try to keep this as a monthly activity and get more children to join us as we begin teaching a little planet conservation to the next generation.

Recycling While Traveling

After spending a week in some really strange weather for Florida, I can’t say I wasn’t glad to reach dry land again yesterday when I arrived back at home. However, that little trip did teach me a lot about living green while traveling. It also provided some insight into how businesses and communities are working together to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Disney is one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. I had never been, so I hadn’t had a really good grasp of just how large this particular resort was in reality. It is vast in size and resembles a mid-sized city rather than a resort. Encompassed in its boundaries are every conceivable want of a tourist, vacationer, and even the business traveler could desire. In short, it is magnificent.

It is also extremely clean and environmentally friendly. The wildlife live side by side at Disney without either hindering the freedom of the other. This intrigued me, so I asked a few question on just how that could be since it doesn’t seem to happen anywhere else. The answers I received surprised me.

Disney has a multitude of recycling bins for various trash. This makes it a snap to continue recycling efforts while on vacation. To help reduce the confusion of mistakes in these bins, the receptacles had shaped openings to fit what should go inside. These were scattered throughout the park in vast numbers to encourage tourists to go green. They are simply painted and decorated to match whatever area you happen to be in. This keeps people happy as there are no eye sores and animals happy as there is less trash that can be harmful to them being left on the ground.

In fact, Disney goes even further in their conservation efforts than most vacation resorts. All of the benches in the Animal Kingdom are made from recycled plastic. They look and feel like wood, but are made entirely out of plastic that would have otherwise become part of a landfill. This greatly reduces the amount of trash inside the dumps and gives something that is needed back to the community. (Trust me, that park is huge and those benches are needed to rest very tired feet!)

Further, you can’t even get a straw in the Animal Kingdom because Disney doesn’t want them on the ground. They don’t want their animals to suffer at our carelessness. Some of the animals Disney shelters are on the endangered list, such as the manatee. For this reason, Disney takes extreme caution to preserve the natural world around us as much as possible while still delivering a magical experience that has become their trademark.

After learning about the efforts of Disney, I decided to look into what I could do with all of my discarded plastic trash at home. The possibilities are really endless-from molds to planters to containers for other items. One thing I discovered is that plastic shopping bags don’t have to end up in the trash at all. Out of boredom (read that as a need to relax and do nothing for a couple of hours), I began to braid some old shopping bags together. I spent most of the afternoon doing this yesterday and ended up with the best bath mat I’ve ever had!

I did put some double sided tape on the bottom of my plastic braided rug when I was finished to avoid slipping, but water won’t ruin this one and washing it is a breeze. I just have to rinse it every now and then under running water and I’m done.

I will be working on a completely recycled scrapbook and will post that with instructions as soon as I have it finished. So far, it is proving to be a most memorable method of preserving the trip to Disney. I’m finding as I research for this blog that going green is less work and much more fun than I ever imagined. In fact, it’s completely painless.

If you have ideas on how to recycle items and reduce the trash on the planet or on how to live a little greener, please feel free to share them with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Teens and Green: A Great Combination

In this article on going green, I would like to focus on a particular age group: teens. It is critical to understand certain truths about teens if you wish for them to live green…or any other way for that matter.

The teenage population must be regarded with respect and tasks, habits, and other requests you make should reflect a lot of coolness in order to be acceptable. This age group won’t be content with making kiddie crafts…unless it somehow helps them get a date for Friday night. They aren’t really into cleaning except when it guarantees the use of the car next Saturday. And, they have no intent on changing behavior unless they get something out of the deal–you know, extra spending money or some other privilege.

It isn’t that this group of society is bad. In fact, I think teens are absolutely wonderful. It’s more that teens aren’t little kids anymore and yet they aren’t adults with all the freedoms and responsibilities. In fact, a teen will inform you one second that they aren’t a baby and then argue they can’t do whatever it was that you asked because they’re just a kid the next.

What teens are great about is a cause. They love them. However, what you think is a cause may in fact be seen as something else you want them to do in their eyes. What you have to do is find a way to get your teen involved that is good for the earth and that relates to the lifestyle of teens in a big way.

Saving the planet, going green, and preserving nature are big for teens–just not in the way that you’re big on these items. For a teen, life is dramatic, dynamic, and always at full speed ahead. There are no such things as brakes, logic, rhyme and reason. There is an abundance of impulsiveness, spontaneous reactions, and emotional roller coasters.

To tap into this wide range of new and exciting aspects of teens in order to encourage green living, you just have to be creative. The following are ways to get your teen involved in green living without a huge headache:

*If you won’t do it, don’t ask your teen to do it. Teens are big on examples. Make sure your own examples show green living before you broach the subject with your teen.

*Introduce your teen to a world of volunteer activities. Animal shelters are wonderful places to show a teen how to preserve nature and provide a cause they can identify with. Consider that many teens feel rejected, abandoned, misunderstood, and mistreated by peers or other adults in some way. Teens relate and identify with the animals in shelters more readily than any other age group because of this and will fight to champion the animals toward a better life. In the process, you will see your teen’s self esteem improve, confidence rise, and mood change for the better. Volunteering at animal shelters teaches work ethic, preservation, compassion, and acceptance gently.

*Teens are proactive by nature. Encourage them to become involved in church, community, and green living. Help them organize activities such as cleaning up the park or planting trees or even hanging bird feeders in neighborhoods.You will discover that their ideas are often wonderful and worthwhile in our pursuit of going green. They will discover that they have value, can follow their dreams, and spend time with parents and other adults without it being painful.

*Teens make great mentors for the younger kids. Help your teen organize activities to get the children involved and watch the results blossom into something amazing.

It’s only garbage-the high price we pay for trash

Have you ever wondered just where your trash ended up after you toss it into the garbage can? Has it ever occurred to you that the trash you discarded may have a monumental impact on the world in which we live? Have you ever considered that there might be something you could do to reduce the amount of garbage you produce in a day?

If you have, then you are among a growing mass of people who have begun to realize that our trash has consequences we all have to pay. And, you’re probably also in the growing number of people who are sighing, thinking there really isn’t anything you could do anyway.

But, you’re mistaken. Each of us can do a lot to preserve the natural world around us and improve not only nature, but our own health at the same time.

Yesterday, I started a post about this topic and intend to run a few in a series to help everyone learn the fun that can go along with becoming more responsible environmentally. It really isn’t as painful as protesting in undesirable weather and living within the trees for years to ensure they aren’t cut down. Many of the things we can do that preserve the environment are not only easy, but they are attractive as well.

I touched on some of the many crafts and reuses of items normally thrown away in the last post. I didn’t explain what happens to the trash once it leaves our trash can in the garbage truck, though. Today, the idea is to learn what happens once we throw something away and what the impact of that action has on us.

Little Johnny tosses a handful of school papers in the trash. He doesn’t think about where they came from or where they are going. He just knows you told him to clean out his backpack and that’s what he’s doing. He has to if he wants to go play baseball outside with his friends.

His sister, Suzy, dumps the junk mail into the garbage along with a soda can and few wads of plastic from the wrapping on her new CDs. She never stops to consider what will happen to it beyond the normal trip outside for the garbage man to pick it up at the end of the week. She only wants to listen to her new music.

Dad drops by the trash can with an assortment of shredded paper from documents and other goodies he’s left at his desk. He gets rid of the coffee cup with the plastic wrap from a trip to the gas station and deposits a candy wrapper-its contents long since gone.

Mom throws away the most. She rummages through the house for any trash that missed the observation of the others and even adds her own special touch to the garbage as she fixes dinner. Plastic and Styrofoam from packages of meat and cardboard from boxes of pasta heap themselves on top of the already bulging kitchen trash container.

No one considers the consequences. The trash this family has accumulated has grown. It will be set out to the curb for pickup, be compressed, and be tossed into a landfill to sit until it degrades. It is in the degrading that the problem of trash is first seen. Not all things biodegrade at the same rate.

Food and natural matter in raw forms that are similar to food biodegrade rather quickly and without a lot of fuss. Insects come along and take care of most of that variety of waste, leaving little behind. But food is not really a huge concern when discussing trash. It will decay as will any living thing and return to the earth from which it came.

Cardboard and paper are sometimes a concern. Besides the fact that many trees were removed from the land to produce the paper products, there is the fact that these items are slightly slower to biodegrade. Instead, they become homes and nesting materials for rodents and insects alike, creating a high pest population.

Plastic, rubber, and a variety of other such materials are a major hazard. These items will sit in the same landfill for what should be considered forever as they have biodegradable life spans of 3-5 hundred years. They will keep the landfills full and cause the need for the development of new landfills indefinitely.

You might think that conventional recycling is the best answer. However, for some items, recycling it can cause as much or more air pollution and damage as filling up the dumps with it. It is for this reason that we should all consider new and innovative methods of reusing the very things that will come back to haunt us in our own backyards.

Trees and plants are opposite when it comes to respiration. They intake carbon dioxide and give oxygen as a by-product. Humans intake oxygen and give carbon dioxide as a by-product as do many members of the animal kingdom. If we were to take a few of our plastic castoffs and turn them into attractive planters for our homes, not only would each of us reduce the amount of plastic in landfills but we would also breathe easier.

Ann had some wonderful ideas on how to use some castoff food parts for fertilization. Her idea on the egg shells used in potted plants and in gardens is not only friendly to the garbage pile but also friendly to us-especially if the plant we are using them with happens to be a tomato.

There is a horned tomato worm that can consume in a single meal an entire tomato plant. However, egg shells prevent this worm from his favorite food source-our tomato plants.

Her tip shows what can happen if we all think of just one or two things that would better the environment. Only a few seconds of our day would really change but the benefits we would reap could be huge.

Coffee grounds make great scouring aids when cleaning burnt on food from pans and they help a garbage disposal stay free of smells that we don’t find pleasant.

Newsprint works well to clean windows and mirrors with a solution of vinegar and water.

Craft paper for the kids can be made using paper that has been allowed to soak into pulp in water and dried using a screen for molding. Once dry, it offers a variety of colors and textures that make new creations shine.

And, all of this takes but a few seconds of time yet reaps a much more pleasant earth for us to live in. Tomorrow, I’ll list some tips and tricks for items outside the house-like motor oil, old tools, license plates, and more. In the meantime, give it a try with a few going green tips and let us know what your tips are. We’d love to hear them!

What Does “Going Green” Really Mean?

If you’ve watched the latest trends out there, you’ve probably noticed the increased desire to “go green”. And, like most people, you probably even know this has to do with the environment. Following the normal course of things, you may have even considered “going green” yourself, but then thought it would be a huge undertaking and procrastinated the decision.

But, “going green” doesn’t really have to be a painful act of sacrifice. In fact, very few people realize just what “going green” really means. That’s alright. Today, we’re going to go over it together and get everyone on the same track to saving our earth.

The color green itself brings to mind the good old days of running through the grass and skidding to a stop in the most lush part of the yard. Many pairs of pants went green that way during the growing up years as we sported grass-stained knees and smiles during the long lazy summers.

In the teen years, “going green” was as simple as writing on both sides of the paper instead of only one. Boys were better at this since we girls preferred to write out our dreams in the form of names: Mrs. So and So, over and over again. If we girls were feeling really environmentally friendly back then, we’d use a little less makeup and save a container or two.

As we reached adulthood and became young parents, we began to seriously worry about the size of our landfills and what we added to the air we had to breathe. That’s when it happened: we started talking about “going green” in a whole new light. No longer did we want to waste the precious resources our children would one day inherit. We plotted, planned, and executed methods of preserving the very things we had once used without reservation.

In essence: we had become our parents-our worst nightmare. After a few tears and the realization that Mom and Dad had always been really cool and therefore, so were we now that we saw the light, we dismissed our mistaken take on all things hip and relaxed.

So, you may be wondering just what “going green” has to do with all of this. It’s simple really. “Going green” is just a way of growing up, becoming responsible citizens of planet earth, and sharing in the consequences of our society’s actions. It means changing our ways to improve our lives and the lives of generations not yet born.

Here’s a few ways we can accomplish the feat of “going green” painlessly:

Trash is a little more than garbage. By recycling materials, we can help preserve resources.

Recycling items doesn’t necessarily require separate trash bins, either. Plastic jars make great piggy banks for kids. You can even let them decorate the banks in any manner they wish for some great family time while saving the earth.

Paper towel rolls make great storage containers for artwork that you may want to save for the future. When your child’s masterpiece leaves the fridge, just roll it up and store it inside the tube. Label it and cover the ends with some tape to ensure nothing else gets to the art you have so carefully preserved. Then, store away for a rainy day.

Save plastic spray bottles to re-use. They make great plant misters or can be reused with the same cleaner they originally held. I love to use my old ones, after washing thoroughly of course, as water guns. My teen daughter and I have a great time cooling off together in the summer this way.

Glass jars can be used in a wide variety of ways. They can be turned into sand art for display, be filled with colorful rocks from outings, hold pencils, pins, or other office supplies, and even serve as a perfect place for odds and end nails that are forever showing up. The list of possibilities are endless.

Old computers can be donated to women’s shelters, children’s centers, and other places where they will be revamped into working means of communication. The best part is, you get to write off the donation on your taxes. Imagine that, getting paid for going green!

Paper items can be recycled in many ways. While not all paper should be reused straight from the trash, many of the paper products we toss could be. For example, milk cartons and the like make excellent planters and candle molders. Cardboard is great for making paper dolls, small houses for the kids, and even gardening mats to save the old knees.

For the trash you absolutely must throw out, try using paper bags instead of plastic bags. It may seem like an inconvenience, but plastic takes over 300 years to biodegrade. the paper will allow for faster degrading and therefore less problems down the road.

“Going green” can be fun and family friendly. With just a little imagination, you can save the planet and have fun. Oh, and by the way, the kids will love doing things like they were done in the ancient days of their parents. The reward for you is the knowledge that you learned it from your parents and you got the kids to sit down with you without complaint while participating in a family activity.

Earth Day All Year Long

Earth Day. Have you ever really thought about what it really means? If you’re like most people, you observe this day set aside for the conservation of our natural resources but you don’t really connect with it on most levels. In fact, it probably never crosses your mind at all.

Earth day is more than just conservation. It is a significant reminder of our impact on the earth. Of all the land on the earth, we have a direct impact on 83% of it. That leaves only 17% of the land unaffected and unharmed by our very existence. What’s worse is the fact that we begin to destroy the earth from the very first day we are born. Of course, in the first few years of life the choice isn’t exactly ours, but it is these early years that form the base of the justification of our treatment of the planet afterward.

Many of the items we carelessly throw away, including vacuums and other household goods, contain plastics. Plastics take a very long time to biodegrade (3-5 hundred years) because they contain crude oil-which is what gives them the waterproof property we desire. Even disposable infant diapers contain the crude oil so that our children don’t soil us. This leads to happy parents, but a huge demand on a natural resource that is commonly known for its role in the automotive industry.

Basically, Earth Day is meant for us to become aware of our footprints. It is supposed to inspire us to recycle, reuse, reduce, and be kind to the planet all year long. When you consider some of the statistics of what we use during our lifetime, it’s easy to see how we can make a difference.

Below are some ideas that we can use each and every day to preserve the resources our earth gives to us. They aren’t hard to do and only take a few minutes out of our day. But, best of all, these simple steps can make a difference in the quality of life we live and in the conservation of nature for both us and future generations.

1. Packaging is a major problem. Most packages use plastic. Purchase items with the least amount of packaging to reduce the amount of waste. (i.e. Buy socks that aren’t in a plastic package but are instead wrapped with only a small connecting tag for store display)

2. Purchase organic vegetables and produce items that are free of packaging from farmer’s markets. Not only are you saving the planet from wrapping waste, but organic foods don’t use chemical pesticides or preservatives. It’s a great way to eat healthier and to encourage more farmers to avoid the poisonous compounds that add to the pollution of our planet.

3. Recycle trash. This seems simple enough, but most of what finds its way into our dumps could be reused if it had been sorted. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal can all be remelted,molded, or reshaped into a new product that doesn’t require us to use more of our natural resources.

4. If you live two miles or closer to where you work, walk or take a bicycle. Both are excellent forms of exercise that improve your health and emissions are not secreted into the air. This reduces both health insurance and air pollution.

5. Instead of cleaners that rely heavily on chemicals, choose the ones with all natural ingredients. For example, find toilet bowl cleaners that use helpful micro-organisims to degrade waste in sewer systems. Vinegar and water are wonderful for cleaning windows. There’s even several commercial cleaners that are now environmentally safe if you prefer ready made cleaning solutions for your needs.

6. Instead of reading your newspaper on newsprint, which requires a lot of trees for production, try listening to the news on an audible recording or reading it on the Internet. Most stories in the daily news can be had this way and don’t use any trees to make. Two of the best newspapers to offer audible recordings of daily news are The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. (And, if you’re wondering why trees are so important: Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. We breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants, such as trees, intake carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.)

7. When choosing how to diaper your baby, consider the use of cloth diapers. These are washable and reusable, made from natural fibers, and are better for your baby’s skin. By choosing a more natural method, our dumps can see a dramatic decrease in use as the average baby will need almost 3,000 diaper changes in the first two years of life. That’s a lot of waste not going into landfills.

8. Reuse plastic bottles! Instead of buying a cleaner in a plastic spray bottle every time you need a new supply of the cleaner, purchase a concentrated refill that can be mixed with water in the original bottle from the first purchase. The amount of waste is greatly reduced and the spray bottle doesn’t find its way into a landfill.

9. If you purchase milk in a plastic jug, it doesn’t have to be thrown away when the milk is gone. These make great banks for loose change and planters. I love to let the kids decorate the jugs with other items that would normally end up in the trash such as colorful wrappers from cookies and chips. They love the unique banks they make and it helps the planet. The plants serve to help clean up the air in my home and it doesn’t cost me much to reuse what I already have.

10. Clothes also litter the landfills. Consider donating the gently worn items to Good Will or another charity in your area. For those items not so gently worn, consider making them into something else. Old socks make great puppets and cleaning cloths. Old jeans work well as oil rags for working on your car or in the garage. Also, if there is a quilting guild or sewing group in your area, see if they would be interested in clothing not suitable for donation. Many times, these groups will use them as scraps and create beautiful products from what you believed worthless.

There are many other ways to help save our planet and to conserve the natural resources we’ve come to take for granted. Don’t be afraid to try them out. Not only will the amount of trash and pollution decrease, but you may find some enjoyment from creating and being inventive.

Just think what a truly wonderful world we would live in if everyone did their part to conserve the beauty all around us.

Returning to Nature

Back when time began, no one knew about chemicals. If the earth didn’t produce it, it didn’t exist. Medicines were fresh and dried plants and cleaning consisted of using a plant named soaproot very occasionally in the river or whatever other water source was available. Natural means of elimination were used and areas set aside just for that use on the land.

As time went on, the human race got a little better at understanding the environment and began to work their surroundings in a way that proved beneficial. This process continued to evolve into what we do today. The problem arose with the inability to stop changing what didn’t need to be changed in our efforts to have every luxury the land could provide.

Horses became a mode of transportation and were used exclusively for many years. Then, someone figured out how to make a bicycle and a car. Horses simply couldn’t go fast enough for us anymore. With the introduction of the car came the first real explosion of pollution in the air. Factories had been the main culprit of this before we started driving.

In our homes, simple soaps and water were abandoned. We began to play around with mimicking nature and to create our own line of cleaning supplies. No one thought to check out the safety of the ingredients we were using. Some of the compounds we crafted were harsh and carcinogenic. We didn’t care, or so we thought.

As advancements were made in this area of human development, animals started disappearing. Plant life once so common vanished almost overnight. We taxed Mother Nature and she suffered the injuries as best she could.

Once it we realized the gravity of our act upon the laws of nature, we began to look seriously into the why of the whole mess. That’s where we are today. Searching for answers to reverse what we have done. And, in so doing, the cry of Jesus becomes more powerful : “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”.

We are coming of age as a species. We are beginning to know exactly what we’ve done and realizing that we are accountable for our actions. Where we go from here is up to us. It is my belief that we should show remorse for the destruction of our natural resources and the scars we’ve emblazoned on the earth by restoring our environment to its former glory.

It isn’t that hard to do, but it does require some sacrifice on our parts. Using environmentally friendly compounds such as good old soap and water, plant cleaners that don’t harm us or the creatures we share existence with everyday. By giving our comforts up and applying a bit of elbow grease and merging that with technologies turn toward reversing the effects we have wrought upon ourselves, we can create a clean planet and a vibrantly healthy planet at the same time. Chemicals. They’re everywhere: in the air we breath, the food we eat, and the products we clean with. As a consequence, diseases such as COPD, asthma, cancer, and allergies are rampant in our society. Pollution is at such a high that no one blinks an eye anymore when it’s mentioned. And, we are the cause of the world we have so carefully created in the name of progress.

Looking back, it’s easy to see how we’ve done the deed. It simply isn’t so apparent how to get back from whence we came. We’ve become so adept at using the latest and greatest in technology for every day tasks that there is a fear of returning to a simpler time. Comfort has become more important than the cost to attain it.

You can help do your part on the journey to a healthier universe by purchasing environmentally friendly cleaning products from EZVacuum.

Cleaning Green

If you’re thinking about going green with your cleaning, you may think about making some cleaners of your own. Many of the home-made cleaners work just as well as the top selling brands and costs just pennies to create. However, don’t make the assumption that just because you made it, the cleaner is completely safe. The creation of cleaning supplies, even natural ones, can still be poisonous if ingested.

The advantages of making your own cleaners comes in knowing what goes into them. Most commercial cleaners have a myriad of chemical compounds. Many of those compounds haven’t been fully tested and those that have been are known to cause allergies, cancers, and other forms of disease. While making the cleaning compounds yourself will not result in 100% safe cleaners, the ingredients used are much safer than those in commercial cleaners.

A basic set of supplies can also save you a bundle of money. Many of the things used to create cleaners are staples and already at hand. Cutting the cost of cleaners down to a few pennies also lets you have more money to spend on items you really want or need. In today’s economy, that’s important.

Here’s a basic list of ingredients for making your own cleaners and where you can find them. Recipes for the cleaners will follow.

baking soda—grocery store

club soda—grocery store

Salt—grocery store

lemon juice—grocery store

vinegar—grocery store

ammonia—grocery store

Once you’re stocked up on ingredients, you’ll only need to add water to the mix to get to cleaning green. None of these ingredients harm the environment when used in the measurements in the recipes and don’t pollute the water that is refined for consumption.

Window Cleaner:

½ cup white vinegar

1 gallon warm water

This simple window cleaner will leave your glass sparkling. It’s also safe enough to drink, so there’s no worry with the kids or the pets. The only two disadvantages are the vinegar smell and the harshness to your hands when your hands are exposed to the solution for longer periods. You can avoid this by wearing gloves when using it. For the smell, well, that goes away pretty fast, too.

In terms of cost, this will only set you back about 7 cents per gallon, leaving plenty of dough for a shopping trip.

Coffee Pot Cleaner

1 tablespoon salt

1tablespoon lemon juice

Ice

Place the salt and the lemon juice in the coffee pot and fill about half way with ice (crushed is best) Shake around and watch as your pot becomes like new again. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly to ensure your next pot of coffee doesn’t have a hint of lemon in its flavor.

The cost for this little gem is less than a nickle.

All Purpose Cleaner

¼ cup baking soda

1 cup household ammonia

½ cup white vinegar

1 gallon water

This cleaner covers tile and linoleum floors, appliances, counter tops and more. However, use caution with this mixture as it isn’t safe to drink. Make sure you store it in a tightly lidded container and away from children and pets. It also has a cost of about 40 cents per gallon.

To get stains out of carpets and other fabrics, put some club soda on it and rub gently. The stain will be removed. Just keep in mind that this is for fresh stains and not for set in stains.

If you have silver to clean or jewelry, a good scrubbing with toothpaste will make silver shine.

Also keep in mind that many companies are now endorsing and creating green cleaners that cover everything from disinfecting to eliminating household smells. For some of the greenest cleaners available commercially and the most effective, check out the cleaners at EZVacuum.com, where the planet’s cleaning needs are a top priority.