1. Clean without toxic chemicals
Most conventional cleaning products you purchase at the supermarket are full of very toxic chemicals that are not only bad for the environment when they get caught up in our waterways, but they are also extremely toxic to humans.
There are so many natural ways to clean every part of your house without having to resort to using these toxic products. This will allow you to use cleaner and greener cleaning methods that will not harm you, your pets, your children or the earth:
- Buy natural cleaning products from your local health food store - these are made without any petrochemicals, without harmful preservatives and other artificial additives (which are known irritants, especially for people with allergies, asthma and other respiratory disorders)
Buy only the natural cleaning product that have a guarantee of being toxic chemical-free, not just biodegradable, as they they are not as good. These products will not only clean all the different areas of your home, but will leave it feeling fresh and clean, without the strong smells of ammonia or bleach or other strong aromas that are added to conventional cleaning products to mask the strong chemicals used.
The natural cleaning products are better for you because they generally do not have the same abrasive effect on you or your home. Natural products, while they do an excellent job, because they do not use any harmful chemicals, are much gentler on you and the environment.
- To clean stainless steel pots and pans, use a little bit of bicarbonate of soda (purchased in the cooking section of supermarkets), add a little bit of vinegar and scrub. Use a little more bicarbonate of soda if the pot/pan is really hard to clean.
The same method is good for cleaning the kitchen sink, if it is made from stainless steel. If it is made from a plastic, then just use the bicarbonate of soda only, as the vinegar may be too abrasive - use a softer cleaning scourer.
This very simple, but effective method for cleaning, is going to make your stainless steel pots and pans looking like brand new.
- Bathtubs and bathroom sinks do really well with the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar cleaning method.
Simply sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda into your bathtub or sink, all around the bottom and sides (make sure it is a little wet so that the bicarbonate sticks to it) and then start scrubbing.
Once you have scrubbed it from top to bottom and the sides, simply add some vinegar and start scrubbing again.
Rinse out with water from the taps.
Make sure you have the doors open when you are cleaning, especially if you have been using toxic cleaners before, to get rid of any chemical odours from the previous cleaning. Also turn the fan on or have the window open too if that is the case.
- You can deodorise carpet so simply with bicarbonate of soda. Most carpet cleaning products actually have a lot of bicarbonate of soda (it is the main ingredient in these products, but they also add other unnecessary and toxic chemicals too).
Simply sprinkle a little bit of bicarbonate of soda onto your carpet (do one room at a time as it is easier), enough to cover the floor, but a very light dusting.
Leave it for about 2-3 hours.
Then vacuum up all the bicarbonate of soda from the carpet. The effect of this is two-fold: 1) You will deodorise the carpet from any smells that may be there and 2) you also clean the carpet at the same time.
- To make a nice smelling room deodoriser:
Simply add 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of vinegar and 8 drops of lavender essential oil (or any other oil that you like) to an empty spray bottle.
Shake it up to mix the ingredients in really well. Then spray your room when you want to make it smell nice.
You can try a combination of different essential oils to suit your taste. This is a simple, cheap and non-toxic room spray.
You can even spray this deodoriser into the carpet, wait a few hours for it to dry, then use the carpet.
2. Rework your toilet
These days, most toilets are fitted with a dual flush capability, so most toilets are now more environmentally friendly and can use less energy (and water). There are though, some things you can do to ensure your toilet saves even more water (and energy):
- Fix any leaks in your toilet - doing this can literally save hundreds of litres of water a year
- Choose a new toilet that has a high water conservation rating - this is the new rating for toilets which means that the higher the rating, the more water the toilet flush saves
- Always buy recycled toilet paper to use in the toilet
3. Walk more
There are many ways you can save your petrol and engage in some extra physical activity, just through simple ways:
- Use public transport as much as you can - this saves money, petrol and energy
- Walk to a further bus stop (or train/tram station) that you normally get, this is an excellent way to get some residual exercise in your day and also a good way to save money from shortening your trip
- Walk to the local shops when you need some simple groceries
- Try to form a car pool with other people you work with - this will save you all money, reduce the amount of petrol fumes (pollution) and will help the planet - the more people in the car, the more the planet (and your pocket) will thank you
- Try to ride a bike to work if you can - this is a free form of transport which also gives you a great workout
- If you can walk to work, then do so - what an excellent way to engage in some physical activity and save money