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Household Green Tips

Keep your household running clean & green with these environmentally friendly tips.

Top Ten  Green Home Tips:
Many of these tips will save you money and the environment at the same time!

1.  Batteries
Buy rechargeable batteries. They can be used for longer periods and will likely be less expensive than disposable batteries in the long run. When using rechargeable batteries, be sure to follow the instructions for proper disposal.
2. Check your thermostats
Turning down your thermostat one degree in the winter, and up a degree in the summer could save you 3% in home energy costs. Turn down your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
3. Change your light bulbs. 
Switch out your conventional bulbs for a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) or an LED lamp.
4.  Reusable bags
With reusable bags you are helping the planet and cutting down on waste. Take your reusable shopping bag instead when you go shopping.
5. Save water.
Take quick showers, repair leaky faucets and turn off the water while you brush your teeth or while shaving.
6. Wash Your Laundry in Cold Water.
An easy way to clean green is to turn the dial on your washing machine to cold. Most loads don’t need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating.
7.  Drink from the tap.
Choosing a reusable bottle and drinking from your tap will save you money and the environment too.  Most municipal tap water tastes good and is actually safer than bottled! www.refillnotlandfill.org
8. Check the labels
When buying products, check the labels to determine an item’s recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials. Buying recycled encourages manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available
9.  Food waste
Reduce food waste by using up the food you already bought and have in the house instead of buying more. You already paid for it – so use it!

10. Go Paperless.
Save natural resources – as well as late fees – by enrolling in online bill-paying options. It eliminates the fossil fuel needed to get all those billing envelopes from them to you and back again. Plus, you’ll save money on stamps.

Bonus: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce by buying and using less. “Precycle” by purchasing products in packaging that can be easily recycled.
Reuse containers and products, repair or pass items on to others who could use them too.
Recycle as much as possible — which includes buying products with recycled content.

Green Cleaning
There is no need to use costly and potentially dangerous chemicals to clean your house because there are a number cleaning products already in your pantry!  And the best part is that they’re natural and non-toxic.

Five basic ingredients serve as the building blocks for many safe home cleaning needs:
1. Baking Soda – Cleans and deodorizes. Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap. Good scouring powder.
2. Borax – Cleans and deodorizes. Excellent disinfectant. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store.
3. Soap – Biodegrades safely and completely and is non-toxic. Available in grocery stores and health food stores. Sold as liquid, flakes, powder or in bars. Bars can be grated to dissolve more easily in hot water. Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors or other additives.
4. Washing Soda – Cuts grease and removes stains. Disinfects. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store or in pure form from chemical supply houses as “sodium carbonate.”
5. White Vinegar or Lemon Juice – Cuts grease and freshens.

General Cleaner Recipes:
Household Cleaner

Mix together:
1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
1 tsp. borax
Squeeze of lemon
1 qt. warm water
OR
¼ c. baking soda
½ c. borax
½ c. vinegar
1 gal. water
For surfaces that need scouring, try moist salt or baking soda and a green scouring pad.

Window Cleaner
Mix together:
2 tsp. vinegar
1 qt. warm water
OR
2 tbsp. borax
3 c. water
Rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.

Disinfectant
Mix together:
¼ c. borax
½ gal. hot water

Ways to Reduce:
Consume and throw away less by:
* Purchasing durable, long-lasting goods.
* Seeking products that have less packaging and are healthy, safe and environmentally friendly.
* Making small but impactful changes like replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and using reusable shopping bags instead of choosing “paper or plastic”. (www.chicobag.com)
* Ask to be removed from junk mail lists. (www.greendimes.com)
* Buying in bulk.  More is less.  Avoid single-serving containers when possible.

Ways to Reuse:
* Using durable coffee/travel mugs instead of Styrofoam
* Using cloth napkins or towels.
* Using refillable water bottles
* Donating old magazines or surplus equipment.
* Reusing boxes.
* Turning empty jars into containers for leftover food or to organize small items
* Purchasing refillable pens and pencils.
* Participating in a paint collection and reuse program.
* Donating items to charitable organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.
* Have a garage/yard sale or resale items online at places like eBay.com or Craigslist.  Shop these places for items you need as well!

Benefits of Recycling
* Conserves resources for our children’s future.
* Prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants.
* Saves energy.
* Supplies valuable raw materials to industry.
* Creates jobs.
* Stimulates the development of greener technologies.
* Reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators.

Don’t throw away anything that can be recycled!