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Pure's Green Living Tips
The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options-and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from vinegartips.com and frugalfun.com, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:
1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
6. Bust oven grease: If you've got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight-it should slide right off by morning.
15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you've squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has
stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few
minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.
Did you ever stop to think how your workout could have an impact on the environment? Well, it can. Thankfully there are several ways we can lessen our eco-impact, while keeping our workout routine intact.
1. Bring a reusable bottle - Break your disposable bottle water habit and switch to a reusable water bottle. Breaking the plastic disposable bottled water habit reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that come from manufacturing plastic bottles. By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.
2. Use the great outdoors - There’s nothing greener than the great outdoors! There are so many opportunities: running, walking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing and more! The best news- the great outdoors is almost always available. What a great way to explore a new city or country.
3. Walk or bike to the gym - Set aside a few extra minutes each day and walk or bike to the gym. You’ll be getting extra exercise, lowering your fuel expenses and cutting down on the amount of emissions released from driving your car. Why not commit to walking or biking whenever you can?
4. Bring your own towel - If you belong to one of those gyms that has a towel service, think twice next time you reach for those warm, white towels. Many times the towels are washed in harsh detergents, bleaches, and disinfectants. Bring your own towel and you will be saving water and protecting yourself from potential toxins.
5. Recycle your shoes - Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling, transforming them into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces as well as select Nike products. They accept all brands of worn-out athletic shoes – ones that would otherwise go to a landfill – and turn them into something new, like tracks and playgrounds. You can either drop off your shoes or mail them into a facility.
Lemons - the versatile fruit
Lemons - a fruit with a wonderful fragrance, great in food and beverages, but also very handy for multiple purposes around the home!
Lemons have been cultivated by humans for over a thousand years. The fruit is mentioned in tenth century Arabic literature, but was probably first grown in Assam, India.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes. Lemons and/or lemon juice are a popular addition in environmentally friendly cleaning applications.
Selecting and storing lemons
The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.
To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.
There's so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here's a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.
1. Ant deterrent - Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.
2. Air freshener - An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.
3. All purpose cleaner - Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first). A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.
4. Microwave - Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors will be neutralized.
5. Fridge - Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.
6. Chrome/copper/brass - Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.
7. Toilet - Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!
8. Lime scale - Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.
9. Laundry - For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine's rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry. A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.
10. Dishes - A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power
11. Drains - Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems. If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it's working in order to keep it smelling fresh.
12. Chopping boards - Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.
13. Glass and mirrors - 4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.
14. Degreaser - Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser.
15. Furniture - 2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!
16. Hair - To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 80's! I've read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.
17. Cuts, stings and itches - A small amount of lemon juice dripped onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.
18. Hands - The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap - rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.
Isn't it incredible how we have so many environmentally harsh cleaning chemicals in our homes when nature already offers most of what we need! Have some helpful hints for using lemons in and around the home? Please add them as a comment below!
Controlling bugs in your home does not mean you have to reach for a can of chemicals. Some of which can be toxic. The alternative is using natural products you already have in your kitchen.
Ants hate vinegar. Spray full strength distilled white vinegar along windows, doors, and crevices in your countertops. In the kitchen, a small dish of white vinegar with a drop of dish soap will also get rid of fruit flies.
If you have a cockroach problem, you can make your own killer mixture. Combine equal amounts of borax and sugar and apply it where you’ve seen roaches. Just be sure to keep the mixture AWAY from pets and children.
Moths can destroy your favorite sweater. Moth balls are poisonous and they look like candy to your kids and pets so steer clear of these. The aroma of cedar, lavender or mint will keep moths away.
When you choose natural pest solutions you are doing your part to keep harmful chemicals out of your home and the environment. And you’re reducing waste and saving money too.
1. Adopt from a shelter. Some pet breeders have only one goal--to raise large quantities of purebred animals for profit. They've also been pilloried for misdeeds such as overbreeding, inbreeding, poor veterinary oversight, lousy food and living conditions, overcrowding, and culling of unwanted animals. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Love knows no pedigree. Check out Petfinder.com to find your perfect match.
2. Spay or neuter your pet. Did we mention 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States? That's 15 puppies and 45 kittens for every hairless biped that slides out of a birth canal. And "multiplying like bunnies" isn't just any old trope. We don't need any more homeless animals than we already have. As a bonus, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease.
3. Rein in your pets; protect native wildlife. Always keep your dog on a leash when outside, and confine your mangy feline indoors. Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. While you may poo-poo high cat-related bird-mortality rates as collateral damage in the great Circle of Life, domestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in tip-top fighting shape. They're also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers than say, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike.
That aside, two out of every three vets, according to the Humane Society of America, recommend keeping cats indoors, because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. The estimated average life span of a free-roaming cat is less than three years; an indoors-only cat gets to live an average of 15 to 18 years. If kitty needs to heed the call of the wild, an outdoor cat enclosure is a good compromise.
4. Swap out the junk food. Most conventional pet-food brands you find at the supermarket consist of reconstituted animal by-products, otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries--you know, inedibles you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot fork. In fact, the animals used to make many pet foods are classified as "4-D," which is really a polite way of saying "Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)" when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless that can of Chicken 'N Liver Delite explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption--but apparently good enough for your cat or pooch.
Now, since nutrition is one of the key determinants of health and resistance to disease, ideally you'll want your pet's chow to be comparable in quality with what we would eat.
Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients.
5. Clean up their poop. Scoop up your doggie doo in biodegradable poop bags so your buddy's No. 2 isn't immortalized in a plastic bag, while deep-sixed in a landfill somewhere for hundreds of years. Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter at all costs. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay sediment is also permeated with carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement--it's also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material--it can swell up to15 to18 times their dry size and clog up your cat's insides. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid these problems; a happy cat is a cat that doesn't claw your face off.
6. Give them sustainable goods. Your furry friends can get in on some saving-the-planet goodness, too--and have plenty of fun--with toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (sans herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. A hemp collar (with matching leash) is a rocking accessory for a tree-hugging mutt. These days, you can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles.
7. Use natural pet-care and cleaning products. You don't use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos and beauty products, so lather up your cats and dogs (or ferrets, rabbits, or hamsters--we don't judge) with natural pet-care products, as well. And if your cat horks up a hairball, or Fifi doesn't make it all the way to the bathroom, clean up the mess with cleaning products that are as gentle on the planet as they are on your critters' delicate senses.
8. Pets, not fads. Sure, everyone's ovaries ping when they see a five-year-old moppet cradle a tiny chick or a bunny during Easter, but nature dictates that baby bunnies grow up into rabbits, and little chicks into full-size chickens. Unless everyone involved understands that a pet is a long-term commitment that involves demands on both their time and money, you're better off giving the kid a stuffed animal. Impulse buying (say, rushing out an grabbing the next available Dalmatian puppy after watching 101 Dalmatians) isn't a good idea, either, as the large numbers of fad dogs that pass through shelters (often to their death) can attest. Repeat after us--especially you, Paris Hilton: Pets are not fads or fashion accessories.
9. Melt the ice, nicely. Use a child- and pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw's environmentally friendly Ice Melter. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products, which kids and animals might accidentally ingest, can cause health problems, while contaminating wells and drinking supplies.
10. Tag your pet. It might be a stretch to call inserting an electronic ID chip into your pet an eco-friendly move, but losing your buddy causes extreme emotional distress that turns you into nobody's friend. Then there's the paper waste from printing out Missing posters, the fuel cost of driving around your neighborhood trying to find them, the phone bill as you bawl your eyes out to everyone you know ... well, you get the idea. Ask your vet for more info. For hanging tags, check out these recyclable (and recycled) aluminum ID tags and these WaggTaggs made from recycled silver.
11. Compost their poop. American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it's going, according to Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world's leading authorities on waste reduction and composting.
Most of our pets' poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it's embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches. You can compost the poop--just don't use it with your vegetable garden, because the compost doesn't heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli., which could contaminate your homegrown produce and land up in your (very unhappy) belly.If you have room in your backyard, you can bury an old garbage bin (note: far away from your vegetable garden) to use as a pet-waste composter. Or check out the Doggie Dooley. The makers of the Doggy Dooley also sell an enzymatic "Super Digester Concentrate" for your backyard pet septic system.
12. Be a pet chef. If you want to know exactly what is going into your furball's food dish, or your pet suffers from allergies, you can always make your own puppy (or kitty) chow. If the idea of becoming a fulltime pet chef is just crazy talk, making the occasional meal or treat is completely doable. Those broccoli stalks left over from your last stirfry also make some tasty morsels for your pup.
13. Get crafty. Your cat will love you forever if you grow your own organic catnip or cat grass. Scrap yarn and fabric you might otherwise toss can also easily be transformed into pet toys with some basic crafty know-how. And they wouldn't have had to be trucked thousands of miles just to get drooled on.
14. Get ticks off. While you don't want to douse your pet in toxins, it is also important to keep the bugs in check. Pets can carry ticks, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease, a serious and poorly understood disease that attacks the nervous system. If you live in an area where Lyme Disease is a risk, be very cautious and seek sound advice on keeping ticks off you and your furry friends.
15. Offset your pet. Maybe Scruffy will only drink water from an electric-powered water fountain, or perhaps you have a self-cleaning litter box from before you went green--we all have corpses buried in our backyards. Why not purchase green tags, otherwise known as renewable energy credits, to offset your pets' carbon emissions. Heck, buy 'em for the whole family so no one feels left out. Or better yet, check if your state sells green power so you and your furry compatriots can go carbon neutral.
PURE HyperClean is not your typical cleaning company. Our chemical free cleaning services provide the safest environment for your home and work place. Our cleaning products and services clean better than chemical based cleaning which can leave harmful toxins in your environment.