Thursday, August 26, 2010

Going Green and Saving Green

Since Melana has come along I've been very conscious of all the chemicals we use in and around the house. The week before last we started getting ants again. Well, instead of running right for the bug spray, I insisted that Darian wait until we were leaving for the weekend and to do it right before we left the house with windows cracked. Who knows if it saved us any unwanted chemical exposure, but at least it made me feel better. Now I'm not going to rant and rave about the harmful ingredients of cleaning solutions or household cleaners and I'm not going to get on a soapbox about how they are bad for the environment, because frankly I don't have the time or the facts. I am, however going to share my new plan for keeping our house a little safer from harmful chemicals and saving a little money along the way.
I've been reading up on recipes for making my own cleaners and have found quite a few ideas. It actually seems to come down to a few household products.

Baking soda, water and vinegar seem to be the mainstays in every recipe I've found. Other ingredients recommended are Borax, liquid castile soap such as Dr. Bronners, lemon juice, amonia and rubbing alcohol. One tip I found is using microfiber cloths for dusting and cleaning. I already use Swifter cloths to dust followed by dusting spray on a cloth. I'm going to try to find some microfiber cloths online or keep using my new favorite cleaning tool, the plain white cloth diaper/burp cloths. LOVE them. I'm pretty sure I'll be using these babies well after we have any burpable kids in this house. I found a tip that says to use 1 TBS liquid fabric softner diluted in water as a dusting solution that is even safe for the TV and doesn't leave streaks. I'm excited to use this idea and since I am expecting a houseful of guests for our Bible study group tonight, I will get to find out if it works. I'll let you know.
Here are a couple of websites I've used to do my research and get ideas.

Another thing I'm trying to do around here is continue to get organized. This is a feat I've been undertaking since we moved in and continue to improve on especially since sweet baby girl has arrived. I love my home and have worked endlessly to make it a stylish, homey retreat. While it is still a work in progress (as we continue to paint etc), I am very conscious to keep this a place where people of all ages are welcome to come in, relax and refresh and not a place that looks like it's been taken over by the baby. :) I don't want my living room looking like a day care center. And while the swing has it's own little corner in the living room and the bouncy seat has found a place in the dining room, the rest of baby's things are tucked away in cute little baskets until they are needed. Can I just say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the $1 aisle in Target?! I have found cute little colored baskets there for Melana's closet and for her little toys and blankets. I even am using one as a bath caddy on the counter as we are still using the kitchen sink to place her bathtub for bath time.

So that's a few of the projects I'm working on right now. Next on my list: I want to print up all my household cleaning recipes and tip along with my food recipes and place them in binders after they are laminated. Yes, I really am this anal retentive, uh, organized.

Anyone else have any helpful household hints to share? Please leave a comment.

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