Living green on a budget; is it feasible to live green and save you money? It always help to have some helpful tips and hints so you know what to look for. With the state of our economical crisis we all could look for ways to save money. So can you live and green and lean!
Yes, you can!
Why Should You?
Conventional cleansers can expose us to multiple chemicals linked to asthma, cancer and other documented health problems.
Many cleaning and personal care products contain environmental pollutants that we wash down our drains and into our water systems.
One of these is the chemical triclosan which is a pesticide added to many products as an antibacterial agent. This hazardous antibacterial is now an ingredient in many household and personal care products such as soaps, cleaners, cosmetics, clothing, and even children’s toys. Consumers are lead to believe that triclosan can protect them from harmful bacteria. This dangerous chemical in household products is no more effective than soap and water and may be doing more harm than good.
But there are many more toxins such as synthetic fragrances that cause respiratory, asthma, allergic reactions, and have been linked to many other health problems.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Some clothing and food that are advertised as organic or safe have more labor involved, may support important fair trade practices and can be made using more expensive materials and you have to decide if the high price tag is warranted or just a gimmick. Don’t be swayed by fancy labels especially on cosmetic, clothing, and some household items.
- Always read labels very carefully whether it is clothing, food, or household items. Products that are dangerous to your health are not advertised as such, so you need to become a smart shopper and label reader. Green products are simply those that don’t contain ingredients that are harmful to your health and have dangerous fumes. They are good for the environment and for you.
- Here is a helpful warning list of products to avoid for Environmental Working Group Hall of Shame EWG http://www.ewg.org/cleaners/hallofshame/
- A good rule is to read the warning labels – if the products warns you against breathing the fumes or you need to take special precautions for disposing of the product–it is probably something you need to stay away from.
- All ingredients are not labeled, so another good rule is to never buy scented products or if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you better not buy it. Remember if you’re not sure, don’t buy it!
- If you really need to know the ingredients in your cleaning supplies, check with the manufacturer, many times there is a website listed or a phone number to call. If you still can’t find an ingredient list, try searching for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for your product.
Remember you don’t always have to spend a lot for green products. I will give you some natural alternatives that may be helpful.
1. Many green advocates suggest investing in green household products that can multi-task in your life. There are some basic green and eco-friendly products that can be used to clean almost any area of your house such as the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and any other room, so you don’t have to buy a separate product for each area of your home.
2. There are also some items that you can you probably have right in your cabinet now such as baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, and peroxide.
- Vinegar is an all purpose cleaner that is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. Mix half white vinegar and half water in a spray bottle.
A. It’s great for your toilet bowl stains. and makes your sink shine. It is also wonderful for cleaning dirty windows. The smell disappears as it dries.
B. Remove stubborn stains from furniture upholstery and clothes. Apply white vinegar directly to the stain, then wash as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Lemon juice is a great green alternative that has many uses.
A. Lemon juice is a great deodorizer for your bathroom, kitchen, or any room in the house, dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits.
B. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains.
C. Mix 1 cup olive oil with ½ cup lemon juice and you have a furniture polish for hardwood furniture.
D. I love to use fresh lemon or orange rinds as a natural aromatic air freshener in the winter. Put a pan with water and the lemon rinds on top of your radiator, stove, or anywhere heat is generated and it will give a natural fresh aromatic scent to the air.
E. Lemon juice works really well for cleaning and shining brass or copper. Mix enough lemon with baking soda to form a paste and apply the paste – it will remove the tarnish quickly and easily. (I have tried this myself and I was very pleased with the results).
- Baking soda works well for many household purposes
A. Clean you sinks in your kitchen
B. Neutralize odors in your refrigerator
C. Helps maintain neutral pH in your laundry that helps your detergent clean better. I add about 1-2 cups of baking soda to my eco-friendly laundry detergent if I have purchased a new clothing item. I repeat the step the second time to rid the chemicals from the fabric.
D. I use baking soda as a shampoo – 1 cup hot water, 1 tbsp baking soda, put it in a jar and shake, it cleans my hair without any chemicals and reactions to harsh soaps. Nothing could be less expensive and my hair is clean, healthier and shinier than it ever was.
E. Baking soda will clean your microwave with just a damp sponge, then rinse. No toxic fumes.
F. Clean you oven- sprinkle baking soda on the bottom the your oven, then spray with water to dampen and just let set overnight. While you are sleeping the baking soda is cleaning for you and you just get up the next day, scrub and scoop up the baking soda and dirt with a sponge or small vacuum if you prefer, and rinse. No toxic fumes to breathe.
G. Deodorize with baking soda – I buy the boxes with the pull off sides and set them in every room of my house and after 3 months I then replace them and use the old boxes to put down my drains, garbage disposal, or toilet bowls.
- Peroxide is one of my favorites because it has no smell and it kills germs and bacteria everywhere.
A. Use it as a mouthwash. It kills harmful germs and it will whiten my teeth at the same time.
B Use it on your cutting boards and in your sinks to clean and kill bacteria from food.
C. Sanitize your kitchen surfaces. Use it for kitchen counter and sinks, stove tops, and other appliance such as the front of your dishwasher and refrigerator–with half hydrogen peroxide and half water in a spray bottle.
D. Kill Germs in Your Bathroom – Use the same half hydrogen peroxide and water in spray bottle. Clean you bathroom sink and shines your faucets, use in your bathtub, toilet bowl with baking soda to disinfectant and sanitize.
As you can see there are many ways to go green on a budget, save the environment, prevent health problems from toxic chemicals, especially asthma and allergies. Using green products can help to eliminate or reduce your symptoms and avoid serious attacks and side effects to you and your family. After all aren’t they worth it?
About the Author: Marla Gates is the owner of http://organic4greenlivings.com/. Marla worked for over 10 years in healthcare, which helped her understand the dramatic need for changes in our society and how we view what healthy actually is. Her mission is education and awareness, so that people can make healthier choices and ensure a safe world for all of us to live in, now and for future generations. Since she has suffered from Environment Illness or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) for many years, it has given her the first-hand knowledge on what chemicals and pollution can do to your health. She knows how important it is to clean up our environment. So come join her and read her blog. With her research on various topics, she will give the best information possible. She believes that we can clean up our environment, but it will take time. Rome was not built-in a day nor can we make our world safe in one day! Each one of us needs to do our part to make it safe for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and all future generations. We can only do it one day at a time and one step at a time! Please join her in “Saving Our Planet Earth” “Go Green” & “Organic” to Live A Healthier Life!