Information & inspiration

Green Solutions

AT HOME

Create your own environmentally friendly cleaning products from items like baking soda, salt, white vinegar, lemon juice and borax. Here are some recipes to get you started:

Glass and Mildew Cleaner
Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray on glass or mildew to clean (if glass, wipe clean with newspaper). An alternate version if you are sensitive to the smell of vinegar is: mix 1 quart warm water with 1/4 cup white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

All Purpose Cleaner
Mix together 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon borax and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Put in a spray bottle and use on counters, floors, walls, carpets, upholstery, etc.

Linoleum and Tile Floor Cleaner
Mix 1 gallon hot or warm water with 1/2 cup vinegar.

Drain Opener
Dissolve 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup white vinegar in boiling water and pour down the drain. Continue to flush with hot tap water until the clog breaks. Flush drain with boiling water weekly to avoid buildup.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Put 1/4 cup borax in toilet bowl and let set overnight, scrub the next day. Or scrub with a solution of 1/2 cup borax and 1 gallon water.

... more tips

Carefully box up all commercial cleansers you have in your cupboard, while making sure the lids are tight, and find your local hazardous waste removal site at: http://search.earth911.com/

Compost your food scraps!There are many already built compost bins available online and in nurseries and home improvement stores, but it’s also easy to build a compost bin using stuff you might have around your backyard. Check out these videos from Treehugger.com for ideas!

Select durable tools such as cotton cloths, rather than paper towels or disposable wipes and mops.

Grow your own food organically. The average produce item travels 1,500 miles from the farm to your plate. But eating homegrown food requires just a few steps out the back door! By growing your own food you will also know where and how your food was grown and that it is healthy and free of chemicals and GMOs.

Reduce your paper use at home by using a whiteboard or chalkboard to write notes to family or roommates.

Have limited space to grow greens? All herbs need is a sunny windowsill — and they make everything taste better. If you have a balcony or small patio, try Tower Gro Pots to grow veggies in little spaces: http://www.ufhydroponics.com/Tower-Gro-Pots.item


AT WORK

Purchase “green” products such as recycled paper and remanufactured toner cartridges. Purchase reusable products instead of disposable ones.

Always recycle all of your paper, or better yet, reuse the back of your paper as scrap paper. Reuse preprinted copies in the printer or copier for work drafts. Reuse in the fax machine for printing faxes. Collect one-sided copies to make note pads.

Turn off computers, lights and other equipment at night and when not in use. Use timers for lights and equipment. Try to maximize use of natural light whenever possible. Install occupancy sensors that turn off the lights when no one is in the room.

Reuse shipping boxes, envelopes, bags and mailers. Reuse the cardboard boxes your printer paper comes in as recycle bins under your desks and readily available near copiers, fax machines, mailboxes, and anywhere else that paper waste is generated. Reuse the envelopes, mailing packages and bag for other mailing purposes.

If you don’t have a recycling program at work, start one! Do your best to waste less, use greener products, and increase co-worker’s awareness of the impacts that individual behaviors have on conservation.

Buy chlorine-free, high-recycled content printing, writing paper and tissue products. Use paper with post consumer content.

Donate old office equipment and office supplies that can still be used, but are no longer needed, to your local reuse facility where teachers and not-for-profit organizations can put them to good use. Donate bigger items such as office furniture to charities or second-hand stores.


ON THE GO

When traveling across the country or just across town, bring your own conscious kit! This could contain cloth bags, a mug, a water bottle, utensils, cloth napkin and a to-go container. Be creative! You probably already have many of these things in your home and can make it yourself, but if you are missing some things here are a couple great sites to find the perfect fit

Want a water bottle that won’t leak chemicals into your drink? Julia wanted that too! While speaking at an event she asked someone to create the first stainless steel water bottles. A man in the crowd took the call to heart and launched Kleen Kanteen!  http://www.kleankanteen.com/

Prefer glass bottles? Check this site for glass water bottles with silicon rubber protection:  http://www.lifefactory.com/

Check out this site for some sweet to-go utensils:  http://www.to-goware.com/

For really great container options visit: www.supplementwarehouse.com

These coffee/tea mugs won’t leak, keep hot or cold for hours and are very good quality:  http://www.shopthermos.com/