Please excuse the under renovations !

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Green At A Young Age

My green roots began back in the early '90s with a group called Kids F.A.C.E.  It was an environmental awareness and activist group for children and was sponsored by Walmart Stores.  I had my own club, complete with local chapter meetings and sponsored clean up events.  I have fond memories of spending hours cleaning up local neighborhoods and trying to educate others on the importance of taking care of our Earth. 

It was a nice start for me.  I don't remember the exact years that I was involved in this club, but the lessons I learned through it have stuck with me my entire life. 

Today environmentalism is dubbed being green.  Back in my early days, I was dubbed a tree hugger. *chuckles*  There are actually a couple pictures floating around out there of me hugging trees.  Even before my Kids FACE days I always felt a closeness to the Earth.  Maybe it's my Cherokee background or maybe it's because my family always honored the land we were using at the time, with either case I feel like I am supposed to take care of God's wonderful creation.

A few years ago I began really thinking about how I ran my household and what impact that made on the Earth.  I started looking at the chemicals I was using to clean my house, the amount of disposable containers I used and the amount of paper we wasted. 

The first step toward green living came with changing the cleaning products I used.  I'd like focus on that topic for this particular post.  I keep a vinegar and water spray bottle on the back of my sink at all times.  We use this cleaner as a sanitizer in the kitchen, to clean the bathtubs and sinks in the bathroom, and a nice window and glass cleaner all over the house.  We own a bird and the vinegar solution is also safe enough to use around her cage.  There's a world of uses for vinegar and I encourage you to do your own research to find some uses for your own home. 

We use a natural laundry detergent that is free of dyes, phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, naphthalene, phenol, sodium nitilotriacetate along with numerous other chemicals. Not only are our clothes cleaner, but they are also much safer for our skin.  We don't have to worry about rashes caused from leftover chemicals in our clothes, plus we aren't wondering what we're flushing into the sewer system.  I fill my Downy ball with pure vinegar.  It does a wonderful job of softening, whitening, and preserving the color of our clothes.  We don't use bleach at all.

All our mopping is done with hot water and pure vinegar.  You'd be amazed at how shiny and clean your vinyl and hardwood floors can be with such an inexpensive cleaner. 

Baking soda is used for tough stains (as a paste) and for deodorizer (just sprinkled or in the box). 

We've also reduce chlorofluorocarbons by no longer buying aerosol or propellant cans of any kind.  We also do regular maintenance on our air conditioning units to make sure we aren't leaking freon into our home or air outside.  (This is about to go off topic.  So I'll continue this discussion in another post.)

There are a few other natural cleaning products and options we'd like to incorporate, but for now we are pleased with our progress so far.  The environmental benefits are great, but the fringe benefits are even better in most cases.  The air quality inside our home is dramatically better which has almost eliminated any asthma problems I previously had.  We are also overall more healthy now than when we used those chemical based cleaners. 

Green to be continued.....



Nicole said...

I miss being able to control the chemicals used in the home. I've got a few "it clean unless it smells chemically" people here.

Korey said...

This post makes me happy :)

What do you use as a detergent for clothes? Just curious.

Melody said...

Korey, right now I'm using Purex Naturals. It has a pleasant scent and is still free of the the chemicals I don't like.

Anonymous said...

Great post. There's lots of good ideas in here. Thanks for sharing :)

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