Saturday, March 1, 2008

Light Green Living

So lately I've been trying to live my life a little "greener." Not that I'm excessively worried about the planet or anything. I'm actually doing it for some really selfish reasons:
  • We're really trying hard to pay off some of our debt we've accumulated, so any way we can save money, we go for it. Many "green living" ideas save money:
      • We use cheap washcloths and dish towels instead of napkins and paper towels. I just do a whole load of those towels in the washing machine, and then we're stocked up again. No need to continually restock a supply of napkins or paper towels. Plus, they just plain work better - no ripping, better scrub power, etc.
      • One word for you: VINEGAR! It's extremely cheap and can be used to about 9 zillion things around the house. Just a few of the things I've used it for recently are:
    • stainless steel cleaner - sparkly, and no streaks!
    • carpet cleaner - rust, unknown goop, toddler pee
    • shower/tub cleaner - spray down after every use to prevent buildup, instead of cleaning buildup
    • dishwasher drying agent *bonus: cleans dishwasher of buildup
    • fabric softener in washing machine rinse cycle * bonus: cleans washer of buildup
    (If you're worried about the smell, it really does go away once things dry!)

    • Another reason we're goin' green is that so many of the everyday products we use contain nasty, dangerous chemicals. I have an almost-two year old, and the last thing I want is for her to get into those cleaners when I'm looking the other direction. Vinegar is edible! No danger there! I also buy a Seventh Generation brand of dishwasher detergent. The grocery store I shop at carries a whole bunch of Seventh Generation products, although the last time I checked, they hadn't restocked the dishwasher detergent. I hope they do before I need to buy a new one!

    I must confess, I still love my Chlorox disinfecting wipes. It gives me more peace of mind when I'm cooking raw meat and my daughter is around. I guess I'm more "green when convenient" but we're working on it. What are some things you're doing to be "green," even if they're not for all the usual reasons?


Swistle said...

This is SO INTERESTING. I've been taking baby steps in this direction, too, and recently used vinegar to clean something for the firs time ever. I think vinegar smells awful, but it did go away, as you say.

How do you use it as fabric softener? Can it go in a Downy ball, or do you have to put it in during the rinse cycle?

Jillian said...

Vinegar for cleaning??? That's crazy! Thanks for the enlightening post. I'm really excited to test it out!

One time I let my towels sit in the dryer for too long and they got musty. I used the vinegar and it removed the smell. I was pleasantly suprised!

I'm with you... My Clorox wipes are my favorites! I go through so many of those because they give me reassurance that all of the germs are GONE. Does vinegar kill germs?