6 Safe Green Ways to Care for Your Home Inside and Out
Cleaning supplies and pest-control solutions are often harmful to the environment, pets and your family. Rather than polluting your home and the environment, you can choose cleaners without toxic chemicals. These safer alternative cleaners and green cleaning tips will help you fight pests, clean your home and protect the environment.
Plant Pest-Deterrent Greenery
There are plenty of nontoxic products made to keep pests away from your home and garden. The safest solution to removing pests and keeping them away is to use plants. For example, mice don't like mint, so plant mint or place pots of the fragrant herb near places mice could enter your home. Other pests, such as spiders, avoid citronella, so you can do the same inside and out to keep the creepy crawlers away. If deer invade your garden, you can keep them away by planting marigolds, foxgloves or fountain grass. These green pest solutions literally add more green to your world.
Invest in Multi-Use Cleaning Products
Companies like Clean Living, Common Good and Aunt Fannies take eco-friendly cleaning products to the next level. They provide reusable bottles so customers can fill them with their concentrated alternative cleaners. Their environmental goal is to use less plastic and more renewable products that are natural, biodegradable, pH neutral and safe for aquatic life. These companies use cruelty-free ingredients and less packaging to help their customers keep their homes clean without chemicals.
Add Vinegar and Baking Soda to Your Cleaning Routine
Vinegar and baking soda are two of the most useful household cleaning products you can own. Homeowners have used these alternative cleaners for generations because they work just as well as, if not better than, chemical-laden cleaners.
Vinegar is an exceptional bathroom cleaner that removes mold, mildew and scum. A mixture of vinegar and water easily cleans windows and tile grout. A steaming bowl of vinegar and water in the microwave loosens all the stuck-on gunk.
The gentle abrasive quality of baking soda makes it a useful tool for scrubbing pots, pans and dirty stovetops. It's also an effective mold remover. If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, add a cup to get your clothes cleaner. Baking soda also absorbs odors, so sprinkle some in your trash cans and add an open box to your refrigerator (just remember to replace it monthly.
Repurpose Common Items as Cleaning Tools
Rather than buying disposable cleaning supplies that add more trash to landfills, consider reusing common household items. For example, after you've used your toothbrush for three or four months to clean your teeth, use it as a scrubbing tool for cleaning your home.
The same goes for old socks, which you can put on your hand to dust and clean. Throw them in the wash and use them repeatedly.
Your used coffee grounds have several purposes, so consider saving them in old glass jars rather than throwing them out. Old grounds effectively and gently scrub away grime from your sink, bathtub or tile. They are also a multipurpose green pest solution that enriches your soil. The acidic quality damages insect exoskeletons so ants, fleas and other garden pests stay away.
Stop Using Paper Towels
People in the United States throw away billions of pounds of paper towels annually. Sadly, many paper towels cannot be recycled because of the bleach and other harmful substances used during manufacturing. Consider how much money you'll save by turning to alternatives like reusable cloth products. Rather than buying new cloth towels for cleaning up, tear up old sheets or use old T-shirts instead. When they get dirty, put them in the washing machine. By reusing your old items and stopping your reliance on paper towels, you help reduce the amount of trash in our landfills.
Choose Green Pest Control Solutions
Plants and essential oils like peppermint and citronella work wonders, but not everyone has a green thumb. Fortunately, alternative green pest solutions exist. If you have snails and slugs in your garden, draw them out with a ceramic garden snail. Pour some beer into the bottom tray to attract slugs and snails. After they get stuck in the beer, empty the ceramic snail. It's that easy.
Flea prevention is a concern for families with pests. Fortunately, pet parents can turn to green solutions to protect their fur babies from harmful pets. Rather than using flea bombs or other toxic chemicals, turn to safe products like calcium carbonate and boric acid. You can spread these pet-safe and people-friendly products around the inside and outside of your home. The products dry out the fleas in all life stages, killing them without harming the environment or your family. Just be sure you do your research so you don't over-apply these products or use them in a way that endangers you or your pet.