With all the emerging news about our environment and how it affects us have you ever thought about going green or even really know what that really means? Going green means to limit your imprint on the environment and cleaning up your daily life by reducing your use of non-natural substances and recycling.
This can be a great addition to your home which will save you money and help you live a healthier life and not to mention help the environment. Here are some simple things you can do to “go green.” They are small things that make a big difference while making you feel a whole lot better about the world around you, your space, your home.
- Make sure the grass you grow is suitable for your area. This will cut down on upkeep and make it easier to maintain.
- Keep grass length slightly long (2.5 to 3.5 inches). This will ensure that roots are shaded; soil stays moist, and will reduce surface aeration.
- Water in early morning and wait until your lawn is dry to water again. This obviously saves water and your water bill and it also actually makes your lawn stronger with deeper roots.
- Invest in a push mower, you will get a more even mow and of course-no gas to deal with!
- Do not bag your grass clippings. This is actually a great fertilizer for your lawn also providing soil coverage, and no hassle disposing of those pesky clippings!
- This is something you may have not heard of: use corn gluten as a natural weed killer. It kills weed seedlings and adds nitrogen to the soil.
- Try spot-treating weeds with common full-strength vinegar on a sunny day–in fact vinegar is a cure all for many other things around the house as well but I’ll get in to the rest of that later. You can also use boiling water to kill individual weeds growing in paving and sidewalks.
- Build a compost pile on the side of your home and use as a fertilizer. You can use leaves, branches, roots, weeds, etc. You can also speed up the decomposing process by layering fresh green plant waste, including leafy kitchen waste, with dried organic matter and soil, and keeping it aerated. An added bonus is that you don’t have that banana peel stinking up your trash can!
You can get many other gardening tips such as these by visiting: the National Wildlife Federation – Organic Gardening Tips
Under the kitchen sink:
- Avoid using poison to control ants/cockroaches. Soapy water or citrus spray works just as well to kill ants and sugar & boric acid ant baits will help eliminate ants back at their colonies. You can also use boric acid and pheromones to attract and kill roaches. **Borax does not pollute the air and is safer than most commercial pesticides but be sure that it does not get in the mouths of kids or pets as it can be toxic if ingested.**
- Replace common household cleaners with home-grown cleansers such as baking soda, castile soap, club soda, cornstarch, lemon juice, olive oil, and white vinegar. Baking soda eliminates odors and softens water. Use it in your washing machine, to scrub tubs and sinks, in your oven, and to freshen carpets. Castile soap cuts grease, disinfects, and is great for an all-purpose cleaner. I am sure you have heard to use club soda on a shirt if you get a stain on it and that is well heading advice. Use it on anything you need to get stain removed from. It also works great to polish and to clean windows. Cornstarch also cleans windows and helps to absorb spills from carpets. Lemon juice is a deodorizer, cuts grease, bleaches and removes stains. Olive oil polishes furniture. Now for the cure-all I mentioned earlier-White vinegar. Vinegar kills bacteria, cuts grease, odors, removes mildew, wax buildup, and also dissolves hard water lime buildup. All of these things are a fraction of the cost of store bought cleaners, non-toxic, and work just as well.
Around the house:
- Invest in energy-saving appliances. This is rather obvious on the money saving side as well as the energy saving side.
- Use energy-saving bulbs as well. They last 3 times as long anyway.
- Make sure your home is sealed good by replacing old weather-stripping, re-caulking exterior windows.
- Installing an attic fan if you do not already have one. This will help regulate temperatures inside your home.
- Check attic insulation to make sure it is of proper thickness for your area. See http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html for the energy saving requirement.
- Invest in a digital thermostat that you can program for less heating/air use when you are away at work or on vacation.
- Shade trees planted strategically around your home can cut down on sun exposure thus your need to air condition your home.
- And don’t forget to recycle paper, glass, cans, plastic, and to dispose of harsh chemicals properly. See your local city’s website for disposal sites.
These are just some of the things you can do to keep your home and earth healthy while saving some money in your pocket book.
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