By Anna Szalay
Spring Clean the Natural Way
You can most likely find “green” or “natural” cleaning products at your grocery store. But you can save some money and make your own cleaning product from supplies you already have.
All-purpose cleaner and deodorizer
- 4 tbsp baking soda
- Warm water
- Essential oil
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup white or cider vinegar
- ¼ rubbing alcohol
- Essential oils
Heavy duty scrub
- ½ cup borax or baking soda
Garden and Compost
We promise it’s easier than you think. For households, composting is a way to recycle certain materials and kitchen scraps and turn them into a beneficial soil amendment for home gardens and reduce waste output. In fact, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each American throws away an average of 1.3 pounds of food scraps daily. The combination of this food waste, along with yard trimmings, makes up 24 percent of our nation’s municipal solid waste stream. When organic waste enters the landfill it becomes trapped from air and produces methane, one of the worst greenhouse gas that is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide
What can go into the compost: Food scraps, grass clippings, plant cuttings, dry leaves, hay and straw, simple paper products (newspaper, cardboard, etc.), crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, sawdust and wood clippings. (Whew! That’s a lot.)
In short, it’s a no-brainer that composting will drastically reduce your waste.
Declutter your Life
A good rule of thumb to remember is if you have used it in the past year, chances are you’ll use it again.
Even though these things are disposable to you, they may have many useful miles left. Keep items out of overcrowded landfills by asking family and friends if they have use for any of your unwanted items.
Commercial mail, old magazines, un-read books – all of these items can be recycled. Consider this: A family of four uses 1.25 tons of paper per year on average, and the U.S. EPA reports that recycling 1 ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, AND energy to power the average American home for six months.
Be cautious when disposing of hazardous materials, as inappropriate distribution can cause toxic components to leach into the soil and groundwater. But even if something isn’t recyclable, chances are it may be reused in some creative capacity
Get Your Fitness On
Studies show that physically active individuals save, on average, about $2000 a year in medical costs compared to those who don’t exercise. Those prescriptions, medical exams and doctors’ visits all come with significant eco costs.
American hospitals generate approximately 6,600 tons of waste daily. As much as 85 percent of that is non-hazardous solid waste, such as paper, cardboard, food waste, metal, glass and plastics, according to Practice Green Health.
While gym fees can be relatively expensive, you can alternatively find a jogging buddy, download yoga classes online or get out that bike again and commute to work!