There are so many easy ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
I've comprised these basic tips and suggestions for living an eco-friendly lifestyle based on what has worked best for our family. Choose what will work best for your family and then make it happen.
Green Cleaning Made Easy
My favorite and most used cleaning product is a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water in a reusable spray bottle. I recently started adding a few drops of lavender oil to the mix for a nice clean scent. You could also add some lemon or orange oil to the mix. I buy the vinegar in bulk so the cost is nominal. We use the solution for everyday cleaning: general kitchen cleaning & disinfecting, windows, mirrors, walls & floors.
- We prefer to use the Dyson brand for cleaning up the carpet and loose material on hard wood surfaces. Bagless is so economical in the long run and you can directly deposit the materials into a compost bin or refuse can. Dyson also has a washable filter. So there is never a need to buy bags or filters! Perfect.
Hard Surface Steam Cleaner:
Cleans hard floor surfaces and major disinfects without the use of chemicals. Use with plain water or with a small amount of white vinegar added to the hard surface steam cleaner. Floors dry almost instantly after being steam cleaned.
Most cities offer curbside recycling or you can drop your items off at a local center. Check with your local department to verify exactly what is accepted in your area.
Most recycling programs accept the following:
- aluminum cans
- glass bottles and jars
- cardboard, newspaper, copy paper
- plastic containers marked #1 through #7
- steel cans
Finding a new home for your unwanted treasures is such a wonderful way to help the community and environment simultaneously.
- Linens, blankets, towels - The Humane Society or any local animal shelter near you always needs linens for their furry residents.
- Clothing, shoes, household items - Local homeless or ministry shelter. Many shelters give the items directly to the residents during their stay or when they begin independent living. Some organizations have thrift stores in place to sell a percentage of donated items to generate support revenue.
- Cell phones - many great organizations provide cells phones to the military and citizens in need.
You don't need anything too fancy to make a difference with composting. The ultimate goal is to keep organic matter out of plastic bags.
Yard clippings - these can go into your compost bin or curbside for recycling if your city offers these services. Put the clipping in a can that can be reused, never in plastic bags.
Newspapers - shred them up and mix them in with the organic waste.
- Compact florescent bulbs - use whenever possible to save the most amount of electricity. Many of these bulbs last well over five years so you are not constantly changing bulbs.
- Unplug small appliances and cell phone chargers when not in use. It only takes a moment to plug your toaster back in the next time you need to use it!
- Programmable thermostat - take control of the temperature settings of your central heating and cooling system by installing a programmable thermostat.
- Set hot water heaters to 120 degrees - not only will this save you money but will also reduce the risk of being scalded by extremely hot water.
Chemical Free Mosquito Protection
We live in Florida. Sun, beaches, palm trees and mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes. This is a battle I have almost year round and I don't want to apply chemicals to my skin. And I would never apply any sort of chemical to my babes.
For years, I have been testing and using all sorts of natural, plant derived products. So far my favorite topical chemical free is Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent. It repels mosquitoes and deer ticks for up to six hours. Smells great too!
Non topical chemical free for personal use - OFF! Clip On Mosquito Repellent. I couldn't believe my good luck when I found this product. Actually works great and you don't have to apply any oil to your skin. It works by a small fan circulating mosquito repellent around you.
Chemical free yard and garden - Entertaining a yard full of guests on a hot summer day is more enjoyable if everyone isn't being bitten by mosquitoes. The Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer turns your outside entertaining into a little slice of bug free heaven. The manufacturer states that this product uses "nontoxic ultraviolet light to eliminate mosquitoes, biting flies and other insects". This product works GREAT and is surprisingly quiet.
I'll be updating this page on a regular basis as I find more simple tips for an eco-friendly lifestyle. Please share your tips and suggestions.