Going green is a environmentally sound practice for you and your family. But it is a choice. Going green means using green home products or green appliances or just using common sense. Green home products range from cleaning materials to flooring and appliances.
When you are going green it is often helpful to start small and work you way up to larger purchases and changes to your lifestyle.
For instance, green home products for cleaning your home smell fresher, don’t leave a lingering odor, are safer for you and your children, are healthier, non-toxic, don’t pollute the air the way store bought cleaners doe and cost less. They take only minutes to make and can be made ahead of time and stored. However, cleaning supplies are best made and used fresh for the most power.
Ingredients you’ll need to make green home products for cleaning are borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemons. Box up your other cleaning supplies and place them in the garage until you are sure you want to throw them out. Your garbage men are not allowed to take full containers of most cleaning supplies because they are considered hazardous material. You will have to check with your city to find out when they have hazardous material pick ups.
These materials also outgas chemicals. You may not smell them under your sink but gasses are escaping and leaking into your home. For proof – walk down the cleaning aisle of the grocery store. Each of those bottles and boxes are sealed and unused and yet, you still smell the chemicals! The concentrations are lower in your home because you have less than the grocery store but they are still there.
Some recipes for cleaners you may want to begin with are a general cleaner in which you mix 1 cup of borax with one gallon of water. A dishwasher soap in which you mix 1 part borax and 1 part washing soda; drain opener is 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar in boiling water that is poured down the drain and continued to be flushed with hot tap water until the clog clears.
Ovens can be cleaned with salt over the spill and scraped after a few minutes. Toilets can be cleaned with baking soda and vinegar or water. Ceramic tile and window cleaner can be made with a combination of vinegar and water. ¼ cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water to clean tile and several drops of vinegar to 16 – 20 oz of water to clean windows.
Green home product appliances use resources efficiently, should be easy to install, save money and help protect the environment. These are things like air purifiers, low flow toilets and refrigerators that are so energy efficient that powering the home with solar power if feasible.
Flooring should be certified from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) if it is hardwood. This means that the flooring has been harvested from a managed forest, or from reclaimed flooring, that protects the forests for the long term. Hardwood flooring that are green home products are some hardwoods, cork, marmoleum and bamboo.
New roofing materials are designed to recycle and resemble other products. For instance, Eco-Shake shingles resemble wood shake shingles. They are made from 100% recycled material, reinforced vinyl and cellulose fiber. It’s light-weight, requires no maintenance and carries a 50 year warranty.
Eco-Insulation has an environmentally safe insulation green home product in New Zealand, which uses wool and fleece bonded to polymers for a safe, non-toxic, odorless insulation option.
Conventional gloss paints AND emulsion paints contain solvents which can cause irritation and serious health problems. VOCs are a major contributor to low-level atmospheric pollution and the use of these compounds leads to global warming. In addition, the use of solvent-based varnishes is a major cause of Sick Building Syndrome, Danish Painter’s Syndrome, Asthma, and Allergies. There are organic paints sold that work and cover well and are much safer for the indoor air quality in your home.
Purchasing green home products isn’t difficult. A few changes to your habits and you can have a green home too!
Environmental Protection Agency: Choosing Green materials and Products
Environmental Protection Agency: Greener Products