Easy Tips for Going Green

January 2009

Grow lots of indoor plants. House plants help reduce toxins in your home.
Spider plants and English Ivy are particularly good at absorbing formaldehyde.  Boston Fern and the rubber plant are great for this, too.

 Increase use of all natural fibers and reduce use of plastics. When going shopping, BYOB – bring your own (fabric) bag, instead of returning home with more plastic bags. Clothing made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool and silk are great options. They breathe with your body and absorb moisture, keeping you comfortable and dry.

Use and turn off power strips. Plug anything that can be powered by a remote control or that has a power cube transformer (little black box) into a power strip. When not in use, turn it off and/or unplug. (Power cubes are 60-80 percent inefficient, so avoid when possible.)

Choose natural and the most inert building products.These will also be products that are low in volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, zero VOC paints, etc.

Replace moth balls with repellant herbs. Moth balls are carcinogens. Instead, tuck lovely herbal sachets in sweater drawers and closets. Blend 2 ounces each of dried mint and rosemary, 1 ounce each of dried thyme and ginseng, and 8 ounces of whole cloves, and put in sachet pouches. Most health food stores sell bulk dried herbs.

Eliminate pesticide usage at home. Pure citrus solvent sprays will rid your house of fleas (but don’t use if you have cats, or there is someone with asthma in the house). These sprays will kill all stages of the flea. For example, mix 1/4 cup of Citra Solve (a citrus-based solvent that is d-limonene) in a spray bottle with two cups of water. This spray can be used for ants, too. To repel ticks, you can put a drop of Rose Geranium oil on your dog's collar, or on your clothing. Neam oil repels wool moths.

Go organic on your lawn and in your garden. Visit local garden centers to learn which plants, techniques and products work in your habitat for growing your lawn and garden organically. 

Switch to a laptop. A laptop uses one-quarter the amount of electricity that a desktop computer uses. Be sure to turn off the laptop at the end of the day.

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