Every year, since 1970, on April the 22nd Earth Day is celebrated, a day that marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin at the time, after witnessing the devastating effects of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

Since then people around the world have been trying to do their fair share of protecting the environment. The challenge of preserving Planet Earth requires daily effort and one way to show our concern and actually do something about Earth it is to “go green” as many environmentalist say. You have probably heard the term many times but what does it actually mean?

green-earth“Going green” means doing everything we can to live sustain-ably. In other words, doing things in your daily life that make your personal impact on the natural world around you as small as possible. While we are all aware about the sources of outdoor pollution, such as factory smokestacks and auto exhaust we often miss the items in our home that could be causing indoor pollution.

One of the top sources of indoor air pollution is cleaning chemicals. You might be surprised to discover that you already have the right ingredients right in your own kitchen a combination of which can tackle almost every cleaning household task.

1. Glass cleaner

Mix 1 & ½ cups of vinegar with 1 & ½ cups of water and 5-10 drops essential oil (optional) in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and use an old, at least 2 weeks old crumpled newspaper (to avoid black fingers) to get a streak-free shine.  Also works well to shine chrome and counter-tops after you have disinfected them. If you do not really like the smell of vinegar, you can use lemon. More specifically, use one part of lemon juice to ten parts of water.

2. Furniture polish

Green cleaning productsCombine two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice. Rub the solution in a circular motion onto the surface of the furniture using a soft cloth. Dampen a soft cloth and squeeze out the excess water. Dip the tip of the damp cloth into the mixture and wipe on surface of furniture. Use an old dry towel to remove any excess from the furniture.

The combination of the oil with the acid of the lemon juice provides a natural, fresh smell and gives a sparkling shine that enhances the wood’s natural grain. It can also be used to polish stainless steel. Plain lemon juice can also be used to carefully remove wood stains.

3. Working Surfaces

Our cooking adventures often leave plenty of stains on our kitchen counter. A paste made of equal parts baking soda and water can remove dirt off of our working surfaces. Simply rub the paste into the surface with a clean cloth until the dirt comes off. Wipe dry with a new clean cloth. Baking soda and boiling water also help release a backed up grease drain.

4. Floor cleaner

A solution of vinegar and water works perfectly when cleaning most types of tile, linoleum and wood floors in your home. Just mix one cup of vinegar into 3 liters of warm water and sparkle clean your floors. You do not have to do any rinsing afterwards. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice for a touch of extra freshness.Spring cleaning

5. Toilet disinfecting cleaner

Make an environmentally friendly toilet bowl cleaner by pouring a cup of vinegar into the toilet and one cup of baking soda too. These two ingredients will react with each other, it is normal. Use the toilet brush to scrub clean the inside surface of your toilet. Continue cleaning the exterior and the seat of the toilet with undiluted white vinegar.

While many ask, why bother when let’s face it, it’s a whole lot easier not to, green cleaning products are quick and really easy to make. You only need common and inexpensive ingredients and making them does not require much time and effort. Let’s not mention the money you will save, as homemade green cleaners are way less expensive. so, what excuse will you have now to not go “green”?

Do you know of any other ways to eco-friendly clean your house? We would love to read your comments.

Lab scientist, sharp dresser and cooking guru Maria is one half of the original alwaysladies.com founding team. She brings her opinions with earnestness and a smile, even when there are razor blades inside.

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