DIY Home Cleaning Products

Once I was pregnant with Buddy I became more aware of the products we were using in our home. I made sure not to use any harsh cleaning products, and left that stuff up to the husband. I switched our laundry detergent to All Free and Clear and then eventually started making our own. I’ve also made a room scent which doubles as a sort of all purpose cleaner. I’m gradually adding more homemade cleaning products to our home, and hope to eventually eliminate all the ones we typically buy from the store. Here’s a list of what I’ve tried and hope to try in the future. Links go directly to the post.

I made my own felted wool dryer balls and did a how to post about it here. I’ve loved using them. They don’t seem to have cut down on drying time, but definitely help with static.

I’ve been using this laundry detergent for over a year. I even use it on cloth diapers with no problems. Make sure to grate the soap on fine. I prefer to use Dr. Bronner’s bar soap for ours.

I made this all-purpose cleaner and also use it as a room spray. I sprayed it in the microwave and wiped off with a Magic Eraser with no scrubbing!

I think making my own hand sanitizer is next on my list. I’m not a germophobe, but I like to keep it handy after I go thrifting. Yuck!

This mosquito repellent will come in hand for those of us in the south. It has been especially rainy this summer, and they are out in full force!

I didn’t make my own baby wipe solution with Buddy because I thought it would be too much work. It seems so simple and I will definitely try it when we have another.

Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Check out our Holiday Pinterest board for some fun ways to celebrate Earth Day with your kids.

Holiday Pinterest Board

You can also watch this short video on recyling from Sid the Science Kid on PBS. Our little one enjoyed it.

Sid the Science Kid: Recycling!

Have a good one!

What You Can and Can’t Recycle

Paper Recycling Bin

I remember when I was in middle school our county started a curbside pick-up for recyclables for those within city limits. I thought it was such a neat thing until I found out that there were many things we couldn’t recycle. Although most places seem to accept more now, there are still some restrictions and that causes people not to recycle. People want it to be easy. They don’t want to think about what is ok to recycle, rinse stuff out, and remove labels.

Once you are familiar with what is acceptable it really isn’t that much effort. As for the rinsing and removing, we tend to set things aside during the day and just do all that at one time at night. It doesn’t take much time. Although I will admit I don’t always do great with removing labels. Keep in mind you can’t recycle anything with food residue such as a pizza box.  Now what can you recycle? We’ll take a quick look at that.

Paper Recycling BinPaper
According to the EPA, paper accounts for the largest portion of our trash. Most paper products can be recycled. Paper, cardboard, and mail are some common things you can put in your bin. Glossy paper such as magazines is accepted at most places, but not all. Our local drop-off doesn’t accept hardback books.

 

 

Recycling Logo

Plastics
Plastic containers have a triangle made of three chasing arrows with a number inside indicating what type of plastic it is. They are labelled No. 1 through No.7. The most common types are No.1 and No.2 and should be accepted at most facilities. Some common products using these numbers are water bottles and salad dressing. You will need to check with your county to see if they accept any other numbers. Our county will accept everything except Styrofoam  Plastic bags are usually not accepted but many grocery stores will take them. Our local Wal-mart has a drop-off at the entrance.

 

Stack of Crushed Cans

Aluminum and Steel
Aluminum and steel products are widely accepted, including soda cans and aluminum foil. Our local county drop-off will even accept aerosol cans if they have been emptied and cleaned.

 

 

 

Colorful Bottles

Glass
Glass recycling is surprisingly restrictive. Most places will only accept food or beverage containers, cleaned and without the lids. Many curbside drop-off services will not take glass since it can break in transport. Light-bulbs, mirrors, and ceramic dishes are common household items that cannot be recycled.

 

 

Another thing to remember is your county run recycling center will probably accept more items than a simple bin drop-off at a small location. We usually take our recyclables to a drop-off center but we can only take glass, aluminum, and paper. Our county-run drop off will accept much more. Visit www.Earth911.com for more information and to find your local recycling center.

 

Sources: Earth911.com

http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/something-can-recycled-3194.html#

Pros and Cons of Using Eco Friendly Products

You are probably somewhat familiar with eco-friendly products that can help to reduce toxic wastes and prevent environmental pollution. If you start thinking about the advantages of using such products, you can come up with countless reasons for why to use them. The main benefits are saving money and energy, as well as reducing harmful chemicals. However, living a green life isn’t perfect.  Let us discuss a few advantages and disadvantages of using eco-friendly products in our daily life.

Pros of Using Eco- friendly Products

Pollution Reduction – Of course, this is the most well- known and biggest advantage of using such products. They help you reduce the amount of toxic wastes and non-degradable substances on the planet which means less pollution. Imagine all those plastic bottles and similar items that won’t disintegrate getting eliminated totally from the face of earth. Some ways to help with this are using a filter on your tap water and using cloth diapers instead of disposables.

Personal health – Plastic substances and such other items we use can produce many health issues, due to the chemicals present in them, right from the time of manufacture to the time it becomes an end product. Switching to eco-friendly items can eliminate this fear and make your lives greener and fresher. Look for items that don’t contain BPA, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals.

Long term savings – If you are looking for some savings in the long run, then eco-friendly products are a good way to go. Many of them are also quite energy efficient. Products like solar panels and electric or hybrid cars can save you a lot on energy costs. Something as simple as switching out your incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs can help save money with reduced energy consumption and you won’t have to replace them as often.    

Cons of Using Eco-friendly Products

Now that we have discussed the pros of using these products, let’s get into the cons of using them.

Limited availability – The first and foremost problem you may face when looking for eco-friendly products is where to find them. Finding the best eco-friendly products that can suit your requirements may not be such an easy job. Sometimes you have to go to smaller stores or online to find products that are eco-friendly.

Initial Cost – In the case of bigger eco-friendly products like the solar panel or the electric or hybrid car, you may find that the initial cost needed to buy them would be far more compared to a normal mass market product. This can act as a hindrance if you are on a low budget, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to smaller products or for those people who are prepared to spend more to make green changes in their life.

Implementation-It can be hard to make changes to your routine. The intention to go green is much easier than actually doing so. It’s best to start with small changes, such as changing light bulbs or buying reusable shopping bags instead of using plastic.

Also many people are now realizing the cost-savings for going green in many aspects of their lives, and with more and more eco-friendly products coming to market, it will get easier and less expensive.

Though you know the cons clearly now, buying eco friendly products can be a small change of lifestyle if you are ready to go the extra mile to leave a green world for your children.

How to Teach our Kids to Go Green?

tree

Don’t you think it’s time to teach your tot’s to go green?  Because of people littering everyday, factories polluting, and not enough recycling, it seems like our planet is going one direction-and that’s down.

Here we list some ways to help teach you children to be environmentally friendly.

1. Replace the forest: Our forest are being taken down one at a time. When there are fewer trees there is less oxygen, and more pollution. Teach your children the importance of keeping and planting trees.

2. Teach your children to recycle when possible instead of littering. Explain how littering pollutes our land and water.

3. Buy eco-friendly toys: they are safer and most of the time last longer-and your children can hand them down to their children.

4. Reduce time using electricity: Teach your children the importance of spending time outdoors, explain to them why they shouldn’t leave the lights on, or leave their electronics on when not being used. Not only will your electric bill go down, but there will also be a reduction in energy used.

5. Use the library: Teach your children to use the library or download books when possible. Not only will you save money, but you will protect our forest and cut down on waste in our landfills.

 

Tip: Buy Toys With Minimal Packaging

alphabet

Americans buy 3.6 billion toys per year, and in some cases the packaging volume for a single toy can be more than ten times the toy itself. Look for toys with the least amount of packaging , you will reduce pollution, save on waste, and fuel cost when having shipped. 

DOES YOUR CHILD NEED HELP WITH BALANCE AND MOTOR SKILLS?

car

Are you looking for a way to help your child with balance and motor skills? http://earthfriendlytots.com/PushAlong-Hybrid-Car could be your answer. The Push Along Hybrid Car aids young children in balance and motor skills. Shaped from a single piece of earth friendly Rubberwood, with smoothly finished edges this whimisical toy is a delight to hold and play with. Rubber wheels will protect your floor.  Measures 5x4x1

WE NEED YOUR HELP SAVING THE PLANET!

dump truck

Need help hauling a big load while helping save the planet? The Green toys dump truck is ready to get working.  Made from 100% recycled plastic milk container this really is the most energy efficient vehicle on the entire planet. The super cool eco-design has a workable dumper and no metal axles. Your little boy is going to love this dump truck. http://earthfriendlytots.com/Dump-Truck.

TRAVELING?

Bead Maze

Is your family planning on traveling during the holiday season? Children will delight in our bead maze while developing visual skills, eye-hand coordination, and color and shape recognition, made of rubberwood, and earthfriendly hardwood, these colorful toys provide hours of  play! Handcrafted and hand-painted using child-safe paints. http://earthfriendlytots.com/BeadMaze-Frog

WILL YOU LOVE ME?

Dr. Seuss

Will you love me, cuddle me and chew on me?  DR. SEUSS HORTON BLANKEE is going to make the perfect Chrismas gift for that special baby or little one in your life. DR SEUSS  is safe to chew on and loves to be cuddled. http://earthfriendlytots.com/Dr-Seuss-Horton-Blankee