5 Healthy and Green Home Hacks (These are Brilliant!)
5 Healthy and Green Home Hacks
Home. What does that word bring to mind? A place where we belong, where we feel safe, secure and cared for. Home is a place where we find protection and shelter. Home means different things to different people. It may mean sinking into your favorite comfy chair at the end of a long day for a moment of quiet solitude. Maybe it means a relaxing evening around the dinner table with your family. Or, if you’re an adventurous traveler, ‘home’ may be anywhere as long as you are surrounded by friends and nature.
At Barefoot Organic Carpet Care, we have been carpet cleaning in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Chandler for over 8 years and we are committed to the safety of your family while providing the best cleaning possible. This is why we say “Power of Nature, Peace of Mind.” Whether it’s knowing that your upholstery was cleaned organically or your carpet was steam extracted using non-toxic cleaners; we are passionate about providing you and your family with eco friendly and organic cleaning solutions. We know that even tough jobs like deep tile and grout steam cleaning or sanitizing mattresses can be done effectively and powerfully without the use of harsh chemicals. We are proud to be part of a growing movement to bring eco-friendly methods to the place you call “Home”.
Unfortunately, our home, however we define it, is under attack by harsh chemicals, toxins and pesticides and more. The place to which we look for safety, security, and shelter now needs our protection. We all want to help the planet. Some of the misconceptions and practices innocently passed on from generation to generation could be harming our health and the health of our family.
This realization is prompting many to reexamine their everyday habits and ‘go green’.
What does ‘going green’ mean, though? For some, it can be a bit confusing to understand what green living really involves.
Many are turning to organic local food, shopping at farmers markets and contributing to community gardens as a way of working to benefit their communities and cities. Some who want to help the planet, recycle, use water conservation, use non-toxic cleaning products, use hybrid cars and try to avoid using plastic bottles.
Well, the truth is, green living encompasses all of this.
Going Green is a multifaceted way of life. It means being mindful of the everyday choices we make. Yet, it need not be overwhelming or unattainable! As a matter of fact, you may already be making choices that improve your self-care and the health of your family.
But our motivation doesn’t necessarily need to remain only focused on ourselves. What may start as our response to a specific health concern, like an allergy or sensitivity, can often open up a whole new perspective to the world around us. It may just be a matter of learning to look at things in a new way. Organic carpet cleaning, organic tile & grout cleaning, organic sofa cleaning, organic area rug cleaning and even organic mattress cleaning are all ways to extend the life of our home which reduces waste and reduces the toxins in our home, even when we buy new furniture.
You see, the trademark of a green lifestyle is that it isn’t simply focused on self. It involves being mindful of our impact on others and doing our small share to improve our home, our community and this beautiful planet we live on. Once we begin to realize what a tremendous impact our humble, quiet efforts can make, it often grows into a passion to find ways to do more.
”...doing our small share to improve our home, our community…”
But where do you start?
At first it may be a bit overwhelming. But don’t give up! We love this quote from Helen Keller: "Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Our individual efforts may not seem like much, but as a family, a neighborhood, and as a community, we have the capacity to have a big impact.
"You don't necessarily need extra time or money or the powers of a superhero to do your part to look after the planet," says Joanna Yarrow, author of 1,001 Ways to Save the Earth. Yarrow is a sustainable living expert and co-founder of Beyond Green, a company that focuses on sustainable communities. "Pretty much everything we do has an impact on the natural world, so changes to any of our daily activities represent an opportunity to look after the planet better without adding too much to our 'to do' list."
Life is crazy, messy, and busy. We get it. So be reasonable in your expectations of yourself. We are all creatures of habit. Developing new habits and making changes takes time. Start with small, attainable goals. Perhaps set the goal of changing just one habit each month and use it as an opportunity to get the kids involved! They’re great at reminding Mom or Dad when they’ve forgotten to do (or not do) something!
Below, we’ve compiled a list of ideas to get you started. When you research this subject, you will be blown away by the wealth of information and ideas out there. All it takes is a little research to add to this list and keep those changes coming! We never stop learning. Frankly, some of the items listed below may be new to us. This family run, Phoenix carpet cleaning company is excited to pass them on to you!
1 - USE YOUR DISHWASHER
Okay folks… I’m giving you an excuse to do things the lazy, err, I mean… GREEN way. Save your manicure while you save the planet!
Did you know, doing a full load of dishes in your machine is far more efficient than washing the same number of dishes by hand? This is especially true if you have an Energy Star dishwasher, which only requires an average of 4 gallons of water per load. This compared with the 24 gallons it takes to do them in the sink! Using a dishwasher will save you 5,000 gallons of water, $40 in utility costs, and 230 hours of your time each year. We call that a win-win! We love this tip, it came from here:22 Little Ways to Go Green thisoldhouse.com
2 - TURN YOUR TOILET TANK BLUE
Did you know…? Toilet leaks waste up to a gallon of water PER MINUTE. That’s more than 43,000 GALLONS PER MONTH!
Why is this important to know? That waste of water has a ripple effect. It wastes the resources that were needed to purify the water and the energy that was used to pump it to your home. It also unnecessarily contaminates clean water.
The water this planet holds is the only water it will ever have. But more and more of this precious, life-sustaining resource is becoming contaminated beyond potable use. This can affect your budget too, in a desert area like ours, this overuse can cause escalating utility costs. (Again, a ripple effect.)
So how does your porcelain seat measure up? Barefoot Organics is here to help you out. Here’s how you can check:
Add some food coloring to the back water tank.
Wait two hours, then check to see if any color has seeped into the bowl.
If it has, this means your tank’s flapper is leaking. (Be sure to flush away the dye after the two hours so it doesn’t stain the bowl.)
If you find you have a leak, head to the hardware store to pick up a replacement flapper assembly that works for your toilet model. Installation is easy. You’ve got this! (Here are some handy instructions for installation from The Home Depot.)
Toilet tanks can start leaking over time, especially with the hard water we have here in the Phoenix Valley. So It wouldn’t hurt to check on it a couple of times a year. (22 Little Ways to Go Green thisoldhouse.com)
3 - CLEAN GREEN AND ORGANIC
We clean with ingredients like Grapefruit seed extract and lime peel. We use these powerful natural items found in nature because they work for things like tile and grout cleaning and area rug cleaning. So you can understand that this might be our favorite way to be green phoenix. Switching to green cleaning products reduces air pollution both indoors and out. This is especially vital if you suffer from allergies or asthma. According to this article at PMC, 70 percent of autoimmune diseases are due to environmental factors, including toxic chemicals, dietary components, gut dysbiosis, and infections. So switching to plant based cleaners is not only good for the planet, it can be good for you too.
For the organic cleaning products that we use, we have done extensive research and have found professional grade products that are powerful yet eco-friendly. But there are also many consumer grade products out there to choose from, it just takes a little research.
Bewildered by what to choose? Here’s a handy resource we found at the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. The EWG has 2,000 home care products listed, but if the brand you’re searching for doesn’t show up in the database – then type in the ingredients and you’ll get its health score rating. If you see red (which is unhealthy) within the first 3 ingredients – look for a product that has a healthier score rating. Browse the Top Products category to find good brands.
Want to try making your own DIY cleaner? You can easily make your own organic natural cleaner! Often a little vinegar and water will do the trick. (Check out our Tips for Scented Vinegar.)
One of our favorite all-natural cleaning hacks: Organic lemons! All that’s needed to clean and sanitize cutting boards (wood or plastic) is… an organic lemon! Cut it in half, run it over the surfaces, let sit for ten minutes, and then rinse away. If you need some serious scrubbing power, sprinkle some coarse or Kosher salt over the board, and then rub with ½ a lemon.
We love cleaning with organic ingredients, that’s why when we are tile cleaning in Phoenix, we use natural ingredients that are good for the earth and for you. For more green cleaning recipes and ideas, head over to this awesome page at Greatist.com!
4 - MEATLESS MONDAY
Okay, so maybe it’s not as exciting as Taco Tuesday, or Pizza Friday, but it’s totally worth it. The information I found on this was an eye-opener for sure!
Did you know… having pasta, a hearty salad, or a vegetarian soup on Mondays might not seem like a big deal, but adding just one meat-free meal per week (for a family of four) has the same impact as driving a hybrid car! Raising livestock produces a large amount of greenhouse gases, so cutting back, even one night per week, makes a big difference. (From RealSimple.com)
Even a die-hard meat-lover can get through one meatless meal a week! To help you get started, here’s a fantastic list of meal ideas from AllRecipes.com
One of my family’s favorite meatless meals are Burrito Bowls! They’re so easy!! Here’s how we like to make them:
Start with organic rice of any kind (we like cilantro lime rice)
Add organic beans. Organic black beans are our favorite!
Layer on any toppings of choice! Here’s a few ideas:
Organic Black olives
Organic Sour cream
Organic Green onions
Who knew going green could taste so good!?
5 - GLASS IN THE MICROWAVE - NOT PLASTIC!
If you are going to use a microwave at all, heating plastics can cause leaching into food and many contain hormone-disrupting compounds (not just the much maligned versions made with bisphenol-A or BPA). Plastics that are labeled “microwave-safe” can simply withstand a higher temperature before losing their shape. So when popping anything in the microwave, opt for glass or microwave-safe ceramics.
Here’s a gorgeous set we found from DE on amazon.com
We hope these tips have helped and inspired you. Going Green really is attainable for all. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Its good for your health, its good for the planet and we can all have a share.
Barefoot Organics specializes in green, organic cleaning. We do organic carpet cleaning, organic tile and grout cleaning and organic upholstery cleaning in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Gilbert. We want to provide you with the same care we give our own family.
Feel free to share your green living tips in the comments below! From our family to yours, let’s all do our part to help this beautiful planet.
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