Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living - October 2014

Create and maintain a clean environment of your very own.

Halloween How to Reuse Pumpkins Jack-o-Lanterns Reuse Produce

5 Ways to Reuse Your Old Pumpkins

How to reuse old pumpkinsHalloween will soon be over and you might be staring at a porch full of fun-faced jack-o-lanterns that will soon be turning into not-so-fun-faced squashed gourds.  Instead of just throwing them out with the trash (or adding them to your compost pile—always a good idea!), why not try some of these ways to get the most of our used pumpkins.

Puree Your Pumpkin
Cut the pumpkin down the middle and clean out the inside.  Place the pumpkin cut-side down on a baking dish along with a cup of water and bake for 90 minutes.  After baking scoop out the flesh and blend it in a food processor.  This puree can be used for everything from soups to pies to facial masks (see below).

Make an All-Natural Mask
The recipe from The Ready Store sounds like something you might be making to feed dinner guests, but it is actually a great exfoliating facemask.  Blend diced pineapple, pumpkin puree (see above), honey and aloe in a food processor or blender.  Stir in jojoba oil, green tea (brewed) and cornmeal.  Apply small amounts of the pumpkin mask to your cheeks, forehead, chin and neck and leave on for 15-20 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and pat dry.  Click here for full recipe.

Create a Candle
This project from SheKnows.com is great for smaller pumpkins and gourds.  Cut the top off of each pumpkin and scoop out the inside.  Set aside.  Next, melt soy wax flakes (we like these from candlescience.com) in a double broiler, stirring with a spoon until the wax is fully melted.  If you would like, stir in drops of an essential oil for scent. Remove from heat and let sit until thick—about the consistency of a Slurpee.  Fashion a wick into the pumpkin or gourd and carefully pour in the melted wax, filling about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Let sit to harden.  Click here for full recipe.

Plant It
Yes, plant it, says Earth911.com.  Put some potting soil inside a cleaned out pumpkin (about one-third full) and place a beautiful fall annual inside.  You can leave this on your porch or patio for great fall decoration or plant the whole thing—pumpkin and all—into a hole in your garden.  The pumpkin will naturally compost and provide fertilizer for your plant.

Give Back to Nature
Cut up chunks of the pumpkin and place in your yard or on your patio to attract more wildlife to your home.  If you don’t have an outdoor space (or not really sure you want to attract wildlife), donate your pumpkins to a local farmer.  He/she will be able to use the gourds to feed the farm animals.  Visit LocalHarvest.com for farm locations and information.

Talk to us:  What are you planning to do with your pumpkin when Halloween is over?

 

image courtesy of flickr/BY CC 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Halloween Decorations Eco-Friendly Decorations Halloween Halloween Decorations

5 Easy & Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

As we get ready to celebrate the spookiest of all holidays, we have been looking for unique and eco-friendly ways to decorate our homes.  Here are some of the great ideas we have found to get us ready for our Halloween visitors:

As we get ready to celebrate the spookiest of all holidays, we have been looking for unique and eco-friendly ways to decorate our homes.  Here are some of the great ideas we have found to get us ready for our Halloween visitors:

DIY Halloween Wine Bottles from Lombardo Lagniappe
Grab a few glass wine bottles from the recycling bin, some paint and possibly some glitter (who doesn’t love glitter?) and make these cute Halloween home accessories.  They would look perfect on a buffet table or kitchen counter.

Halloween Decorations

 

Shrunken Apple Heads from FabulousFoods.com
These little guys are so fun—you can scatter them throughout your house or add them to bowls of candy and snacks.

Halloween Decorations

 

Tin Can Luminaries from Jolly Mom
Always wondering what to do with those empty coffee cans?  Use them to make cute Halloween luminaries that can line your walkway or your stoop.

Halloween Decorations

 

Spirit Jugs from Eighteen25
Never underestimate what amazing decorations you can create with an old milk jug, a black magic marker and some Christmas lights. This is a great project for kids.

Halloween Decorations

 

Trash Bag Spider Webs from HGTV.com
The good news is you probably already have all the supplies in your house!

Halloween Decorations

 

Looking for more great ideas?  Visit our Have a Green Holiday board on Pinterest.

Talk to us:  What is one of your best DIY Halloween decoration ideas?

Companies that make a difference Eco-friendly Companies Green Moving Companies iMoveGreen

Change Maker: iMoveGREEN

Green, clean moving companyThe Change
When Jeffrey Sitt decided to purchase the assets of a 30-year-old moving company in the Bronx, create a brand new company and call it iMoveGREEN, he knew it would not be an easy change to make. Mr. Sitt wanted to create a company unlike any other—a company that would be committed to being socially-conscious, would have a proactive approach to change and would ensure a smooth, efficient and affordable move for every customer.

The Story
Within 2 months of opening its doors iMoveGREEN was the only EPA Certified Green Power Partner Moving Company in the U.S. By spring of that year, they were having their trucks inspected for the ever-escalating bedbug epidemic and  soon began the ‘Bedbug Protocol’, including heat treatment for their trucks and equipment and spraying with organic bedbug killers. Their philosophy is to do right by their clients, their community and the world–the rest takes care of itself.

The Commitment
iMoveGREEN uses 100% renewable wind energy to power its offices and provides clients with environmentally-conscious packing materials such as reusable plastic containers and biodegradable packing peanuts. Additionally, iMoveGREEN only uses recycled water and green washing materials to clean its office space and moving vehicles and takes eco-friendly and proactive steps necessary to ensure their moving trucks, moving blankets, dollies and computer trolleys are bedbug free.

iMoveGREEN has a partnership with the Nature Conservancy where the team pledges a percentage of their proceeds to plant trees in the Brazilian rainforest for each person who moves with them.

Strategies You Should Steal
Know the Real Concerns of Your Customers
While bedbugs were not necessarily on the radar of many moving companies, they were a main concern for customers.  “Bedbugs have become a major concern for many Americans, so enforcing procedures to prevent them seemed like a logical next step in providing a unique moving experience,” said Jeffrey E. Sitt, iMoveGREEN’s owner, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.  What are some of the daily challenges your customers face and how might your brand be able to alleviate the stress and concern?

Create Usable Blog Content
If you are just using your company blog space to share information about your products and services, you may be missing a really great opportunity to increase site traffic, improve SEO and become known as a true expert in your space.  Move your blog content beyond the details of your company and provide information that your customers can actually use. iMoveGREEN dedicates its blog space to providing moving tips, with a special focus on tips for those preparing to move outside of U.S.—iMoveGREEN specializes in household goods shipments, vehicles, special cargo, and non-hazardous commercial shipments as well as international office to office moves, employee relocation programs, and trade show management.

The Details
370 Concord Avenue
Bronx, NY 10454
212-688-888
www.imovegreen.com
Facebook, Twitter

Talk to us:  Do you have an earth-friendly, socially-conscious business you would like us to profile?  Send us a note via Twitter or Facebook!

Home Cleaning Managing Clutter Organization Tips for Being Organized

Control Your Clutter–Daily, Weekly & Monthly

I will not let clutter beat me As a professional cleaning company, we advise our clients to clear their homes of clutter before we even arrive.  Easier said than done, right?  With our hectic lives and schedules, managing clutter can seem like an overwhelming task and many people do not know where to begin.

Here are 9 things you can do daily, weekly and monthly to get control of your clutter—instead of the clutter controlling you:

Daily
Do a 30-Minute Clean
Every day, take 30-minutes to get one small part of your home—like a junk drawer or the hallway closet– in order.  Go through items quickly keeping things that you “always use”, storing things that are “used for special occasions” and getting rid of anything you “haven’t used in 6-months.”  You will be amazed at the difference you can make in just 30-minutes each day.

Sort Your Mail by the Recycling Bin
As soon as you get your mail, head over to the recycling bin and immediately discard any unwanted junk mail and fliers.  This will keep those items from piling up on your kitchen table.

Create a “Catch All” Bin
At the end of each day, go through every room in your home and put any item that is out of place—such as the TV remote control that has found its way to the kitchen counter—in a stylish, “catch all” basket (we love this one made of sustainable materials from Land of Nod). As you move from room to room, you can put items back in their rightful places.

Weekly
Donate Items
Designate a box or basket for donations and keep it in a central location that is easily accessible to all family members.  Throughout the week, whenever you run across clothing, sports equipment, toys or household items you do not need, place it in the donation box with the goal of donating at least 10 items per week to your local non-profit agency.

Go Electronic
Use your tech tools to keep papers off of your desk and tables.  Once a week, organize business cards and addresses into an online contact list, put appointments and events in an online calendar system (use a Google calendar to share with all family members), save hard copies of documents to an external hard drive and scan kid art projects to be saved to their own online art gallery (just create a folder in DropBox & share with family members).

Binder It
Create a 3-ring binder for each family member as well as one for bills and recipes.  As soon as loose paper comes into the home, punch holes in the side and place it in the proper binder.  Go through binders weekly and take out those papers that need to be acted on that particular week. Put recipes in clear report covers before placing into binders—this will keep food from getting on the pages.

Monthly
Swap Your Books
All those paperback books you still have sitting in boxes in your storage space?  Swap them.  Head to paperbackswap.com and list the books you would be willing to swap.  Once a book is requested, you simply mail it to the club member.  In return, you can choose from more than 4 million available books to be mailed to you as well.

Expire Your Expiration Dates
One day each month, go through medications, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and food in the fridge to get rid of anything that has gone beyond its expiration date.  This keeps your areas clutter free and healthy—there is nothing worse than having expired medicine or food in your home.

De-Clutter Your Tech
Clean out your email boxes on all your devices, unsubscribe to electronic newsletters you no longer read (head to unroll.me), organize your external hard drive and delete items you no longer need.

Talk to us:  What tips do you have for managing the clutter in your home?

 

image courtesy of flickr/BY CC 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Prevention Week Fire Safety Keeping Your Home Safe

Fire Prevention Tips for Your Home

Flames of a fire

The second week of October is designated as Fire Prevention Week.  As a company that strives to keep all homes healthy and safe, we cannot think of any better place to start than with making sure you and your family are ready in case a fire should occur.

Prevent Fires from Happening
The best way to protect yourself and your family from a fire is to prevent one from happening.   Keep items that can catch fire (think drapes, papers, dish towels) at least three feet from anything that gets hot, turn portable heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep and always stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food.

Have at Least One Working Smoke Alarm Per Level
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, you should install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.  Test it monthly, keep it free from dust and replace the battery at least once a year (we like to coincide the battery change with the time change in spring—it is part of our spring cleaning routine).  Smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years of service or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Pay Attention to Carbon Monoxide
The American Red Cross has found that each year carbon monoxide poisoning claims approximately 480 lives and sends another 15,200 people to the hospital.  Install a carbon monoxide alarm in the hallway of your home sleeping areas, make sure all appliances are installed correctly, have heating systems inspected regularly and never burn charcoal or use a gas grill inside your home

Create an Escape Plan
We love this tool from SafeKids.org—a Fire Escape Plan template.  The template lets you draw your escape plan on a grid, identifying important elements such as placement of each smoke alarm, exit areas for your home (you should have two ways to get out of each room in case of a fire) and the designated safe meeting area outside.   Practice escaping from every room and see how fast your family can get outside.  If you live in an apartment building, make sure you know your building’s Fire Safety Plan (building owners in NYC are required to have this by law).

Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher: Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you; Aim low at the base of the fire; Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly; Sweep the nozzle from side to side.  Only use an extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area and is not growing, the room is not filled with smoke, everyone has exited the building and the fire department has been called.

Extra Info for Apartment Living
There are special areas of concern when it comes to fire safety in apartment buildings.  Here are some things you should know according to the FDNY’s checklist:

  • Is your apartment door fireproof and self-closing?
  • Is your fire escape window clear and unobstructed?
  • If you have a security gate, is it FDNY approved?
  • Can all windows be opened easily from inside?
  • Are building stairways free of storage and rubbish?
  • Are stairway fire doors fireproof and self-closing?
  • Are stairway fire doors kept closed?
  • Are exit lights in the stairway in good working order?

Talk to us:  What other tips do you have for keeping yourself and your family safe from fires?

 

 

image courtesy of flickr/BY CC 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Breast Cancer Month New York City NYC Community Events Support a Cause

5 Unique Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink Flower for Breast Cancer Awareness

The idea to start GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning began after my grandmother lost her battle with cancer.  A housekeeper from the West Indies, my grandmother had inhaled toxic cleaning fumes for decades and our family speculated—with plenty of evidence—that these chemicals had made her sick.  That is why we developed our own healthy, environmentally friendly products for use by our cleaners and for sale to our customers.

According to Breast Cancer Action, as the use of chemicals has risen in the U.S. and other industrialized countries, so has the rate of cancers—including breast cancer.  As you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to share with you ways you can support, build awareness and raise funds for this cause—right here in NYC.

Here are 5 unique ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

Buy a Bridal Gown
On October 7 from 4:00PM-7:00PM, head over to the Kleinfeld Bridal Sample Sale to pick out your bridal gown, accessories, shoes and even bridesmaids gifts.  In addition to getting a great deal on items for your big day, a percentage of sales from this event will be donated to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  Be sure to get there early–numbers will be given out starting at 10:00 AM!  Kleinfeld Bridal is located at 110 West 20th Street in New York.

Do Yoga
On Wednesday October 8th and October 22nd, the Susan G. Komen Greater NYC will host a yoga class led by Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT, EdD and founder of Moving for Life.  The class is designed for breast cancer survivors but is open to all women, after all, exercise helps in breast cancer prevention too!  There is no charge, but you must RSVP due to limited space.  Classes will be held from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM each of the above evenings at the Komen Greater NYC office located at 470 Seventh Avenue.

Take a Step
The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) will be stepping off at Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sunday, October 19th at 8:00 AM.  Every MSABC event is an incredible and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our breast cancer risk, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them. You can sign up to walk, donate or become a volunteer.  Looking for another MSABC event in the New York area?  Click here for a list of sites

Walk in a Parade
The Tutu Project for Carey Foundation, the Bret Miller 1T Foundation for Male Breast Cancer Coalition and For 3 Sisters will be joining together to walk in tutus and pink fireman hats in the New York Village Halloween Parade.  The group will be led by the “Men in Pink” and their leading ladies to show solidarity against breast cancer.  It is $35 to participate (this includes your tutu and fireman hat!) with funds being used to support the sponsoring foundations. Click here to register.

Buy a Mammogram
The average cost of a mammogram is $100, but many women without insurance are unable to afford one.  Every $100 you donate helps a woman in need get the test she needs to detect breast cancer early.  Click here to participate in this program through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Talk to us:  What do you do during the month of October to support, build awareness or raise funds for breast cancer?

 

 

image courtesy of flickr/BY CC 2.0

As an essential business, Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning is continuing to serve our customers during the COVID-19 emergency. Learn about the steps we’ve taken to protect our customers and employees and our Coronavirus Cleaning and Disinfection Services that can provide extra peace of mind during these challenging times.