Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living

Create and maintain a clean environment of your very own.

How Women Make an Eco-Friendly Impact

Posted on March 31, 2017

Eco-Friendly Women

Women have always played an important role in promoting sustainability primarily because of their concern for quality of life–not only for their family in the present, but for future generations.

When women take on leadership roles in promoting environmental initiatives and programs, real and impactful change happens. As the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women noted, “Women can have a particularly powerful role in influencing sustainable consumption decisions. In addition, women’s contributions to environmental management, including through grass-roots and youth campaigns to protect the environment, have often taken place at the local level, where decentralized action on environmental issues is most needed and decisive.”

On this last day of Women’s History Month, we want to encourage more women to become leaders of the eco-movement in their communities and throughout the world.  Are you with us?  Here are some sites that will you give you more information and ideas for how you can make a big eco-friendly impact:

 

Women’s Voices for the Earth

Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities. They envision a world where women lead to create a healthy environment without toxic chemicals in our workplaces, homes, and communities.

 

Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Force, a special project of Environmental Defense Fund, is a national movement of more than 600,000 moms — and dads too! — who are protecting our children’s right to clean air.  Moms Clean Air Force believes in “Naptime Activism” and makes it easy for parents to make their voices heard while their children nap.

 

Women’s Environment and Development Organization

To contribute toward its vision for the world, WEDO’s mission is to ensure that women’s rights; social, economic and environmental justice; and sustainable development principles-as well as the linkages between them-are at the heart of global and national policies, programs and practices.

 

MomsRising

MomsRising takes the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families and educates the public as well as mobilizes massive grassroots initiatives–bringing the voices and real world experiences of women and mothers straight to our local, state, and nation’s leaders.

 

Talk to us:  How has a woman influenced you to along your path of green living?

 

Environmental Organizations for Women Women and the Environment Women's History Month

Latest Posts

Making an Eco-Friendly Move

  Cardboard boxes in apartment, moving day   Boxes, tape and bubble wrap, oh my! If you have a move on the horizon or have experienced one in the recent past, you understand well that the act of moving doesn’t lend itself to eco-friendly living at first blush. So much packaging can make the least green of us shudder. Rest assured, you can remain environmentally conscious and stay committed to controlling the waste during your move, while also keeping your transport emissions down. Just follow these simple tips: Box smart. According to Move.com, the average move uses about 60 boxes (see infographic below).   That adds up to a whole lot of trees over time. Keep usage down by getting the word out about your move as early as you can. If you know folks who are making a move before yours, ask them to save all their packaging, including bubble wrap and protective packing paper, so you can reuse it during your own move. Choose box alternatives. Before you buy new boxes for your move, make sure you’ve exhausted all possible resources for box alternatives. Pack in empty large plastic bins you own, borrow from friends or ask your mover if they supply or rent reusable bins. Not only is this a great green option, it takes some of the work off your plate as movers drop bins off ahead of time and take them away after the move. No need to break down boxes or recycle them, you can move on to decorating your new home. Fuel emissions. The size and distance of your move makes all the difference when it comes to emission of CO2. When interviewing moving companies, be on the lookout for green options such as these:
  • Fuel type—ask each company what type of fuel they use. Many organizations have converted trucks to biodiesel fuel, an upgrade that helps reduce your move’s carbon footprint.
  • Car shipping—if you’re moving an automobile, price out both truck and rail shipping options. Train transport can represent huge savings to you and lighten the moving truck’s load on the road.
  • Clean out before you move—whatever you can do to reduce the number of goods you plan to move will make a big impact on related emissions. Don’t pack mindlessly and hurriedly, instead, think about items you can donate before making your move.
Get things clean.  Make sure you leave your old space clean and healthy for the next inhabitants.  Use eco-friendly cleaning products for floors, countertops, and windows or hire an eco-friendly cleaning company—like us!—to come in and take care of dirt, dust, and debris. Grab this great online checklist from our friends at MakeSpace for all your pre- and post-cleaning tasks.   Talk to us: Have you made an environmentally conscious move in recent months? Share what you learned and your best tips for other readers below.

How To Buy An Energy-Efficient Stove Or Range

Energy-efficient Stove   Is your stove or range petering out or nearing the end of its life expectancy? Experts say the best time to make large appliance purchases is in September when manufacturers are rolling out their latest models and looking to make space by offering good deals on last year’s versions. Follow our shopping tips to ensure you’re getting the most affordable, energy-efficient model in your price range.
  • Look for the Energy Star® label. The Energy Star folks have done their homework to identify the most efficient models in every appliance category. This is a great place to start when you’re beginning your search to make sure you’re saving money and protecting the environment.
  • Buy for your space. Make sure to take precise measurements for the space your kitchen allows for a stove or range before you shop. Appliances function at maximum efficiency when located in a spot that allows for proper ventilation.
  • Use the EnergyGuide. All new appliances are required to have an EnergyGuide label affixed to the packaging or appliance so consumers can compare as they shop. Read each one carefully and take pictures of the labels with your mobile device, for a quick comparison. Having an image with key features, estimated yearly operating cost and estimated yearly electricity use at your fingertips will help with decision-making after you’ve shopped around.
  • Choose gas. When it comes to stoves and ranges, manufacturers often offer both gas and electric models. On average, it takes about three times as much energy to produce and deliver electricity to an electric stove, compared to a gas one. The California Energy Commission says that over time, a gas stove will cost about half as much to operate as an electric one. Gas stoves boast more ease of use as well; giving cooks more control of temperatures and cooking time.
  • Plan for long-term useIt’s no secret that consumers pay upfront for energy efficiency, only to reap the many benefits for themselves and the planet down the line. If you can, reach deeper into your pockets for this appliance purchase and others with the end goal in mind.
Talk to us: Please share your favorite energy efficient range and stovetop models below.   Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Now Is The Time To Check Your Fireplace

Fireplace   We're sure the last thing on your mind right now is lighting your fireplace.  But it really should be - at least the maintenance of it. Do not wait for cold weather to hit before you get your fireplace inspected and cleaned. Doing it now while the weather is nice--and while it’s still considered offseason--will have you ready to light that a match as soon as the first cold fall night arrives. Has it been at least a year (or more!) since your last professional cleaning?  Then definitely hire a professional chimney sweep so they can clean the flu and inspect the entire fireplace for hazardous cracks. If it’s been less than a year since your last professional chimney sweep…then you can easily clean and inspect the fireplace yourself by following these steps:
  1. Check the flu for nests, animals or leaves.
  2. Check the chimney. Use a flashlight and mirror to look up to the open damper.
  3. If you see blockages of any kind you’ll have to call a professional chimney sweep.
  4. Repair cracks in the chimney, firebox or hearth--making sure you use the proper materials. Click here for tips and DIY advice.
Once you’ve inspected your chimney, it’s time to clean it:
  1. Gather your materials: a vacuum, bucket, gloves, two cloths, mild dish soap, stiff-bristled brush, table salt, and water.
  2. Vacuum the soot from inside the chimney.
  3. Mix one ounce of soap with one ounce of table salt in just enough water in a bucket to make the mixture creamy.
  4. Thoroughly rub it into the brick with a cloth (wearing gloves if you so choose).
  5. Allow it to dry for at least ten minutes. Then use the stiff-bristled brush to remove the residue and scum from the bricks. Repeat if necessary until your fireplace is “shiny” and clean!
  6. Take another wet cloth and wipe away any leftover soap scum or residue.
Now, stock up on wood before it gets too cold.  Buy a full face cord or a half face cord of firewood to last you a full winter (or two).  Remember to purchase only local wood to prevent spreading invasive species.  Choose hardwood like walnut and maple for a clean, longer and hotter burn. Then sit back and enjoy your warm fires in your clean, safe fireplace! Talk to us:  What month do you usually light the first fire?  

3 Things to Consider before Heading to the Dry Cleaner

Dry Cleaner With school and work schedules back in full swing, your dry cleaning bill may be eating into your monthly budget. Not sure you need to take so many items to the dry cleaner?  Real Simple magazine gives us three things to consider before tossing our clothes into the dry cleaning pile:  

Read the Label

If the tag says DRY CLEAN ONLY, obey it.  If it says DRY CLEAN, that means that it is recommended but is not the only method for getting the garment clean.

Consider the Fabric

Unless the label suggests otherwise, silk, acetate, velvet, wool, and taffeta items should go to the dry cleaner. Cotton, linen, cashmere, polyester, acrylic, and nylon can usually be washed at home. Be sure to check colorfastness first by putting some mild detergent on a cotton swab and dabbing it on a hidden seam to see if any dye comes off.

It's in the Details

Care instructions are usually for fabric only, not the accents. Before you wash anything with beading, sequins, etc., make sure they are sewen on (not glued) and colorfast (see above).   If you do decide to wash your garments at home, click here for tips.   Talk to us:  What items do you always take to the dry cleaner?   Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash