Thursday, July 21, 2011

Organic Cleaners: Lemon Juice

Organic cleaning products are a great alternative to the types of chemical laden cleaners you find at the store. Not only are organic cleaners better for the environment, but they are very easy to make. The recipes are simple and involve readily available ingredients the most common being vinegar, lemons, and baking soda.

One of the simplest and cheapest cleaners is made from lemon juice and water. Simply dilute lemon juice into an equal amount of water. Store the solution in an empty spray bottle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Benefits of Houseplants

We may not realize it, but indoor air is often more polluted than the outside air. Some indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, radon, and VOCs, usually result from common building materials. Although these pollutants are in concentrations determined to be safe for exposure to humans, their concentrations build up over time due to lack of ventilation. Others, such as animal dander, mildew, bacteria (builds up in hard to reach places such as deep within carpet fibers), and dust mite feces are biological in origin. The presence of these and other pollutants often results in sick building syndrome.

The best way to reduce these pollutants and to make the indoor environment cleaner is to use houseplants. Plants are great at reducing air pollutants by absorbing pollutants in from circulating air. (Kobayashi, 2007). Not only that, but plants have also been shown to improve the mental state of people (Harte, 2010).The best part about all this is that nearly all plants sold for indoor use are very tolerant of neglect. They require a lot less care and maintenance than most people realize. Houseplants are an investment that will pay off.

Here is a list of just a few out of the hundreds of plants that are excellent for improving indoor air quality:
- pothos
- snake Plant
- spider Plant
- rubber plant
- areca palm
Snake Plant
- dracena

Some more interesting information:
- NASA plant study
- USU benefits of plants
- EPA indoor air pollution

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I already Have

I would like to start out by listing the things in my house that are already environmentally  friendly. Like most newly renovated houses, my house has many energy efficient appliances and electronics.  Most of the original light bulbs are the compact fluorescent types. All the essential appliances that we purchased such as the washer and dryer meet the guidelines that qualify them for the Energy Star label. The toilets in each bathroom are designed to use less water per flush then the average toilet.