Tuesday, April 22, 2008


“We recommend to all people that there be no undue pollution, that the land be taken care of and kept clean to be productive and to be beautiful”
--Spencer W. Kimball (Ensign, May 1975).

Happy Earth Day! So for a while now I've been eyeing the canvas bags in grocery stores that you can buy and use instead of paper or plastic, reading articles about cleaning your home the "green" way, etc. and thinking I really should start doing that sometime. Well, Earth Day and my friend Heidi inspired me and I finally took the green plunge. Yesterday while out grocery shopping I bought two lovely reusable canvas bags which they then loaded my groceries in. As you can see, Jonathan is very proud of me. Then today I cleaned my bathroom using only white vinegar, baking soda, and lemons. Here's the low down on how well that worked:

Vinegar: Despite the fact that this made it smell like I had been dying Easter eggs in my bathroom, this was my favorite cleaning supply of the day. I put a little on a cloth and wiped down the mirror then followed with a dry cloth and it worked beautifully! I used vinegar and water to clean the sink, vanity, toilet, and floor and it seemed to do just as good a job as the usual products I use. In the shower the vinegar seemed to do a slightly better job at dissolving the hard water deposits than my usual stuff. The smell even wore off as it dried so now there's only the slightest smell of vinegar in my house which could actually be coming from the cleaning rags in the laundry closet.

Baking Soda: Thumbs up for this one as a way to remove soap skum and hard water from the shower floor, although it did take a little extra elbow grease to do it. I just need a new box of baking soda now.

Lemons: These were supposed to do a good job at removing hard water deposits, and they did on the sink faucet, but the shower walls didn't show much improvement so I had to bring in the vinegar. They sure did smell good, though, and later I was able to run the peels through my disposal to make it smell nice. :)

The finished product:

So I know I'm still just light green, having just done these two small changes to be more eco-friendly. I still have a ways to go before I'm on par with, say, my parents who drive a hybrid, recycle most of their trash and compost a good portion of the rest (honesty, you'd think they were democrats), but at least it's something. And maybe next year I'll be brave enough to switch to cloth diapers. Maybe.


Ruth Mannion said...

I just read a magazine article comparing cloth and disposable diaper options, and the reality is that they come out about even once you factor in all the work and water etc. involved in washing diapers. There was one semi diposable option with a liner that could be flushed, but the long and short of it was save yourself the hassles of the inevitable plumbing problems caused by the inevitable cloth diaper flushed down the toilet. Basically, no guilt over diapers. And I bought some of the reusable bags from Costco and love them. I usually keep one in my stroller and they can hold up to 70 pounds. I have hauled Chloe into the house in one before! PS That little boy of yours sure is cute.

LINDSAY said...

Where did you get those tote bags?? I have been wanting to get some! I have heard they have cute ones at IKEA too.
ANd as far as the cloth diapers go--I have a friend who uses them and LOVES them. I've thought about it (it would save us lots of money!), but with two kids in diapers--that would also be LOTS of wash! So I think I will stick to disposable :)
For Earth day yesterday we went Thrift store shopping and it was so fun! I have a friend who is "very green" and rarely buys anything that isn't used. I figure I could do better in that area too. Anyways it was a success--I found some shorts for Owen, and some cute sun hats for Elizabeth that were .69 each!

Lindsay said...

Hey I just bought some reusable grocery bags, too! (I couldn't resist, since it was Earth Day AND they were only 99 cents.)

Thanks for sharing how you cleaned with vinegar and baking soda and whatnot. I've always been told that they are good cleaning agents, but I didn't know what for or how to use them as such.

Also, cloth diapers? I'm not sure I have the stomach, or the energy (not to mention the quarters for the laundromat, which I'm not about to drag dirty diapers to). I like Ruth's opinion on the topic. :)

Sam and Heidi said...

You already know I'm into the cloth diapers--if you have laundry facilities at home, and have at least 3 dozen, it's not that much work. In other green news, I'm a huge fan of the vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Every now and then I catch a British show on BBC America called "How Clean is Your House" (http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/100/index.jsp) and they are all about cleaners from your kitchen cupboards. A cool trick I learned from them is that to loosen a clog of hair in your shower drain, shake some bak.soda down the drain, poor some vinegar and the hair just bubbles right up. Sure it's gross looking but i think it works better (and is a lot safer) than drano.
Sam and I keep saying "Our next car will be a hybrid." I hope we stick to that goal--whenver we're ready to trade out our current car. I keep meaning to switch out our incandescent lightbulbs as well--i should quit putting it off and just do it. Happy Greening everyone!