Simple Changes to Save Money and the Environment - Green Tip #13
As always, I had a topic in mind for this week. However, I needed to verify one item I intended to bring up, as being green. So I ventured into cyberspace for confirmation, and Lordy Goshen!, I found a plethora of ideas and information!! I thought, oh no, here we go again with the best laid plans of mice and men! Rather than risk the phrase becoming my mantra (which I really don’t think I can avoid due to the hip hop nature of my curiosity!), I redesigned today’s topic as the prelude to a series I will beintroducing, “Home recipes/remedies for everyday living”.
5 uses for lemon not mentioned in this article
Do you make use of items found in your kitchen for other purposes?
Pantry Items Have More Uses Than You May Know
- If you’re one of many who enjoys flavored coffee, rather than buy the more expensive coffees or (worse) flavored creamers, try dropping a cinnamon stick in the empty coffee pot before brewing. The heated water filtering through the pot will permeate thecinnamon, resulting in a subtle spicy flavor. Because cinnamon sticks are very hard, you can use the same stick for 2 or 3 pots. Or, try adding a few drops of your favorite extract to the water before pouring into the well.
- If you use sponges for cleaning, Scotch makes a sponge called “greener clean”. It’s made with natural fibers from the agave plant. A package of three costs $3.99. They sour far less often than typical sponges. When they do become sour, simply run them through the dishwasher. These sponges last much longer than the traditional product, thus saving money.
- A much less expensive and gentler-on-the-skin alternative to astringents and toners is witch hazel, extracted from– you guessed it– the witch hazel plant. It not only cleanses and seals your pores, but does not burn or dry your skin. If you have oily skin, many astringents actually cause your skin to produce more oil in order to combat the drying effect they render. Indians have used witch hazel for medicinal and other purposes as far back as history reaches. More on this in future posts.
- To help keep your garden fountains clear of algae, place a few algae eating snails in the fountain. They can be purchased from any aquarium store. Be sure and consult the staff as to how many snails you need, depending on the size of yourfountain. In the event the fountain needs to be drained and cleaned, make sure you place the snails in water until finished, then return them to the basin once re-filled. This tip comes from my mother. It’s awesome having a Master Gardener in the family! Thanks, Mom!!
- When cleaning your barbecue grill, cut a lemon in half and pierce through the skin with a long-handled fork. While the grill is still hot, rub the lemon, exposed side down, back and forth across the grate. Not only will you save the surface from chemicals, but the lemon seasons the grill!
- Air fresheners, whether spray or plug-in, contain VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. A green alternative is to revert to your hippie days– burn incense! After all, the 60s were all about being organic! Seriously, incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, often combined with essential oils. Incense is a much more green alternative and won’t pollute your body. The scent also lasts longer than any spray.
- If incense isn’t your “thing”, place a decorative bowl filled with white vinegar and a slice of lemon in a corner of a room where it will be susceptible to heat or humidity. Bathrooms and kitchens, where offensive odors occur most often, are ideal.
- To help clean and deodorize your garbage disposal, throw a few slices of lemon or lime (these can be remnants of a tropical drink!) down the disposal and run until you no longer hear the “chewing” sound. Do not put the mounded ends of the rinds in the disposal, as they cannot be broken down and can damage the blades. Lemon or lime slices can also be placed in your interior trash cans to absorb odor.
Well, folks, that’s about it for this week!
Shauna L Bowling
Refining, Defining or Rhyming
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