Green Tip – Green New Years Resolutions

by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Simplify, simplify, simplify.Happy New Year!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. That magical moment when we all are able to take a deep breath and begin anew. Take one last look back at the old year and then onward into the new year.

Many people believe that going green takes more money than continuing to do business as usual. That could not be further from the truth. Being green is about living simply, sustainably and thoughtfully.

Here are a few resolutions to add to your list:

1. Clean Green. Next time you go to the store to pick up some cleaning products bypass the toxic chemicals and buy some white vinegar, baking soda and some lemons. Healthier for your family, your wallet and the environment.

Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.

Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water, making it into a paste. Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean without the toxic fumes.

Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a soft cloth or newspaper to wipe.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Full strength white vinegar will disinfect and clean just as effectively as harsh toxic chemicals without harming your family.

2. Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarm, Americans go through about 2.5 million tons of paper towels anually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.

3. Buy Less Stuff. All of our homes are filled with stuff we don’t need. There are even TV shows that help us get rid of all the stuff. Let’s start not buying the stuff we don’t need in the first place. Before you enter a store make a detailed list. Before you purchase something not on your list ask yourself where you’ll put it when you get it home. Do you really need it?

4. Take Five Minutes Each Day To Breathe: Or meditate, or pray. Anything that will reduce stress and help you to stop and refresh your body and soul.

From The Sydney Morning Herald: How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Eco Child’s Play
Eco Child’s Play (ECP) is a blog devoted to informing and discussing “Green Parenting for Non-toxic, Healthy Homes”. Eco Child’s Play provides news, information, and opinions on natural, green parenting to help families live more healthy, eco-friendly lifestyles.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at


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  1. Alison Kerr’s avatar

    Wendy, I love your observations and I’m going to try the lemon and bicarbonate of soda cleaning today.

    I like the suggestion to think about where to put something before buying it. I’m not much of a shopper, but I frequently get home and wonder where to put the stuff I bought, even if it’s just food; I’m like a squirrel who stores more nuts than they could ever eat. When January and February come though it’s lovely to be able to eat from my shelves and freezer and not have to rush out in the snow and bad weather.

    I remind myself that I want to own my possessions and not have them own me!

  2. Lyz’s avatar

    Ooh, convicting. Esp the paper towels. I don’t really even use them enough to justify buying them – any thoughts on how to accessibly store cloths to use instead? Something I can’t pile more stuff on? Hmm…

  3. Alison Kerr’s avatar

    Wendy, I just had to come back and say how much I love the half lemon and bicarbonate of soda for cleaning. I tried this after reading your tip the other day and it works great and smells wonderful. Now cleaning can be like cooking – great for me because I like cooking and pretty much hated cleaning until now!

    In fact for 2010 I’ve decided to focus some effort on further greening my cleaning.

  4. Becky’s avatar

    Lyz, we keep rags in a bucket on top of the washing machine and kitchen towels in a drawer in our hutch. The rags are for funkier jobs, like cleaning spills, and the towels are for drying clean dishes/hands/etc.

    The only thing we really use PT for is the cat box. I’ve read some things about cat waste that makes me not really want to use our rags to wipe the box down. Anyone have suggestions for that?


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