The Green Guide

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: As we head towards a New Year it is always a good idea to take a moment to examine if there are any eco-friendly additions you could make in your day-to-day life.  As Oprah so beautifully put it, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Start recycling. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, stop buying disposable products when there are reusable versions available. Reuse everything, donate gently used items to charity and always recycle as much as you can. The energy saved from recycling a single aluminum can will operate a television for three hours.
  • Bring your own bag. Paper or plastic? Neither is the best choice. Twelve million barrels of oil are used to make the 88.5 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States each year. And it takes four times more energy to make paper bags. (Source: The Daily Green) The best choice is to bring your own reusable shopping bags. Put a few in your car so you have them handy on your next shopping trip. And if you happen to forget your reusable bag (as we all do), choose paper if you will recycle it or plastic if you will reuse or recycle it.
  • Clean Green. Instead of buying costly cleaning products that are full of toxic chemicals, use greener cleaning options like 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.
  • Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarm, Americans go through about 2.5 million tons ofChristmas time paper towels annually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.
  • Buy Less Stuff. My Nana grew up during the Depression-era and her motto has always been, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”! 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?
  • 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.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Green Guide
The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com are published by The Green Guide Institute (TGGI), an independent research and information organization for consumers. Dubbed the “green living source for today’s conscious consumer”, The Green Guide is an invaluable resource for men and women, from young adults to grandparents, striving for a healthy and “greener” lifestyle. It is TGGI’s vision that one day The Green Guide will be, for millions of consumers, the go-to source of information about practical everyday, environmentally responsible and health-minded product choices and actions. Their goal is to ensure that The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com serve as your most practical, reliable, and trustworthy content source for product choices and daily practices that are better for health and the environment.

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By Wendy Gabriel

I am so ready for spring and my house is so ready for spring cleaning! It was a beautiful, sunny day here in the Twin Cities and it really got me in the mood for some deep intense spring cleaning. So I turned off the furnace, opened all the windows, went outside and played with the goddesses.

Editor’s note: The goddesses are my two little girls so named because their Daddy is 100% Greek. Little Greek goddess is our 5-year-old and Baby Greek goddess is our soon to be 2-year-old.

Here are some of my favorite green cleaning tips:

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. It’s like magic!

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

Here are some of my favorite green cleaning tip sites:

The Green Guide has some great DIY Household Cleaners including this great tip: spraying hydrogen peroxide and vinegar right after one another is just as effective at killing germs as lung-irritating, stream-polluting chlorine bleach.

Tiny Choices. They hosted the Green Mom’s Carnival: Green Spring Cleaning this month and have a lineup of excellent bloggers with amazing cleaning tips.

Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safe guarding the environment and transforming the market place by promoting the manufacture, purchase and use of environmentally responsible products and services.

Here are some of my favorite green cleaning people:

In the Twin Cities, Meg and Tara with Clean the Funk Up will come to your house and do your spring cleaning for you. They use only natural products and will leave your house clean and healthy, not clean and toxic! You can reach them at 612-328-1334 (tell them Wendy from My Green Side sent you and they won’t charge you any extra).

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:   Use a half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub!

I learned this green cleaning tip on an amazing radio show I was listening to yesterday.  And I’m not just saying it was amazing because The Greek (my husband) was the guest co-host.  I learned some new things about cleaning green!  Two of the guests on the show, Meg and Tara, own their own cleaning company and they only use healthy, non-toxic, biodegradable products and cleaners. 

Since having children, I have tried to use non-toxic cleaners.  I use baking soda, vinegar and water to clean almost everything with the assorted Seventh Generation or Mrs. Meyers products thrown in.  I was also using a few drops of lavender essential oil to make everything smell better, and since lavender is a natural disinfectant I thought it was giving the vinegar an extra boost (and The Greek finds the scent of vinegar abhorrent).  I learned today that the lavender you get at the health food store is only good for making things smell good.  It doesn’t have the other benefits because it’s not therapeutic grade.  I didn’t know that!  Now I have to find a therapeutic grade lavender oil supplier (luckily, I think I can get it through Meg and Tara) because I am addicted to the stuff and I can’t wait to get my hands on the real stuff!  I use it for scenting my daughter’s baths to promote calm; I put in on their pillows and sheets to help them sleep; I put a few drops in a bottle with water so my four year old can “help” me clean.  It smells wonderful and she can spray it on virtually anything.

And, I learned tons about lemon.  It kills the germs that cause meningitis, pneumonia, diphtheria, tuberculosis and staph infections.  It inhibits mold growth and aflatoxin production. 

Here’s a great article about cleaning everything imaginable by The Green Guide and another at Mom’s Organic House.

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