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24Sep/14
Earth Droplet

GREEN TIP OF THE DAY

10 Ways to Save Water When You’re Already Hard Core About Reducing Your Water Consumption

(Here are 10 tips that can save between 5,000 to 50,000 gallons of water a year even if you’re already conscientious about reducing your water consumption.)

You use low flush toilets, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, water the yard in the early morning and use a low-flow shower-head—just to name a handful of the wonderful things you do to conserve water. Kudos to you! You’re already doing everything you can to reduce your water consumption. ThereWater_Conservation_Poster_by_theautisticactress’s nothing left to do! I thought the same thing myself until our kitchen sink got clogged. When you have to bail your own sink, you quickly realize just how much water you’re using to wash a few dishes and how little you can actually get by with. Living in California (now in its second year of a severe drought), I knew I could do better so I challenged myself to conserve even more water.

We’d already done the obvious things, so I had to get creative to come up with more ways to reduce my water consumption. Admittedly, it takes more effort and it does cramp your lifestyle a little bit. However, you won’t need to abstain from showering so you won’t be walking around covered in dirt and smelling like ripe summer ;)

WARNING: These tips ain’t for Eco-posers!While I don’t find them onerous at all, the average person probably wouldn’t bother. However, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not average! Heck, you may even have better tips than me for saving water! And if you do, please share them in the comments below.

1. Turn Off the Shower

Water Saved Per Year: 1,825 to 43,880 gallons

save water in the showerForget the 5-minute shower. If you’ve got hair, that’s not possible. Instead, you can spend as long as you want in the shower. The catch? You can’t have the water running the whole time. Turn it off when you’re soaping up, shampooing, conditioning and/or shaving. Only turn it on to rinse. That’ll get a 5-minute shower down to three minutes of running water. A low-flow shower-head cuts your water consumption to 2.5 gallons per minute as opposed to the usual 5 to 10 gallons. If you take a 10-minute shower, that’s 25 gallons. If you take a 5-minute shower, that’s 12.5 gallons. If you take a 3-minute shower, you are rockin’ it at 7.5 gallons per shower. Assuming one shower per day, that’s a savings of 1,825 gallons per year. Water savings are much more if you have a regular shower-head. For example, if you normally take a 15-minute shower at 10 gallons per minute, you’ll save 120 gallons per shower or a whopping 43,800 per year!

water droplet guy

2. Capture Your Shower Water

Water Saved Per Year: 365 to 730 gallons

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-toy-watering-can-image7234895  There’s another way to save water in the shower. Keep a rustproof watering can in your shower. While you’re waiting for the water to warm up, fill up the watering can and use this to water plants or even wash your car with one bucket of water (see #9 below).Even if your watering can holds just one gallon of water, you’ll save 365 gallons a year. Stick a 2-gallon container in the shower and you’ll save 730 gallons!

3. One Pot of Water for Dishes

Water Saved Per Year: 730 gallons

POT  Try the “One Pot Challenge” for washing dishes. When you think you’re using very little water to wash dishes, this challenge is an eye-opener. Often, you’ll use several times the volume of what your washing to actually wash it. Place a large pot under the tap and try to wash all your dishes without filling the pot. When you capture the water run off in a pot, you’ll be surprised to see how much water is actually running down the drain. Make it a game to wash a load of dishes without filling your pot full.You’ll likely reduce your water consumption to at least a third of what you were using before. That’s a potential savings of at least 2 gallons a day and probably much more.Assuming an average of one pot or pan to soak per day (this is a very conservative estimate), you’ll save at least a half gallon per day for a savings of 182.5 gallons a year.

4. Reuse the Rinse Water

thWater Saved Per Year: 182.5 gallons

recyle jars and bottlesKeep a flower vase next to the kitchen sink. As you rinse your dishes, capture the “clean” rinse water into the vase. By clean, I mean the water without chunks of food. It can either be clear rinse water or sudsy water. Then, when you have pots or pans to soak, you can use the water from the vase.

5. Stretch out the Dishwasher

Water Saved Per Year: 243 to 365 gallons

low water dishwasher

 Okay, the debate is on whether a dishwasher saves water. If you’re doing the “One Pot Challenge” wash, then it’s probably not efficient to use the dishwasher. However, if you’ve got a family and lots of dishes, you’re very likely tempted to use the dishwasher. If that’s the case, you can stretch out how often you run the dishwasher by washing the occasional glass or dish. When you look at your dishwasher rack, you’ll see that it actually doesn’t hold that much. By washing dishes by hand occasionally (using very little water), you can probably skip a day of turning on your dishwasher.If you run your dishwasher every other day, skipping a day will let you run it every three days, a reduction of 50%. A typical dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle whereas the average Energy Star dishwasher uses about 4 gallons per cycle. If you cut your use to once every three days, you’ll be running it 121.67 times per year vs. 182.5. That’s a reduction of 60.83 cycles per year or a savings between 243 and 365 gallons per year depending on how much your dishwasher uses per cycle.

6. The No Flush Toilet

Water Saved Per Year: 1,401 to 7,665 gallons

toiletFlush for #2 and don’t flush for #1. Hey, I did tell you this wasn’t for Eco-posers. Have a box of baking soda handy and sprinkle it in the bowl and keep the lid closed to take care of odors.If your water has a high mineral content, you may get a mineral build-up ring in your toilet bowl that is a bitch to scrape off. You can either vigorously scrub regularly or ignore it. If it does build up, you can remove it by placing toilet paper soaked in CLR on the ring forth the time directed in the instructions. This will help to remove the ring. Let’s assume you pee three times a day.“Older toilets can use 3.5, 5, or even up to 7 gallons of water with every flush. Federal plumbing standards now specify that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF), and there are high efficiency toilets that use up to 1.28 GPF.” That means you’re saving between1.28 gallons to 7 gallons per flush for a total savings between 1,401 to 7,665gallons per year.

7. Wash Your Hands With a Drizzle

Water Saved Per Year: 383 to 602 gallons

Water Conservation at HomeWhen you soap up your hands, turn the tap off. While you rinse, turn on a trickle of water as opposed to your usual amount. How much water you save will depend on the flow rate of your tap. The standard water flow  is 2.2 gallons per minute or 1.5 gallons if you use a Water Sense labelled faucet. This means if you turn the tap to only half the regular flow, you’ll save between 0.7 gallons to 1.1 gallons per minute. Assuming you wash your hands three times a day at 30 seconds each wash, that’s a savings of 383 to 602 gallons per year.

8. Use a Smaller Glass for Brushing Your Teeth

Water Saved Per Year: 28 gallons

getty_rf_photo_of_woman_rinsing_mouth_with_water  Many people use big plastic cups to hold their toothbrushes and then fill the cups up with water when brushing their teeth. And, of course, they don’t use all of the water in the cup to rinse, just a fraction of it and the rest goes down the drain. If you use a smaller glass, you’ll fill it up less by default. That’s less water going down the drain. Assuming you brush your teeth at least twice a day and you reduce the water going down the drain by 10oz/day, that’s 28 gallons per year, the equivalent of about 5 to 7 dishwasher loads.

9. The One Bucket Car Wash

Water Saved Per Year: 105 to 621 gallons

Commercial Car WashIf you don’t have a car all, good for you. You probably don’t have kids or you live in an urban environment with fantastic public transportation. For everyone else, you can save gallons of water a year by washing your car yourself with just one bucket of water. Give your car a 10-second misting so that the surface is wet. Then pour some Eco-friendly car detergent into a bucket as directed. Add water to the bucket, filling it just under half full (about 2 gallons)Dip the mitt into the soapy water and use the mitt to hand scrub your car.For hubcaps, do those last. Dip a small scrubbing brush into the water and use a little elbow grease to scrub your rims. Rinse with a blast of water for 5 seconds per hubcap.When you have finished scrubbing your entire car, give it a quick 10-second rinse with the hose. (In total, you’ll only use the water in the bucket and the amount that you sprayed on the car. You can get fancy to calculate how much water flows through your hose or guesstimate an average flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. If you follow the above directions, that’s about 40 seconds of water flow for a total of 6 gallons, plus 2 gallons in the bucket, for a total of 8 gallons of water.) However, compared to taking your car to the car wash, you’re saving anywhere from 26 to 112 gallons per wash. See the stats below:

“Some friction in-bay automatic systems use approximately 35 gallons per vehicle, and a high-volume in-bay site could average 100 cars a day. Other in-bay automatics, employing the high-pressure touch-less method, use 70 gallons per vehicle. A tunnel car wash with a moderate amount of high-pressure applications could use 120 gallons of water per vehicle.” Let’s assume you only wash your car 6 times a year. With the numbers from above, you’ll save 105 to 621 gallons per year.

10. Refuse the Water at Restaurants

Water Saved Per Year: 3 gallons

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the interest of service, many restaurant servers will bring you a giant glass of water. If you ask them not to fill your glass or to bring you water, you’ll save about 1 glass per restaurant visit. Let’s say you eat out once a week. That’s 52 glasses a year or about 3 gallons per year. Okay, this one doesn’t save that much water, but when you’re already a water saving superstar, every extra drop counts. The value in this is actually in sharing water saving with others. It’s the power of the multiplier effect that will ultimately make the biggest difference in reducing water consumption.                                      

Mother Earth thanks you!

love mother

www.magictouchcleaning.net

23Sep/14
online shopping

GREEN TIP OF THE DAY

GO GREEN…EVEN WHILE SHOPPING ONLINE??? 

Online shopping has delivered one of the greatest conveniences ever made. Can you imagine having to hunt down that rare part for your computer in a physical store? And, remember when you had to head to 8 different stores to shop around for prices on that big ticket holiday item? Online shopping changed all of that. While it can be argued that online shopping is greener than buying from a store, there’s a counter argument, too.

Waste from online shopping does add up quickly, and there are some wasteful elements of shopping online that aren’t incurred from shopping in a physical location.

 When you shop online, you’re getting a box. Most people don’t recycle those boxes.

  1. Packaging like peanuts and bubble wrap are included in every box.
  2. Items are often shipped in separate small boxes that could be combined. Amazon.com has a bad habit of doing this.
  3. An item that normally was shipped from a local location may be shipped from the opposite coast when purchasing online, increasing shipping costs and energy use.
  4. Additional brochures, packing slips, and sales material are included with the item.

When you shop in a physical store, there are some differences that might be less resource intensive.

  1. The only packaging you often get are the brand’s packaging if the item comes in a box, as well as a shopping bag.
  2. There are no packing slips, just a receipt.
  3. The item could be traveling less to get to you than if you purchased online.

Online shopping can also be a much greener alternative to buying in a retail location as well.

  • Buy locally online when possible to save on shipping energy and costs.
  • Combine shipments into one box. Leave a note for the company to combine all items into one box instead of shipping separately.
  • There are no plastic bags used (usually).
  • You are responsible for recycling any of the packaging (which otherwise may not have been recycled if you had bought from a retail location). Recycle the cardboard and put the interior packing on Craigslist for free, or drop by a UPS store location to see if they could reuse it.

So which option is the more Eco-friendly of the two? Which do you think is the more earth friendly option?  Either can be an earth friendly way to shop, but it depends on what you’re buying as well as who you are buying it from and where they are located. It’s up to you,what you buy, and how you reuse or dispose of the container you receive your items in whether a sack, a box, or both.

As long as “WE” try to do the next right thing it makes a difference in our lives and in “OUR WORLD”.

What are the Most Important Things to Recycle?

recycled soda cans   As much as we would all like to recycle everything, not everything can be recycled. With limited space, limited facilities, and a lack of technology to recycle certain materials, it limits what we can recycle and how we handle our waste. Since only certain things are being recycled, it raises the question, what are the most important things to recycle?

Size-You could start by sorting items by size. If the amount of space something would take in a landfill is the issue, ( then items like): Couches, Fridges,Ovens, Cars, Furniture

Toxicity- If you sort by the toxicity of an item, then some electronics, light bulbs, and computers would be of the utmost important to recycle. (Other items would be): Cellphones, Batteries, Ink cartridgesLaptops,Video game systems

Biodegrading- Sorted by how long an item will take to break down into the environment, plastics and metals never truly biodegrade, and would top the list of most important things to recycle. Most metals oxidize and rust, but never start to break down. Plastics break down in a way, but into a more toxic form than when they are whole. These items include:

Plastic bags, Plastic utensils, Metal car parts, Plastics used to make electronics (casings, etc.)

The real question we might need to ask, is where are our priorities? Are they with the amount of space in a landfill, the toxic elements that could potentially be leeched into the environment, or the composition and ability of an item to biodegrade?

If we prioritized by making items by size the most important thing, then we would have much more room. Bigger things could be reused and recycled into equal size items. For example, if a couch were refurbished into a new couch, that’s saving landfill space the couch would have taken up, plus preventing new materials from being produced. On the other hand, lesser priority to toxic items and non-biodegradable items would leave us with a bunch of toxic junk that would harm wildlife and our water supply.

If we chose to make sorting toxic items the biggest priority, then we would have a cleaner water supply, less of an impact on wildlife (who can ingest toxins and materials, absorb it into their bodies, or breathe in gases), and less of an impact on the environment. On the other hand, we may run out of space if too much priority is given to toxicity over the actual size of an item.

If we decided to make the recycling of plastics and metals our biggest priority, then those non-biodegradable items could be reused again. Giving them another life will prevent them from entering a landfill, and prevent new materials from being produced. On the downside, priority over this could mean less landfill and livable space.

Which of these are the most important things to recycle? As you can see, there are repercussions of not recycling these items. While the obvious answer is that we need to recycle everything, most people cannot, or will not. That makes choosing the more important ones over the less important an imperative duty.single stream recycling

Paper, plastic, and aluminum are easy things to recycle and are also very important. Paper can be easily put into a stack to be recycled down the line, while with plastics, they are contaminating our oceans and environment. The cleanup down the line for plastic pollution could be seemingly endless, so we have to stop today. Aluminum is very easy to bring to your local redemption center to get back a nickel per can, and it doesn’t take up much room. It uses far less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make new aluminum (and at the rate Americans drink soda, we need that aluminum!).

www.magictouchcleaning.net

 

 

22Sep/14
Fall landscape

GREEN TIP OF THE DAY

fall pumpkinReduce Your Energy this Fall, Reuse Things in Your Home, and Recycle What’s Left

Recycling is an all year activity, but in the fall, there are a few things that you may not have thought of that can be reused or recycled. While in the summer we might be more apt to have summer cookouts, vacations, and outdoor activities, fall activities have their fair share of consumption with back to school shopping, holiday shopping, and the first kick of the thermostat to heat up your home. Let’s go over some of the things this fall that you might be able to reduce, reuse, or recycle and cut back on your energy bill and the amount of things you throw away on this post.

  1. Reduce Trash at Football Games. As football season comes into full swing, there’s a lot to look forward to. Events, parties, and the ultimate party, the Super Bowl. As you prepare for the season, the tailgating, and the festivities, see what you can do to lessen what you throw away. While it might be a pain to bring your own reusable plates, there are Eco-friendly options like biodegradable plates,  as well as compost able utensils. You can’t get much easier than that. For game day litter, there’s also biodegradable trash bags, too.
  2. Reduce Back to School Shopping Waste. The need to buy for back to school isn’t something that can be skipped, it’s a must. New clothing, bigger sizes, and new writing utensils are all things that you’ll have to purchase for your little ones (or big ones) as they head back in August or September. How can you make this process a little greener? Bring your own reusable bags when you shop, buy organic whenever you can, and buy to last. Spending a couple of extra dollars on a higher quality item that will last longer might save you money in the long run.
  3. Make Your Own Halloween Costumes. Who says you have to buy something expensive to make a lasting impression? The best costumes ever created on the planet have been homemade. They’re the ones that win competitions, the ones that you remember the most, and the ones that actually might cost the least. These are passed down in families, cherished, and used again and again. The process of making the costume is something that you’ll also remember forever, and your kids will definitely appreciate it when they get older. Who knows, you might be passing it onto them for your own grandchildren to use someday!
  4. Clean Out Your Old Stuff Before Winter Hits. When the cold weather comes, you won’t want to clean out your old stuff, but you’ll need to. Think about the added stuff that the holidays brings,  including storing gifts to give, places to put your children’s new gifts, and the holiday decor around the home. If you can clean out now during the fall, you’ll have more room, and more things to donate to shelters before the cold weather hits. This might prevent you from hastily tossing away things during the holidays when you need to make room last minute.
  5. fall leavesReuse Your Fall Leaves. If you have a mower with a compost bag, try taking the bag off and letting the leaves fall into the grass. It provides necessary nutrients to the soil which will help grass grow next year, and adds a little bit of protection in the winter from heavy snow. It’s also a lot less time consuming to mow than it is to rake your entire yard. All in all, it’s less trips to the dump, less trash thrown away, and more energy saved. Win win win.
  6. Check for Energy Leaks. As the cold weather approaches, you might find yourself reaching to turn up the thermostat on those chilly nights. Before the real chill sets in, check your home for energy leaks by using a thermal leak detector. You’ll find energy sucking cracks, crevices, window leaks, and door drafts immediately, saving you hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars in heating bills when winter comes. You might even want to try it out on family member’s homes, too. When you find the leaks, plug them up by caulking, use a door snake draft stopper to seal out winter winds, or even install new energy efficient windows to really make a dent on your bill (though the cost of new windows may not pay off for a few years).
  7. Recycle Your Thanksgiving Leftovers. Yes, food can be recycled, too! If you’ve ever heard of the famous Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, then you know how great “food recycling” can be. If you’ve had a particularly large feast with loads of leftovers, invite friends or family over that didn’t attend Thanksgiving day to help you eat some of the leftovers. Beats throwing it away!
  8. Reuse Gifts Bags from Last Year. Have you seen the price of gift bags? If you’ve ever had to buy some last minute from stationary stores or gift stores, you can tell how big the markup must be. A large gift bag can cost upwards of $7, with smaller bags usually ranging from $3-4. Why throw them away? They’re usually in perfectly good condition after you’ve opened the gift. Save the tissue and bag, and store it away in a closet until next year. That way, you won’t be throwing away mountains of gift bags, and you won’t have to buy new ones, either. Encourage your family to do the same! Store them away in a sealable storage container and store it under your eaves, and you’ll have it all ready for next year.
  9. Reduce Your Thermostat by One Degree. One puny degree can actually add up to big savings on your bill, and you’re not likely to notice the affect of one degree in the fall. Every degree equals roughly a 3% savings on your energy bill. Wear a sweatshirt or sweater and turn it down a couple more degrees if you’re brave enough.
  10. Roast Pumpkin Seeds from Jack O’ Lanterns. If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds, they’re pretty delicious, and actually very good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, vitamin K, and calcium are just a few of the healthy things that pumpkin seeds contain. When you scoop the innards from your jack o’ lantern, save them and separate the seeds. Read this guide on how to roast pumpkin seeds.

Think you can handle some of the things on this list? If you can, you’ll have a much more energy efficient Eco-friendly Autumn Season.

 

www.magictouchcleaning.net

19Sep/14
couples-workout-3bb

Green Tip Of The Day

Green Your Workout

There are lots of economically savvy ways to get in your daily dose
of physical fitness. Here are some of our favorite tips…

Inspire a green makeover at your health club or gym. Consider encouraging your gym to make some Eco-friendly upgrades.Make sure your club offers recycling bins and energy efficient machines, and remind the staff to ask patrons to limit their towel usage. good God

Car pool with your neighbor to the gym. Not only does carpooling cut down on your fuel costs and usage, but having a gym buddy is an instant incentive to keep up with your fitness goals and resolutions. For extra supportt, consider joining a soccer, volleyball, or kickball league in your neighborhood. No one to car pool with? Your bike is another great way to get where you’re going and workout at the same time.

fabulous bod  Looking for some new workout clothing or gear? Organic cotton and bamboo threads are a great place to start for sweat-friendly green fabrics. For Eco-conscious equipment choices, check the web or a local sporting goods shop for great deals on secondhand bikes and weights.

Just say no to one-time use plastic water bottles. It’s time to commit to using refillable water bottles for workouts and everyday hydration. Using a refillable bottle means less waste in landfills and more money in your wallet. There are  even self-filtering models.

Get creative with your workout routine. It’s not always easy to find time to head to the gym or commit to an after-work jogging schedule. Try to throw in an extra walk female runneror bike ride during your lunch break for a calorie-burning boost.Another greamountain-bikingt way to supplement your gym routine:Try knocking out some house or yard work by attacking the job shoveling snow, raking leaves, vacuuming and dusting can be great activities for burning off lunch.

Recycle your cross-trainers. After putting in all of that extra mileage, your new shoes are bound to lose their bounce. Instead of tossing them, give your shoes new life with Nike’s  Reuse-A-Shoe program. Just drop them off at any Nike store   reuse a shoe

 www.magictouchcleaning.net

18Sep/14

Green Tip Of The Day

5 More Things You Should Never Throw Away, The Everyday Items You May Not Of Considered…
 # 5 Plastic Grocery Bags
Discarded plastic bags aren’t normally recycled. But they can be reused. Far out in the Pacific Ocean floats an island of garbage twice the size of Texas. Known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s an accidental accumulation of millions of tons of floating debris,(much of it plastic) and it’s trapped in the oceanic currents.The single-use plastic grocery bag has been targeted by environmental groups as a symbol of waste. Discarded plastic bags can travel hundreds of miles on the wind, float along rivers and oceans, if they don’t lodge in trees first. Every year, an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million sea birds die from ingesting plastic waste.Several states are currently considering “ban the bag” law. Part of the trouble is that most recycling programs don’t accept plastic grocery bags. Most grocery stores will take back used bags, or you can give them a second or third life through a number of household uses. See the three examples listed below.
  1. Make a comfy pillow for a pet by stuffing crumpled up plastic bags inside an old pillowcase.
  2.  Protect a fragile package by stuffing the box with plastic bags.
  3.  Use plastic bags as makeshift gloves when cleaning the bathroom.
    # 4 Eyeglasses
    Used eyeglasses can be recycled and given to people that don’t have any. There are millions of adults and children without access to prescription eyeglasses, as well as reading glasses. Uncorrected vision renders them uneducated and unemployed. There are a number of charitable organizations that accept donations of used eyeglasses sort them by prescription, and ship them to people who cannot afford the luxury of good vision.
    Lions Club International has been doing this good work for decades. Local branches of the Lions Club distribute eyeglass collection boxes to community buildings like libraries and schools. You can also mail eyeglasses to (1 of the 18) Worldwide Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers.
    New Eyes is another organization that distributes used eyeglasses to the needy. In addition to prescription eyeglasses and reading glasses in good condition, New Eyes accepts sunglasses, metal eyeglasses in any condition,along with watches and jewelry that they sell to raise money.
    # 3 Old T-Shirts

    Old T-shirts make great dust cloths. A favorite T-Shirt is like an old friend. When the holes on your favorite T-shirt are big enough to accidentally stick your arm through, it’s time to retire your old friend to the rag drawer. Cotton T-Shirts make the best rags for dusting, wiping off counters, or washing cars. Check out these 50 ways to use an old T-shirt including bracelets, hair wraps, tote bags, and rag rugs.
    # 2 Rubber Bands
    Among the reuses for rubber bands? Colorful bracelets. Rubber bands are a junk drawer given and should never be thrown out. Rubber bands are also a simple solution to loads of annoying household problems. See a few of my favorites listed below.

    1. A large rubber band around the top and bottom of an open paint can for a cleaner way to wipe off paint brushes.
    2. Wrap two rubber bands around the edges of a cutting board to stop it from slipping.
    3. Triple-wrap a rubber band around the middle of a wooden spoon or spatula to stop it from sliding into the mixing bowl.
    4. Childproof two cabinet doors by wrapping a rubber band tightly around adjoining handles.
      ( I must admit this one is fabulous. If you have children under 3, you know they are in to everything. So for their own safety, and your own sanity, give this a try.)
     
    #1 Toilet Paper Tubes
    An empty toilet roll can become a hairband organizer or even a planter.When American brothers Clarence and E. Irvin Scott invented the toilet paper roll in 1890, they created more than a convenient way to dispense an indispensable product; they ignited our collective obsession with the humble cardboard. For children, a handful of toilet paper tubes is fodder for hours of fun in the form binoculars, rockets, and submarines.That’s without the addition of paper towel tubes.They have adult uses too. Instead of throwing out those cardboard tubes, put them to work around the house with these ideas…

    1. Stuff a bunch of plastic grocery bags inside a paper towel tube to make a handy dispenser.
    2. Organize hair bands and hair clips in the bathroom by wrapping them around a toilet paper tube.
    3. Keep extension cords from getting tangled by folding them neatly inside a paper towel tube.
    4. Keep holiday lights from tangling in storage by wrapping them around the outside of a paper towel roll and taping down the end.
     
17Sep/14

Green Tip Of The Day

5 Things You Should Never Throw Away
  Many office products in this picture can be   reused in very ingenious ways. If the brilliant late-1980s TV show “MacGyver” has taught us anything, it’s that you can repel a gang of thugs, break out of prison, and build a functioning spacecraft with little more than a paper clip, a C battery, and some twist ties. Yes, MacGyver was fiction, but you can conjure up all sorts of handy household fixes with everyday items that most of us thoughtlessly chuck in the garbage.

# 5-Binder Clips

If you’re cleaning out your home office and come across a box of these butterfly-winged beauties, do not even THINK of throwing them away. In the life hacker community, binder clips are the go-to tool for a clever solution to any household problem. Binder clips are prized for their strength. They’re also flat on one side, enabling them to stand up with some degree of stability. Among the many uses that have been dreamed up here are some favorites.
Minimalist wallet – pinch some folded cash and a credit card in the clip; even hang a house key from the silver handle.
Toothpaste helper – keep your half-empty tube of toothpaste locked and loaded by rolling up and clipping the bottom.
Cable corral – attach some clips to the edge of your desk to hold the ends of unused USB, power and audio cables.

  # 4 Aluminum Foil

  Sure, you can use foil for reheating or storage, but did you know you could sharpen a knife with it? When Reynolds sold its first rolls of aluminum foil back in 1947, the company advertised it as the foil for “1,001 kitchen miracles.” Foil exhibits some unique properties of metal — moisture-proof, odor-proof, able to withstand extreme temperatures — and adds the uncanny ability to be molded into any imaginable shape. Foil is also washable, making it the material with a 1,001 lives. Next time you use a sheet of foil to cover a plate of leftovers, rinse it off afterwards, and save it for one of these Eco-friendly, unexpected uses.

Pot scrubber: Ball up some aluminum foil for an easy way to remove baked- on, caked-on grime from pots and pans. Also works on grease-caked grills.

Silver polisher: Submerge tarnished silver in a glass pan of boiling water lined with aluminum foil; then add two teaspoons of salt. In minutes, a simple chemical reaction will dissolve the tarnish without damaging the silver.

No-fuss funnel: Where’s a funnel when you need it? Form a cone out of a double layer of foil and you’re in business.

Scissor sharpener: If your scissors get dull, simply cut through a sheet of aluminum foil.

# 3 ELECTRONICS

Old cell phones can be recycled and given to soldiers or people in need.In the world of high-tech gadgets, it’s a short trip from “next best thing!” to a child’s plaything. Computers, TVs and cell phones fall out of fashion so fast that some folks have collections of old gadgets collecting dust in the basement. If you’re tempted to drag yesterday’s technology to the curb, check out these numbers about the benefits of recycling electronics. Recycling 1 million laptops saves as much electricity as 3,500 American homes use in a year. Recycling 1 million cell phones saves 35,000 pounds (15,876 kilograms) of copper, 772 pounds (350 kilograms) of silver, 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of gold and 33 pounds (15 kilograms) of palladium.

Visit the EPA donation and recycling website to search for local retailers who accept old TVs, computers and cell phones. There are also charitable organizations like Cell Phones for Soldiers and Hope Phones that will take your old flip phone put it in the hands of someone who will really appreciate it. Another cool organization is Music and Memory, a group that gives old iPods and other MP3 players to dementia patients.

# 2 Wine Corks

Wine corks can be glued together to make a bulletin board. Next time you pop open a nice full-bodied merlot or celebrate with a crisp bottle of Champagne, hold on to that cork. With some patience — or some serious drinking – you’ll collect enough corks to make dozens of cool DIY projects. A simple bulletin board or corkboard is the classic project. Glue a hundred or so corks in an eye-catching pattern on a backing board or within a colorful frame. For a cork bath mat, slice the corks in half lengthwise and hot glue the flat sides to a sheet of shelf paper. Even if you only have a handful of corks, you can get creative. Make a float-able key chain by twisting a loop screw into a favorite cork. Carve a cool pattern into the end of a cork to make handy stamps. Or take thin slices of cork and glue them inside cabinet doors to make them slam-proof.

 # 1 Squeeze Bottles

You can fill an empty ketchup bottle with pancake batter to squirt out perfectly sized pancakes without drips. Fill squeeze bottles with olive oil, custom sauces and spicy condiments to add a controlled dash of flavor or color to a dish. You can buy the same squeeze bottles for your home kitchen or save a couple of bucks as well as do some good for the Earth, raid the recycling bin.
The next time you make pancakes, fill a big squeezable ketchup bottle with the batter and squirt out perfect portions without drips or spills. Fill old salad dressing bottles with your own vinaigrette. Recycled squeeze bottles are equally useful outside of the kitchen. Fill old honey bear bottles with paint for the kids’ art table or dispense hand soap from a former mustard bottle. It’ll keep your guests guessing and the Earth cleaner.

 

15Sep/14
air scent pro

Green Tip Of The Day

Earth friendly air freshener tips

I admit it; I was an air freshener abuser – big time. My cleaning cupboard had more air freshener varieties than you can poke a stick at. But in fooling my nose, I was also poisoning myself and the wider environment. There are certainly greener ways to keep nasty smells at bay.

The majority of air fresheners you buy in the supermarket do not destroy odors, but simply mask them. They create a coating on your nasal membranes that fool your brain into thinking that the smell has gone. As for those air fresheners that claim to kill bacteria, our bacteria paranoia is leading us to kill good bacteria while creating strains of drug resistant bad bacteria. While anti-bacterial air fresheners have their place, they should really be limited to hospital environments in most cases.

Air fresheners – chemical cocktails

Many commercially air fresheners contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals that aren’t healthy for us or the environment. Some of the chemicals you may find:

Formaldehyde – known carcinogen
Phenol – skin and nervous system irritant
Petroleum distillates such as butane and propane
Methylformamide – Organ system toxicity, cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity
Butanoic acid – Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Organ system toxicity
Nitro- and polycyclic musks  – linked to cancer, hormone disruption… and the list goes on.

I’ve read that up to 3000 synthetic chemical ingredients are used by the air freshener industry.

One of the other problems of these air fresheners is toxic chemicals accumulate in carpet over time, which is particularly of concern to parents with young children. Being rather sticky, the chemicals also wind up on our shoes and feet to be taken into the outside environment where they wind up in soil.

Added to all that, there’s the non-recyclable or reusable packaging of these products – millions of spray cans and plastic bottles hitting our landfills each year; not to mention the production of chemical ingredients and the packaging.

A recent trend in air fresheners are the 24/7 products that spray automatically every X minutes – whether it’s needed or not. Based on the chemical cocktail described above, I feel these are terrible products that should be pulled from the market.

Something else you should know about air fresheners is that we tend to build up a tolerance to them. We get used to the smell and start using more to get that same olfactory “kick”. If you really feel the need to use these products, try rotating the fragrances you use regularly.

The whole air freshener product life-cycle is an environmental nightmare.

Green commercial air fresheners

Thankfully, some manufacturers have been responding to consumer concerns regarding the health and environmental issues associated with these products and commercial “green” air fresheners can be purchased.

A favorite of mine for the bathroom is Orange Power’s Lime And Orange (available in Australia, not sure about elsewhere). Quite reasonably priced, it contains water, alcohol, cold pressed orange oil and lime oil – and that’s it. It’s also packaged in a reusable atomizer bottle, which is recyclable.

Still, be wary of some of the “green” commercial products – a common trick companies play is to say something along the lines of “contains natural pine scent”, which it may well do – but what about the other ingredients? Check the labels and if the label is unclear, contact the company for a complete ingredient list.

Alternatively, you can try search for the product’s MSDS online. An MSDS is a Materials Safety Data Sheet. These *usually* contain more information than what you’ll find listed on a product’s packaging and may also include toxicological and environmental data.

Run a search on Google like so: Product MSDS- Where “product” is the name of the air freshener. 
(Armed with that information, you can then also use online databases such as Skin Deep 
to find out the potential effects of the chemicals.)

Green home-brewed alternatives

Here are a few tips for greener ways to help keep your home smelling fresh. Of course, be cautious of how you use some of these ideas if you have young children or pets scurrying around the house.

– A simple one, but improving air circulation outside to inside will do wonders. Open windows when you can.

– A tablespoon of salt in a half an orange with the flesh scooped out. I’m told this is a good one for the toilet.

– 1 to 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract placed in small containers around your home

– Pot potpourri made from lavender, roses or whatever scented plants and flowers you may have in your garden.

– Use baking soda to soak up acidic odors; also great for ash trays

Baking soda can also be used as a spray – one teaspoon dissolved in cup of water and then sprayed as a fine mist.

– Use vinegar to neutralize alkaline odors. Yes, vinegar is a little smelly itself to start off with, but the initial pong quickly fades.

– A couple of drops of essential oil in an atomizer/mister full of water sprayed around (bear in mind this only masks the smell rather than neutralizing it)

– A couple of drops of essential oil on a cotton ball place in inconspicuous places around a room

– Placing citrus fruit or cinnamon in a pot with water and simmer gently (rather energy resource intensive though)

– If you have extraction fans in the kitchen or toilet, ensure the screens are kept clean. If you haven’t cleaned yours for a while, try it out and I guarantee the difference will amaze you.

– Treating the cause rather than the symptom is always a preferred strategy. For example, pet bedding can create an awful stink and while it may not be viable to wash it every week, simply putting it out in the sun regularly and giving it a good shake will help. The sun is an important factor as sunlight kills some of the stink-causing bacteria.

www.magictouchcleaning.net

12Sep/14
Two happy children learning geography isolated over white

Green Tip Of The Day

Easy Green Tips for Kids!

( It’s never too early for kids to make environmentally responsible practices a part of their daily life. For the future of the earth, kids must get involved. That’s how change happens. Below are simple, money-saving, kid-friendly ideas that make a difference.)

  • Start recycling and encourage your friends to recycle too.
  • Start composting kitchen waste and encourage your friends to do so too.
  • Buy green school supplies – pencils, notebooks with recycled paper and reuse last year’s unfinished notebooks.
  • Walk, carpool or take a bus to school to cut down on carbon emissions.
  • Save water by turning it off when brushing your teeth.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  • Turn off video games and computers when not in use. Better yet,cut down on video game time, which uses more energy than computers or tv. Play outside instead.
  • Use rechargeable batteries in your toys and buy well-made toys that last.
  • Plant a little garden – lettuce and radishes are quick, easy crops to grow.
  • Reduce use of throwaway cups, plates, utensils and use washable dishes and cloth napkins instead.
  • Use reusable, BPA-free water bottles instead of plastic ones.
  • Use a recyclable lunch bag and put your snacks in reusable containers rather than buying small, throwaway ones.
  • Celebrate Earth Day on April 22!

www.magictouchcleaning.net

11Sep/14

Green Tip Of The Day

A Greener Earth Starts With You And Me

Here’s Some Simple Everyday Tips We Can All Do

Have leftovers from dinner? Store them in a glass container and never reheat in a plastic Tupperware to reduce your exposure to chemicals released when the plastic is heated.

For the items that can’t be composted, recycled, reused or donated, be sure to use biodegradable trash bags instead of plastic ones, as plastic never truly breaks down!

Drink tap water over bottled water. Bottled water costs more, takes more energy to create, and to transport. In most circumstances, tap water is cleaner than bottled water.

Save some of these amazing spices that you are growing for the cold winter season! Put your cut up herbs in an ice cube tray and fill each hole 1/2 way. Then add water on top and you have a spice cube! (Keep in mind Basil will turn dark when frozen but other herbs such as parsley freeze perfectly)

Reduce the strain on your freezer by keeping it full – it runs more efficiently.

When recycling, be sure to empty your recycle bins in a timely manner to eliminate the build up of cardboard, bottles, jars, cans etc in your house. You will be more likely to recycle if there is room to put it away.

Instead of using plastic bags use biodegradable bags which will break down into natural components unlike plastic.ay temporarily!

www.magictouchcleaning.net

10Sep/14
Eco Friendly Indoor Dining

Green Tip Of The Day

3 Green Remodeling Ideas That’ll Make Your Friends Jealous

Sure, you recycle, re purpose, and refurbish, but wouldn’t you love to really knock your friends’ organic hemp socks off? Turn them green with envy with these sweet, sustainable upgrades.

Working Alfresco

 Detached  workshops and studios carve out a nifty workspace, but you can make yours a green endeavor with these prefabricated rooms by Kanga Room Systems. They’re made with sustainable, high-quality materials here in the U.S., which means they don’t have to be shipped as far to reach you (as long as you live in America). Prices for this model range from $7,150 for a 8-by-10-ft. room to $13,400 for a 14-by-24-ft. room.

Reclaim Your Floors

Renewable, durable, and versatile, reclaimed wood is recycled — no new trees are chopped down for your floors. For a truly green floor, make sure any adhesive backing is free of formaldehyde and other harmful VOCs. Prices vary depending on the source and how much work it took to transform the wood from its previous use into flooring, but expect to pay about $5-$15 per square foot. Reclaimed wood is a hot seller, so it should be clearly labeled.

Store the Sun’s Rays

Passive solar design captures the sun’s energy to keep interiors toasty and save you energy costs. Concrete floors and thick interior walls made of concrete, brick, or plaster soak up heat during the day and release it at night when sunlight goes away or your cozy fire goes out. That helps stabilize temp fluctuations and makes a room — or house — more comfortable. If your remodel plans don’t include passive solar design, you can always beef up your insulation.

 www.magictouchcleaning.net

www.elements-of-green.com