Many cleaning products contain chemicals that are bad for your health and the environment, and have not been adequately tested for their harmful effects. You can, however, make your own green cleaners. Follow this simple recipe for an all-purpose cleaner: 4 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons of natural liquid soap (such as Dr.Bronnor’s orange scented), and 10 drops of essential oil (Lavender, Pine or Tea Tree–the oil is optional, but helps disinfect and adds a pleasant fragrance). Mix water, vinegar, and baking soda first, then add the soap and essential oil.
Seal and Insulate
The average U.S. home has enough air leaks to equal an open window. Sealing and insulating your home can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling costs, and upwards of 10% on your total energy bill Find an experienced certified contractor, or follow Energy Star’s do-it-yourself guide to sealing and insulating using the following link.
If every U.S. household replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), it would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. A CFL uses one-fourth the energy of an incandescent light bulb and will pay for itself within 6 months. You can start small by installing Energy Star-rated CFLs when a light blows out, or make a big change by installing CFLs in all of your lights.
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes towards heating and cooling. Start saving money and energy immediately by adjusting your thermostat. In winter, be sure to lower the thermostat by at least 10 degrees when you are not at home or are sleeping. It’s vice-versa for summer.