#CLEMAMA - 3 Ways to a Greener Household

Moms and Dads, it’s time to go green — but how does that happen? Of course, we know to recycle, turn off the lights when we’re not using them and buy organic, but there’s more we can do.

I’m no expert by any means, but I started doing research and found that it can be easy to be green at home. I’ll admit, it’s no secret that convenience and cost sometimes limit us from living a green or organic lifestyle, but I’ve learned there are so many ecologically sound choices that won’t break the bank.

As you read on, you’ll find that these ideas aren’t simply less expensive; they can actually help you put your cold, hard cash back in your pocket.

1. Make your own cleaning products or switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Look for products that are biodegradable, phosphate-free and not tested on animals. If you run out of your favorite cleaners, don’t run to the store; try some of these recipes instead. There are tons of recipes out there for homemade products. Vinegar and baking soda will be your new best friends once you start using them. Here are a few of my go-to recipes for homemade cleaning:

All Purpose Cleaner and Deodorizer
Great for: kitchen counters, appliances and inside the refrigerator

  • 4 T baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1 C baking soda
  • 1 C vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oils (optional)

Grout Cleaner
Great for: tile and bathroom grout
Combine the following:

  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part Borax
  • 1 part hot water
Mix together and, using a brush, rub into the grout. Rinse well when you are done.

*TIP* You can find and try Borax in the detergent aisle. It’s an all-natural cleaner — and could save you money when used instead of more expensive special purpose cleaners.

Homemade Glass Spray Cleaner
Great for: glass and mirrors

  • 1/4 C white vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 2-3 drops of dish soap

2. Make your own bug spray. I want to protect my kids from bug bites, but I also try to be very careful about the products I use on them. This is my go-to recipe for a bug spray that won’t leave your kids soaked in chemicals. 

Homemade Bug Spray
Mix in spray bottle:

  • 2 oz. distilled water
  • 1/8 tsp. epsom salt
  • 12-15 drops each of purification and peppermint essential oils
3. No Bottled Water. Instead, buy an inexpensive glass or BPA-free reusable water bottle and refill it. You get tap water for a low cost, so enjoy it. If you’re worried about contaminants, consider buying a water bottle with a filter. It is extremely rare that my family ever uses bottled water; we each have our own glass water bottle and carry it wherever we go.

These are just a few easy ways to start being green around the house. Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear them!

This article can be found in the August 2015 issue of Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine

Sara Carnes is Morning Co-Host of Cleveland's 95.5 "The Fish", Co-Host of Inside The Cleveland Browns on Channel 5 WEWS and proud Cleveland mama. #CLEMAMA