How to green your house cleaning

According to planetgreen.com cleaning products are everywhere in our homes and offices: on dishes, countertops, furniture, clothes, floors, windows, and floating through the air. In our war on dirt and germs we may often actually be making things worse.
Most of the conventional cleaning products we all grew up with are petroleum-based and have dubious health and environmental implications. Instead of opting for cleaning products that annihilate everything in their path, there are plenty of natural products and methods that keep a house clean and fresh-smelling without the toxic side effects.
Follow these top green cleaning tips to ensure that the air quality inside your home is toxin-free.
1. Employ green cleaning products

As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren’t for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you’ve got yourself an all-purpose cleaner.

2. Avoid poor indoor air quality

It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home.

3. Be careful with antibacterial cleaners

The antibacterial and antimicrobial ‘cleaners’ that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don’t clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding “super germs,” bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided.

4. Help your home smell fresh, naturally
Baking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it’s also a great odor-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odors and then vacuum it up.

5. Good smells, clean air

Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air–pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice.

6. Toss toxic cleaners carefully

When replacing your cleaning products, don’t just throw the old ones in the trash. If they’re too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you.

7. Avoid conventional dry cleaners
Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet.

8. Employ a green house cleaning service

For people don’t have the time to clean their own homes, fortunately there are an increasing number of green cleaning services out there to help get things spic and span. If you can’t find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify.

9. Leave the toxins at the door

Imagine what’s on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy. Many green buildings now include entryway track-off systems as a means of maintaining a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals.

10. Design with clean in mind

Designing houses and other building with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain. In larger buildings, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver as cleaning costs can often add up to as much as half of a building’s total energy costs.


January 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Why should I use waterless auto detailing?

How do you wash your car? Most people are either DIYers, washing the car in their driveway or on the lawn, or hand car wash customers. However, especially in Los Angeles, waterless car washing makes a lot of sense.
You can save 50 gallons of water per vehicle by having ECO Detail clean your car with their elite auto detailing services. First, ECO Detail uses a biodegradable formula that encapsulates dirt and lifts it from the surface of the paint. Don’t worry about toxic chemicals leaving an unhealthy residue in your car or polluting the natural environment, with plant-derived ingredients from citrus, coconut and carnauba palm your vehicle will be left smelling naturally fresh. Next, gone are the days of waxing your car to create a lustrous shine. ECO Detail’s protective polymer coating guards your car from the harmful effects of environmental assaults and lasts longer than traditional car waxing. And finally, with the ECO Sanitizing System℠, eliminate foul odors in your vehicle by penetrating deep within the air duct system and fibers of carpet and upholstery with organic, naturally disinfecting oils. By killing the bacteria and mildew that cause odors, not only does your car stay fresher longer, you also breathe clean air and reduce your risk for sinus problems, allergies and respiratory infections.
You deserve to feel great in your freshly detailed vehicle knowing you did something good for your health and the planet!
For additional information or to schedule your next waterless specialty detail contact Javier Virgen at (310) 579-1332 or javier@waterlessecodetail.com.

January 13, 2011 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

Tips for driving in the rain

Getting from here to there at the holidays holds its own danger, with stressed out drivers rushing from here to there it’s common to experience moments of road rage either on the giving or receiving end. Add to that the massive amount of rainfall we’ve received in Southern California of late and you have a recipe for disaster. So what can you do to keep yourself and others safe while driving in wet conditions? Try the following tips from Edmunds.com. For the full article follow the link at the bottom of this page.

1) Exercise extreme caution after a long dry spell. During a dry period, engine oil and grease build up on the road over time. When mixed with water from a new rainfall, the road becomes extremely slick. Continued rainfall will eventually wash away the oil, but the first few hours can be the most dangerous.

2) Allow for more travel time. You should plan to drive at a slower pace than normal when the roads are wet. Keep in mind that traffic is likely to be moving slower as well. There’s also the possibility that your preplanned route may be flooded or jammed. Whatever the case, rushing equals higher risk.

3) Brake earlier and with less force than you would normally. Not only does this increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, it also lets the driver behind you know that you’re slowing down. Also, be more meticulous about using turn signals, so that other drivers know your intentions, and take turns and curves with less speed than you would in dry conditions.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/tips-and-techniques-for-driving-in-rain.html?articleid=45401

December 19, 2010 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

Give the gift of green car detailing

What better gift to give the men in your life, especially those dedicated car enthusiasts, than a complete auto detail and ECO Sanitizing System℠ with Eco Detail?

Eco Detail’s process uses an exclusive eco-friendly, biodegradable PH balanced formula which traps the dirt and lifts it from the surface of the paint. Our products are plant-derived from citrus, coconut and carnauba palm and leave your car smelling naturally fresh.

Unlike outdated wax-based technology, which deteriorates rapidly in the sun and dulls the appearance of your paint, the Eco Detail protective polymer coating remains to guard your car from the harmful effects of the environment and will keep your car looking cleaner and shinier longer.

Eco Detail’s exclusive ECO Sanitizing System℠ eliminates the source of odor in your vehicle by penetrating deep within the air duct system and fibers of your carpet and upholstery with organic, naturally disinfecting oils. By killing the bacteria and mildew that cause odors, not only does your car stay fresher longer, you also breathe clean air and reduce your risk for sinus problems, allergies, and respiratory infections.

Doesn’t someone in your life deserve to feel great in their freshly detailed vehicle, knowing they’ve done something good for their health and the planet?

Visit http://www.waterlessecodetail.com/ to set up an appointment!

 

December 8, 2010 at 2:10 am Leave a comment

What is your water footprint?

You’ve probably heard about our carbon footprint, or the measure of the impact our lives have on the environment, particularly climate change. But what is our water footprint? On the National Geographic website you can take a water footprint survey and actually calculate your water footprint to discover how your daily water use compares to the national average.

The survey takes into consideration where you live, your household water usage, outdoor landscaping, driving, diet and shopping habits. Along the way, you can click on tips to find out more about water saving. For example, by installing a low-flow shower head, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10 minute shower.

At the end of the survey, you can determine where in your life you can cut back on your water usage and sign a pledge to save that percentage of water. Little things, such as cutting down on the time you spend in the shower, installing low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets in your home, and by reconsidering your diet choices, each person can make a significant pledge to cut their water usage.

Take the National Geographic Water Footprint Survey at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-footprint-calculator/

November 30, 2010 at 4:29 am Leave a comment

Hit The Road, Jack

Driving somewhere for the holidays? Give your car a quick check up with these tips from Napa Auto Care Center:

‎1) Engine Oil – if you can’t remember the last time you checked, changed or topped off your engine’s oil, make sure you ask for brand new oil with a high quality filter.

2) Air Filter – Have your air filter checked every six months and replace when needed.

3) Tire Inspection – At this time of year you may be driving in the rain. The tread on your tires must be adequate for rainy weather, or you could end up in an accident. Ask your technician to check the tread depth on your tires as well as your tire pressure.

4) Windshield Wipers – Your windshield wipers can get worn out. Replace them at the beginning of your road trip.

5) Brake System – You should inspect your brakes twice a year for safety, so have your technician inspect your entire brake system before any road trip. Damaged brake hardware can cause brake pads and shoes to drag, resulting in lower gas mileage.

6) Battery – Corosion is very likely to build up during winter-weather driving. Your technician should check your battery posts and cables to ensure you’ll have no starting problems as you begin your road trip.

7) Headlights – Sometimes you don’t notice that you have a bulb out. Before a road trip is a good time to see if you need to replace a headlight bulb.

November 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Water conservation tips

Courtesy of http://www.bewaterwise.com/tips01.html

California’s main water sources have been severely impacted by record dry conditions. And we’re already using our reserves to supply our everyday water.  Our water situation is serious. But here’s how you can help.

The following are steps you can take indoors to save water every day. By turning off the water when you brush your teeth you can save 3 gallons of water per day. If you shorten your showers by one or two minutes you’ll save 5 gallons per day. Fix leaky faucets and save 20 gallons of water per day. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes and save a whopping 15 to 50 gallons per load! Talk to your family and friends about saving water. If everyone does a little, we all benefit a lot.

Outside, water your yard only before 8 a.m. to reduce evaporation and interference from wind. This can save 25 gallons of water per day. Better yet, install a smart sprinkler controller and save 40 gallons per day. When you use a broom instead of a hose to
clean driveways and sidewalks you can save 150 gallons each time. Regular maintenance of your sprinkler system can do wonders, so check your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray and broken sprinkler heads which can save 500 gallons of water a month.

November 20, 2010 at 5:43 am 2 comments

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