There are many opportunities to think green while cleaning every corner of your home. These five simple and earth-friendly suggestions will help you get organized, enhance the environment you live in and possibly even save you a little money in the process:
Kitchen: Presumably, you've already implemented a system to separate trash from recyclables, but one less obvious area where waste hides is the garbage disposal. Left unattended, the garbage disposal can fester a myriad of toxic odors. To remedy this, cut a lemon into wedges (or used lemon rinds) and with the cold water running, grind them in the garbage disposal with ice cubes. The lemon will help disinfect your disposal and absorb bad odors, while the ice helps to keep your garbage disposal blades sharp and help push-out any stubborn waste.
Living room: You probably know how to clean your own living room well enough, but have you cleaned the air lately? Incorporating live plants into your living room décor can help to naturally detoxify your home's communal space. Ready to start breathing easier?
Bathroom: The one area of your home where a good disinfectant is of primary importance, and there's a good way to do it without using harsh chemicals. White distilled vinegar is a popular, natural household disinfectant due to its high levels of acidity. You can use it to unclog your stubborn shower drain or clean your toilets. And we bet you have some sitting in your cupboards at home already.
Bedroom: You wouldn't want to disrupt your room with a view with streaky windows, so ditch the paper towels. They aren't reusable. Recycled newspaper works better and doesn't leave streaks.
Garage: When cleaning out your garage keep in mind that there's more to recycle than just paper and plastics these days. Don't know what to do with that used motor oil? It can be reprocessed to use in furnaces for heat or in power plants to generate electricity for homes, schools and businesses. It can also be sent to a refinery that specializes in processing used oil and become re-refined into lubricating base.
Orange County offers four Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Centers. For locations, hours of operation and additional information about HHW disposal options in Orange County, call (714) 834-6752 or visit http://www.oclandfills.com.
CHRYSTAL DENNING is from Waste Management of Orange County, which operates trash and recycling services.