There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ~ Marshall McLuhan, 1964
Taking care of our planet is everyone’s responsibility. Any contribution – no matter how small – will become a powerful solution when applied by enough of us. By making use of the many tools we have at hand, or finger for that matter (“word of mouse” is a powerful resource in its own right), we can tackle our problems one at a time. Before we know it we’ll be one step closer to saving our planet.
The ever increasing demands that we’re placing on our fast diminishing resources need to be reigned in if we want to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with our planet. Unfortunately this ‘bigger picture’ is simply too much for most of us to comprehend, much less do anything about. And when overwhelmed, human nature dictates that we bury our head in the sand and pretend that nothing is wrong.
Well the time has come to buck the trend.
Each month we’ll endeavour to inspire you with small ways to make a big difference. All you have to do is take them for a test drive. If something works for you then use it, and if it doesn’t, by all means show it the door. We’re trying to be helpful here, not prescriptive.
The theme for September is ‘clean’ cleaning products
According to Earth Notes, making your own cleaning products actually takes less time than standing in the supermarket comparing labels to determine which chemicals are less harmful. That may well be true, but only if you can decipher the reams of unpronounceable words in the first place.
Let’s suppose we’re all in the same non-scientific boat. What other pros are there to making, rather than buying your cleaning products?
It will save you a fair amount of money, which you can then spend on more important things like coffee, chocolate, and vacations to dream destinations like Phantom Forest.
Taking a stance against store bought cleaners not only brings you a step closer to creating a healthier environment for you and your family, but will also have a positive ripple effect on your environment as you’ll no longer be pouring harmful substances down the drain, and ultimately, back into the environment.
There are of course those circumstances that require a little more muscle than the likes of lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda can deliver, but most of the time this isn’t the case. If we at least start by reducing our household pollution, we’ll be well on our way to cleaning up the planet.
The clever folk over at Green Living Ideas offer these simple yet effective ways of using common household items to bring the sparkle back into your home. In various combinations they work every bit as well as their store bought counterparts, and best of all, they won’t leave your home smelling like a chemical plant.
The cleaning powers of baking soda reach far beyond it’s time honoured role as a fridge deodorizer. Baking soda acts as a non-abrasive scouring cleaner on countertops and ovens, as well as in bathtubs and sinks. It also rids clothes of those pesky perspiration odors when used in conjunction with laundry detergent in the washing machine. The next time you do laundry, try adding 1/2 cup to a cup to your load. And sprinkle it on your carpet as a deodorizer before vacuuming
Also known as sodium carbonate, washing soda is a caustic cleaner that is far safer than other solvents. Wearing gloves when you use it, however, is still recommended. Washing soda is great at cutting grease, getting wax or lipstick out of clothing, and neutralizing odors.
The acid in lemon juice neutralizes hard water deposits, dissolves buildup and dirt on wood, and tarnish on silver. White vinegar can be used in place of lemon juice, but don’t worry, its infamous strong smell will dissipate as it dries.
Grapefruit seed extract and essential oils such as lavender, clove, and tea tree oil have antiseptic properties and operate as natural fungicides. To keep mold at bay, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle, or 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 1 quart of water.
Let’s commit to a lighter touch when it comes to Mother Earth.