There was a time (many years ago now) when I defined effective cleaning by how the air smelled. It’s not really clean unless I can smell the chemicals! Thankfully, that is no longer the standard by which I measure the cleaning prowess of the solutions I’m using. In fact, I now do everything in my power to avoid those toxic chemicals I believe are harmful to my health and the health of the environment. Why? Because you can make your own cleaners with items from your pantry that work just as well and smell better!
DIY Cleaner Basic Ingredients
If you’re starting a DIY green cleaners pantry, the following are the top ingredients you’ll want to have around. Some combination of these ingredients will make you almost all of the recipes you find below!
• White Vinegar
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Essential oils, like tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, or lemongrass oil
• Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)
• Fresh herbs, citrus, or citrus peels
• Olive or vegetable oil
The critical first step of waste prevention has been overshadowed by a focus on recycling. Please help to promote a greater awareness of the importance of the “Reduce” part of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra. For a great overview of how raw materials and products move around the world, see the video The Story of Stuff.
The media has done a wonderful job of selling us on the attractiveness and benefits of buying “new”, “improved”, “special”, etc. products. However, we already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products – if we just reused them a few times!
Recycle your Plastic Bottle Tops: Plastic bottle recycling is transitioning to recycling bottle tops (left on the plastic container)! Contact your local recycling center first to confirm they are recycling bottle tops. Better yet, switch to reusable glass or metal drinking bottles and skip the plastic bottles all together.
Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Tour guide to the culturally curious. Eco-warrior, (won E.U. Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award.) Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob.
55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings.
Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.