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Ditch the Chemicals and Clean Green!


Our homes can stay clean without the use of chemicals, or so says author Tara Rae Miner who recently wrote the book, Your Green Abode: A Practical Guide to a Sustainable Home.


Tara writes in Your Green Abode that the average person living in American uses close to 25 gallons of hazardous chemical products in his or her home -- the majority of those make up our everyday cleaning products. In fact, she notes that more than 32 million pounds of household cleaning products are poured down the drain in a single day right here in the United States.alt


That's a lot of chemicals and a lot of waste. Water treatment plants were not actually designed to handle all these chemicals, so dumping them down the drain and sewer can actually contaminate groundwater supplies. What are some of the chemicals you ought to dispose of (properly of course!)? How about chlorine, ammonia and all acid-based cleaners, such as those used in toilets and bathrooms. Other common household cleaners contain potent and toxic stuff like ethylene-based glycol and diethylene glycol monobutyl ether - both of which can harm lungs and pollute the air.


Fortunately, there are a lot of non-toxic, eco-friendly ways to clean messes in our homes. Your Green Adobe lists quite a few alternatives to the chemical based cleaners that dominate the grocery shelves and cupboards across America:


Distilled white vinegar: Easy to find and even easier to use. Distilled white vinegar deodorizes, sanitizes and gets rid of bacteria, mold and nasty germs. It can also be used as a fabric softener that will get rid of detergent residue and wash out the stinky stuff.


Baking soda: Make your bathroom and kitchen sparkle. Suck the stink out of your fridge or those dirty clothes in the wash. The list of uses for baking soda is long; just check out Arm & Hammer's site for a (non-toxic) taste.


Liquid castile soap: Typically made with vegetable oil, castile soap is very mild and eco-safe. It dissolves well in water and it can puncture through the most stubborn body odors. Unlike most soaps, castile soap is free of petroleum, so you can feel good about that. And most are even organic!


Lemon: Want to polish that old wood furniture? Clean up that pan? Well, a lemon will do it. It's all natural, freshly scented and completely eco-friendly. It's even safe for humans to eat!


This is just the tip of a very big eco-friendly cleaning products laundry list. Your Green Adobe chronicles many more products that are safe for humans and Mother Nature. So read up and get to cleanin'!


DIY Composting and its Benefits to Nature and You

Last week we talked about how composting and recycling can contribute to a 

substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions. This week, we'll explain how you can make a compost bin in the comfort of your own home or backyard!.


But first, what exactly is composting? Composting is a natural process of recycling grass, leaves, and other yard waste into rich soil. Anything that was once alive will decompose. Compost bins simply accelerate this natural process. When this organic waste re-enters the soil, the cycle of life continues onward. When this material becomes compost it will resemble a dark brown color that smells of a forest floor.


The benefits of composting are many. Here's just a few (not including the greenhouse gas reduction!):


*Composted soil retains water better than regular soil

*Food and yard waste account for 30% of materials found in our waste stream

*Homemade compost reduces costs compared to store purchased compost

*Composted soil produces healthier, more adaptable and nutrient rich plants


So what are you waiting for? Check out this DIY video below to learn how you can make your own compost bin. You will also hear a few more good reasons for tossing that yard and food waste into the garbage can. Talk about saving a few bucks and nature at the same time!

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If you still prefer to utilize a compost bin, many cities within County of San Bernardino sell them to residents at a discounted price. Please contact your local jurisdictions for more information.

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