Thursday, February 18, 2010

Earth Friendly Cleaners That Multitask

by Donnalynn Polito

It’s hard to accept, I know, but earth friendly cleaners can multitask better than us mere mortals. In fact, we may well be impairing our brain by multitasking. Eventually, our multitasking efforts slow us down and getting us a big fat zero in performance tests.

Earth friendly cleaners, on the other hand, are great multitaskers. They clean, smell good, are non-toxic, biodegrade easily, and require no gloves or head gear whether they’re used as stand alone products or blended. With just a few basic ingredients, you can create your own earth friendly cleaners.

Just think what you can save if you try your hand at this. You don’t have to hop into your car, producing carbon dioxide, to run down to the store, taking precious minutes away from your day. Darn, you forgot your sunglasses!

At the store, you check out the labels which you really don’t know what you’re looking at, chose one that’s in a plastic bottle, a bottle which is hard to create and even harder to recycle and then, dash home.

Once home, you read the instructions and put on the gloves. It may be time for the gasmasks.Because we clean our floors with one kind of cleaner, our countertops with another and our upholstery and covers with yet another, we don’t even realize the toxic soup we have created.

Maybe this is just habit, or maybe you haven’t tried other options because you don’t know where to start.

It may seem that making your home green is an overwhelming, expensive redo. That doesn’t have to be.

Because we can start with some easy and very effective that works toward detoxing our homes, we can also work toward creating our much desired eco living green lifestyles. Limiting our exposure to toxic chemicals can start with our household cleaning products.

Don’t dismay. You have more choices than you think. You can choose green cleaners that work with enzymes, and you can also try cleaning solutions that are much closer at hand.

Have goo on your upholstery from all those meals on the sofa while watching the Olympics? What about crumbs and sticky on your bedding from wonderful breakfasts in bed? No worries.

10 Ways to Look Under the Covers is a free PDF that’s chock full of information and it’s just a click away. You don’t even have to get into your car!

Did I mention lemon juice, borax, cola that has gone flat, salt, club soda? Or what about almond oil, baby oil, beaten egg whites, crushed walnuts, cream of tartar, toothpaste, flour?

I know, you’re still a bit skeptical. It’s hard to imagine these items working as well as the traditional methods we all know and have grown up with.

Traditional dry cleaning products may work, but they also may contain perchloroethylene, naphthalene, ethanol, ammonia and detergents. Overexposure to these chemicals can lead to brain and central nervous system damage, behavior problems, asthma, cancer and more.

In 10 Ways to Look Under the Covers, you’ll learn that while some cleaners have switched to a so-called ‘green’ cleaning process. Here is what you need to watch out for: avoid hydrocarbon, greenearth and solvair CO2 cleaning methods. Although they are better than using perc, they still contain toxic solvents. Get your copy now!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Save Water With Natural Fiber Fabrics For Home Furnishings

Saving water by choosing natural fiber fabrics may not be at the top of your list when fabric shopping for your home furnishings, but it can be.  Natural fibers like hemp require virtually no water and produce beautiful fabrics.

Hemp is one of those natural fibers that can be made into beautiful home furnishings and beautiful clothing, as well.  Hemp is strong and soft.  With clothing, the more you wash hemp, the softer it becomes.

Of course, you couldn’t stick your sofa in the washer, but you can find easy tips to cleaning natural fiber fabrics by signing up for our DIY Newsletter. 

Hemp is often blended with other fibers for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is that hemp helps keep items from stretching and losing shape.

It absorbs moisture and has moisture transfer properties that make it an ideal fabric for hot weather climates.  Hemp is also UV, mold and rot resistant.

With all these wonderful qualities, hemp becomes an even better choice for our home furnishing fabric when we look at its growing requirements.

Hemp requires very little to grow.  Hemp is a ‘bast’ fiber which means it comes from the bark of the plant.  Bast fibers are very hardy.  It requires little to no pesticides and no herbicides.

Cotton, on the other hand, requires tons of pesticides and chemicals to protect itself from pests throughout its production process.  Cotton also uses an enormous amount of water to grow.

Check our my video “Eco Living Textiles” to learn more about cotton.

Hemp starts from seed and produces a dense crop with a canopy that keeps moisture in and weeds out.  It provides fertile ground for a diverse population of animals, insects and other micro-organisms. 

Hemp’s root system is deep preventing soil erosion.  The skin of the hemp plant is insect resistant.  Hemp is often used as a rotational crop. 

Hemp has been grown for over 12,000 years.  It’s used in textiles, wood fibers, for paper, biodegradable plastics, construction, fuel and health food products. 

Hemp can produce 4 times per acre what an average forest can yield.  Using hemp in place of some wood products can help save forests, wildlife habitats and increase carbon sequestration. 

Because of the long fibers in hemp, its paper products can be recycled several times over and more than wood based paper.  Hemp is the fastest growing biomass known. 

As a health food, hemp oil is the richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids and essential amino acids.

Hemp often gets confused with marijuana and is not allowed to be grown in the United States.  Other countries, however, are moving forward and have successfully introduced hemp farming, creating a multi-billion dollar industry.

Just to keep things clear, hemp comes from the same species as marijuana, but hemp contains virtually no THC, the stuff that makes poco loco in marijuana.  Hemp cannot be used as a drug.

Need some questions answered about choosing the right fabric for your next home improvement project?  Creating your eco living lifestyle is easier than you think.