Citrus fruits are actually quite amazing. Not only are they delicious and refreshing to eat they have many other household uses as well. One of their most powerful side uses is their ability to clean your home.
When you have a tough cleaning job you need to do, you may automatically think you need a heavy duty commercial cleaner to get the job done right. Well, not only are those cleaners laden with chemicals that are not healthy for you and your family they are also very harsh and abrasive. Citrus fruits are a cleaning powerhouse that you should consider instead.
The natural ingredients of a citrus fruit can clean just as effectively as harsh, conventional cleaners without the harmful side effects. They are completely biodegradable and safe for use in your home. You never need to worry about your child’s exposure to lemons on a floor you just cleaned. And a big bonus is that they smell great too!
Here are just some of the ways you can use citrus to clean your home:
• Clean your garbage disposal and keep it smelling fresh with citrus. Drop a handful of citrus peels (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) into your garbage disposal and run it with the cold water turned on. The citric acid will help deodorize your disposal and leave it smelling fresh.
• Use citrus as a degreaser wherever you have greasy build-up such as the stove, the outdoor grill, and the garage. Some major cruise ship lines are even using citrus a degreaser for their engine rooms!
• Make a citrus and vinegar all purpose cleaner. Just fill a jar with citrus peels and cover in white vinegar. Let is brew for four weeks, giving it an occasional shake. After four weeks, strain out the peels, dilute, and use to clean stovetops, bathroom surfaces, mirrors, and floors. You can even throw some in the laundry to give your whites a boost.
• Toss some orange or lemon peels in your wood burning fireplace to give the room a nice, fresh smell.
• Remove stains from enamel pots by filling ¾ full of water, adding a handful of citrus peels and boiling for 15 minutes.
• Put a used lemon half in your dishwasher to cut grease on your dishes.
• Use half a lemon to rub stainless steel draining boards and taps. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse and shine.
• Mix some olive oil and lemon juice together and put in a spray bottle. Use the mixture to clean hard wood furniture, rubbing and then drying with a cloth rag.
• Use lemon juice to clean and shine brass and copper.
• Squeeze a little lemon juice on stained clothing or cloth diapers and set out in the sun to bleach away the stain.
• Mix lemon or lime juice with baking soda and vinegar to create a paste that will cut through soap scum and dissolve grime in bathtubs and sinks.
• Use Lemon essential oil and Purification essential oil blend in a diffuser. This clears away any bad smells and makes your house smell incredible! As an added bonus it helps kill off germs. Both of these oils can be obtained from Young Living.
When life throws a mess your way, break out the lemons!
I always like to say that to go green or to make your house a healthier place to be you don’t need to break the bank. You do usually do need to spend a little though to makeover your home. Mainstream products are made as cheaply as possible and with little regard to the safety of the consumer. Products that are made to last and that are safer usually have a higher price tag attached. That quality costs a bit more unfortunately but it is well worth our time to consider. We can of course get by where we can using old tees for rags and dishcloths or using bar soap and baking soda to make homemade laundry detergent. That frees up some money to invest in some quality home products that are safe and green.
It is a constant, gradual process too. When I started searching for greener and safer alternatives I didn’t throw all my old stuff away and replace them with better alternatives. I started with one thing at a time and took it step by step. I got rid of all Teflon coated pans and bought up stainless steel and cast iron ones. Out went the dryer sheets and in came the wool dryer balls. I replaced my plastic food storage tubs with glass ones I picked piece by piece at yard sales. I still make changes here and there. I don’t have a perfectly safe and green home, I just do what I can and make changes where I can.
I was inspired by the Healthy Home Makeover Contest being offered by Mighty Nest to make a Healthy Home Makeover board on Pinterest and highlight some of the products I think are important to a home makeover. Some I would like to have myself and some I already have but all are good places to start when you want to make some changes.
If you want a chance to win a home makeover from Mighty Nest worth $500 enter below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was compensated by Mighty Nest for participating in this blog campaign.
I have made no secret that I am not really big on juicing. I have a Vita-Mix and we just seem to prefer whole foods juices and smoothies, with all the pulp and juice combined. That said it can be very nice though to have a cup of fruit or veggie juice without all the frothy pulp and the full tummy that comes after drinking a whole foods juice. My kids especially like juices and we are loathe to buy them at the store because of all the unsavory ingredients (like lots of added sugar) that often accompany those products. Organic and natural juices are available but have you seen the price on those???
Plus, sugar is sugar and most kid’s juices have a lot of it. A green juice is much preferred. Just something refreshing that they can drink with their meal and not fill them up so fast they won’t eat their dinner. We used to own a juicer and we used it often enough but back then we had a different house with a teeny tiny kitchen and we simply did not have room to store a juicer anymore. So goodbye it went.
At any rate I didn’t like the actual juicer very much. It was my first one and I bought a cheap Jack LaLanne model. I disliked cleaning it and I hated handling the blades. It made me nervous every time I used it and we kept misplacing the little magnet thingy that helped you put the blades in correctly. I swore that someday I would get a better one and as luck would have it the folks at NutrioPro recently offered me one of their cold press juicers to try. I have been hugely impressed with it.
Here it is after removing it from the box. This is everything you get…
The list of items/parts for the juicer are:
-New Bella NutriPro Cold Press Juicer with quiet induction motor
-Stainless steel juice strainer
-Single juicing screw auger
-1 pulp container with handle
-1 juice container with handle
-1 cleaning brush
-5 year warranty
I LOVE that the containers have handles. It was also super easy to put together and I had it raring to go in about 2 minutes and it is MUCH quieter than our previous juicer and our blender. I also love that it is a cold pressed juicer. It has no blades so the fruits and veggies are not pulverized into juice, they are pressed or squeezed, using a two step system. The pressing action won’t oxidize the fruit and vegetables and it will help keep the nutrients and enzymes intact. This is also because anything with a blade, like a blender or a juicer with blades, will heat up and start to destroy the nutrients. Cold pressed juices are a much healthier way to go. I hate handling and cleaning blades so double whammy bonus points here.
Another aspect that thrilled me was the fact that you don’t have to shove the fruit/veggies down into it…you basically throw them in and they get sucked in on their own. The only thing that has needed a little help from me thus far has been greens, like Kale. Everything happens so smoothly, I love it. Perhaps this is why NutriPro Juicers are said to get more juice from certain fruits and vegetables than other juicers. For example, the NutriPro got 66% more pineapple juice than one of its main competitors.
The next big win for me is the ease with which you can clean the NutrioPro. I HATED cleaning our other one and that fact often made me shy away from juicing. This one was very easy to clean and I had it done in about 3 minutes. The fact that there is not a whole lot of pulp and debris leftover is a big help. The hardest part to clean was the stainless juice strainer. I spent 2 of the 3 minutes scrubbing that with the brush. Everything else could just be run through some soapy water and rinsed. Easy peasy. It is dishwasher safe too but my dishwasher was full when it was time to clean up.
The very first juice I made was something I am now calling my winter wellness juice. It is full of fresh ginger which is so very good for you…like a natural wonder drug. It is perfect for winter time when illness is rampant and yummy too.
Winter Wellness Juice
1 large apple
3 large kale leaves
3 stalks celery
1-2 inches of ginger
To your health!!
Reusable bottles are a big factor in our home. My husband and I use ours daily at the gym and as CrossFitters we have pretty high standards. We aren’t going to go with single use plastic bottles ever and some of the more flimsy plastic and stainless bottles might be crushed in class. We opt to go with high quality, wide mouth stainless steel bottles. I am not opposed to glass bottles (I have several) just don’t want to see them broken in a fitness class.
Of late I have been using my hot pink Pura bottle. It’s nice looking, it’s durable, and I don’t have to worry about it being damaged if someone kicks it in class. Well, damaged too much anyway. It is a bit wobbly on the bottom after I dented it by dropping it on the paved parking lot. It is still perfectly functional though. Here it is chilling by the Kettlebells…
Pura also makes stainless bottles for kids too…the Pura kiki. If at all possible I think it best not to give our kids plastic to drink out of. Not only is it not sustainable, the whole plastic industry is well known for using chemicals that mimic hormones in their formulations. The products can and do leach these chemicals into whatever beverages you put in them. Not for my kiddos!
Glass bottles are still an option and while I would not hesitate to use them in my own home I know some are worried about potential breakage. Stainless seems to be the answer. It is pretty much unbreakable and it is safe for our littles. The Pura bottles are recyclable and contain on average about 60% recycled material. They are dishwasher safe and you can use a variety of nipples and spouts with them…MAM, ThinkBaby, Avent, Dr. Brown’s, etc.
If you use baby bottles or sippy bottles as I did with two of my kids, even though I breastfed, then these are a great option.
One of the most pressing reasons that so many parents seek to live a greener lifestyle is because they are mindful of the fact that the earth is an inheritance left to the children. What we do or do not do today, can and will be their problem to face tomorrow. This is why raising green kids is so important. Even at a young age they can be made aware of the issues facing their generation. Tween and teens are closer to their inheritance than younger children and they are also more aware of their impact so it is important that they too show a concern for the environment and step up to protect it as their parents have.
This may be a tall order in today’s fast paced world where teens are wired up, plugged in, and in sync with all the latest and greatest that the marketplace has to offer. At every step the media around them is trying to turn them into yet another mindless consumer. The values of mainstream society around them conflict with the green values you hope to cultivate in their minds and hearts. But tweens and teens are more worldly and savvy than ever, so it follows that they are primed to make a real difference and as parents, we can help them. A good place to start is at school…
Here is a list of ways that they can get their green on!
1. Take a solar backpack to school and charge cell phones or other portable devices with the power of the sun.
2. Pack a waste free school lunch each day with a stainless steel Tiffin and carrying bag.
3. Instead of burning CDs use an iPod or a cell phone and charge it with a solar powered charger. Listen to your tunes via iPod, with a sound dock, on your computer, or with an iPod attachment for car stereos.
4. Use planet friendly school supplies such as post consumer recycled paper, eco pens/pencils, and Naked Binders.
5. Go digital! More and more schools are encouraging students to use iPads and laptops and going digital can drastically eliminate paper waste.
6. Help clean up your school by starting a recycling program and a weekly day for volunteer trash pick up to keep the school grounds and surrounding neighborhood areas beautiful. Plan something special for Earth Day and get your classmates involved.
7. Ask the school administrators to host a viewing of eco documentaries like Food Inc, The Cove, or No Impact Man. If the response is lukewarm ask fellow students to sign a petition showing interest.
8. Shop at second had stores and pick up some cool vintage clothing. Second hand clothing is far cheaper and you can create outfits unique to you and your style. Looking like everyone else is way overrated. BUT if you want to look like your peers, thrift stores often carry brand name clothing at a fraction of the original price.
9. When second hand won’t do and you need to buy new…buy organic fibers like organic cotton, hemp, and wool.
10. Use organic and natural shampoos, toiletries, and make-up. Juice Beauty and Style Essentials are two good ones to try.
What other ways can you think of for tweens and teens to make the school experience a little greener?