Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Green Cleaning Starter Kit

We're all trying to be green. We're trying to do our part to help our planet. I've recently been inspired by watching No Impact Man. Colin Beavan and his family are more than a little extreme. For one year, they give up many things that we all probably use on a daily basis--electricity, toilet paper, restaurants, and meat to name a few. It is a fascinating movie and reminds the viewer of how much one person can truly accomplish. We can each help teach someone else how to make a difference.

Whitney recently posted some delightful housewarming gifts and Courtney posted some delicious treats that would be fantastic gifts, as well. I have one more simple housewarming gift that you can make for that person who is just starting out on trying to make less of an impact on the environment. I know I would have loved to receive a kit for green cleaning a few years ago.

White vinegar
Spray bottle
Essential oil
Baking soda
Recycled jar
Old t-shirts or other fabric (I use pillow cases)
Cotton muslin

Green Cleaner
1. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in the spray bottle.
2. Add several drops of the essential oil of your choice. (Good options are tea tree, orange and lemon)
3. Reattach the top.
4. Add a label to the bottle. (multipurpose cleaner: white vinegar, water, and essential oil)

Baking Soda
1. Clean out a small jar. A salsa jar works well.
2. Fill the jar with baking soda. (You can buy baking soda in bulk at Costco for a great price.)
3. Add a label. (baking soda: use with multipurpose cleaner to scour sinks, clean toilets, and freshen drains)

1. Use a ruler to cut an 8"x8" square out of your old t-shirt.
2. Sew around the edges using a zig-zag stitch.
3. Repeat, making at least three more rags.
4. Make a tag (rags) and attach to the stack with a ribbon.

Bulk Bag
1. Cut a large rectangle out of the cotton muslin. (8"x20")
2. Fold with right sides together and sew up the sides.
3. Turn the bag right side out and sew up both sides about 1/2" in from side seams.
4. Fold the top over twice to make space for your ribbon.
5. Iron and pin the seam.
6. Sew around the top edge, leaving an opening for the ribbon.
7. Use a safety pin to guide the ribbon.
8. Sew the ends of the ribbon together.
9. Make a label and pin it to the bag. (Bulk bag: perfect for shopping in the bulk aisle at the grocery)

Assemble your gift by placing all of the items into the bulk bag. You may want to include the essential oil as part of the gift. (It can also be used to add a lovely scent to an unscented laundry detergent.) Drop your gift off at your friend's new abode.

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