1 green thing: Just get rid of them (chemicals, that is)

green-thing_173-WBy Jan Herbert

Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Here are a few more things you can do to eliminate chemicals and get back to doing things the way your grandma did them:

Make your own

Furniture polish—Combine 1 cup of olive oil and a half cup of lemon juice. The least expensive food-grade olive oil will work! Apply to wood using a cloth and wipe off the excess. You may wish to test in a hidden spot on the furniture piece to make sure you like the result. One downside, the “polish” is perishable, so only make what you need, keeping the same ratio of ingredients.

Mothballs—(Did you know the active ingredient in them is a pesticide? And considered by the EPA to be a possible carcinogen?) You can use natural ingredients such as cedar shavings or blocks. Or, make “moth repellent bags.” Fill cheesecloth bags with things moths are repelled by, including cloves, fresh rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Then, simply stuff them in pockets, or dangle from hangers. Tuck them in with blankets and such that you may keep in an old trunk.

Produce wash—This one is the simplest! Grab a bottle of white vinegar (I didn’t even know I had one until I’d bought another!) and mix with three parts water to one part vinegar and add to a spray bottle. Rinse each piece of product with water after using the vinegar. This rinse kills 98 percent of the bacteria on fruits and vegetables, and, in fact, researchers found it works better than a scrub brush. When you finally run out, don’t forget to include the glass vinegar bottle (or plastic bottle one) in your recycling!

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.

From the September 9-15, 2009 issue

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