These days everyone is looking to go green? Knowing when, how and where to start can be the hard part. So, why not start in the kitchen? Here are some items from your kitchen that you can use on your way to a greener home.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be an effective cleanser for your bathroom. Use one cup of baking soda mixed with a teaspoon of liquid soap, a bit of water, and a few drops of antibacterial essential oil (such as tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint) make a great cleaner.

Milk

Milk can be used as an all natural stain remover. Soak the stained garment in a bowl of two parts milk and one part white vinegar. This works especially well for ink stains.

Herbs

Many herbs are natural cures for aliments like stress, digestion, immunity, and more. Use seeds from plants like lavender, mint, lemon balm, and thyme to make your own natural remedies.

Compost Pail

Make your own nutrient rich soil to grow plants in by composting. Keep an airtight container in your kitchen and use it to dispose of food scrap items such as vegetable and fruit waste, meal leftovers, coffee grounds, tea bags, stale bread, grains, and general refrigerator spoilage.

Reusable Tote

When you shop for all of these items make sure to use a reusable tote. You can find these for sale at grocery stores and other shopping centers. This will cut down on plastics.

You’ve just bought a houseā€¦or maybe you’re about to sell one. You look around your property and realize it’s less than attractive. The grass is patchy and yellowed in some areas; the shrubs that came with the property look overgrown or spindly; and there’s no color anywhere. So how do you go about making your yard an inviting oasis–a place that you or a potential buyer would like to spend time in?

You start with the base–the soil. An inexpensive home soil test kit will tell you if your soil is too acidic or alkaline. Depending on the results, you can add a lime or a sulphur mixture to obtain the correct pH.

Another factor is your soil’s composition and texture. The best soil has the perfect proportions of clay, silt and sand and has some organic components as well. If your soil is so dense you can barely get a spade into it, you need to to loosen it up with a good hand tool and some loam.

Loam is basically “perfect soil”, with the correct proportions of sand, clay and silt. Loam is available at your local landscape supply business and is sold by the cubic yard. You can mix it into your existing soil or–if your soil is very poor and rocky (as is often the case here in New England), you can remove it and replace it with loam.

The other important component of soil–especially if you plan on planting flowers and/or vegetables is organic nutrients. There are two ways to enrich your soil: on the surface and in the soil itself. The best way to add nutrients from the inside out is with compost, which is organic material that has been partially broken down.

Old-fashioned composting takes time and work. You need a bin, lots of organic material (leftover food, leaves, grass clippings, etc.), time for the material to break down and someone willing to turn the compost frequently (mixing it up).

There is an easier method, however: recycling yard waste. Many landscape suppliers will take your branches, limbs and clippings and turn them into compost for you. Typically, you drop off your yard waste and drive off with someone else’s that’s already been turned into compost–everyone benefits.

Once the soil is good, you can then go onto to the fun part–choosing and planting flowers, shrubs and trees.

 

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