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Natural Home

The Only 3 Natural Household Cleaners You Need That You Can Make At Home

October 21, 2020
Natural household cleaners with spray bottles

Save some money, the environment, and your health by making your own natural household cleaners!

It’s no secret that most big brand household cleaners are full of chemicals with names we cannot pronounce. Studies repeatedly link them to health problems and illnesses such as allergies, asthma, and cancer. 

Some argue that “chemicals” are not as scary as a word made out to be, and they pose a minimum threat. You can’t deny that the USA permits much more questionable ingredients in our cosmetics and cleaning supplies than other first-world countries. While the jury is still out on whether they are truly dangerous, it is wise to find non-toxic alternatives.

What’s better than homemade? Not only are these recipes incredibly easy to make and affordable, but they also provide an effective clean. You won’t need to worry about the ingredients in these cleaners. 

Reusable paper towels for kitchen cleaning

All-purpose Cleaner

Refuse plastic and germs with a natural cleaner for your home. Not only is this recipe non-toxic for your family (pets too), you’ll be enjoying the lovely scenes of lavender and tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties that make it a great cleaning aid. People have used it for centuries to help fight the common cold, treat fungal conditions, and promote wellness.

It can even use tea tree oil to create a hand sanitizer.

Many people believe lavender essential oils have antifungal properties and associate health benefits with la Many health benefits are associated with lavender oil. 

Lavender essential oil is associated with many health benefits and antifungal properties. In any case, it will give your mix a lovely scent.

Castile soap does the heavy lifting here. Plant-based and gentle, you can use castile soap for a multitude of purposes. It is incredibly safe to use. For our purpose, substitute castile soap if you are leaving out the white vinegar.

  • One teaspoon unscented liquid Castile soap
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 cups of water

Mix all the ingredients gently in a glass container or reuse a plastic spray bottle.

Use your new all-purpose spray in the kitchen with your set of reusable paper towels. The two make a perfect marriage of natural ingredients and low waste living. You can read my guide on reusable paper towels here.

Essential oils give cleaners a lovely scent

Window & Glass Cleaner

This simple recipe makes a good glass and window cleaner. All you need is some water, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. It is as simple as putting equal parts to the main two ingredients to get a streak-free shine! Feel free to experiment with your dish soap (or Castile soap).

Distilled white vinegar is a staple in natural cleaning aids because of its low cost and effectiveness. This powerhouse is very popular in cleaner recipes. However, skip it if you have granite countertops. Vinegar’s acidity may eat away its sealant.

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar OR
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 teaspoon dish soap or Castile soap (optional)

Recycle your newspapers for the best wipe for glass cleaning. If you don’t read the newspaper anymore, a microfiber cloth or even an old t-shirt can work. This is one easy-peasy natural household cleaner!

White vinegar makes a safe cleaning ingredient

Dusting Spray

This recipe is even more straightforward than the glass cleaner recipe. Water will provide a neutral base while the vinegar will work to disinfect surfaces. You can even skip the vinegar for this recipe. The secret sauce here is the olive oil!

Olive oil will moisturize and condition wooden surfaces beautifully. It seeps into the grains, nourishing the wood and giving it shine. When it comes to dust, oil with lift up and trap any dust for you to wipe away. Like the big dust spray brands full of chemicals, our duster will create a protective shield on the wood.

  • One cup of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 10 drops of your favorite essential oil like lemon or orange (optional)

Since oil and water don’t mix well, be sure to shake before use.

Use an old rag or t-shirt for dusting. 

Reusable Paper Towels Natural Home Zero Waste

How Many Unpaper Towels Do I Need?

May 9, 2020

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If you’re greening your home and are on the market for unpaper towels, you may be wondering: how many towels do I need? This is a good question to ask, so today, I’m going to go over unpaper towels, why you should switch to them, and what to consider when looking at the different sets available.

What are Unpaper Towels?

“Unpaper Towels” is the fun name given to simple cloth towels that are cut, used, and look like your regular paper towels. They can come in many different colors with rounded or sharp corners, and vary in all kinds of sizes. Some have snaps or velcro. Others include their own roll so you can still pull your towel from a roll just like you would with paper towels. This is to minimize behavioral change when making the switch.

I actually have a definitive guide to reusable paper towels over here if you really want all the info on these great zero-waste products.

Why even make the switch?

The thing about reusable towels is that they are much more eco-friendly and cost-effective. I have an entire blog article where I write about how bad paper towels are for the environment and how much you’re losing paying for them regularly. Why not lessen your overall house waste, have a safer (not toxin-laden) cleaner, and save money?

Reusable Paper Towels in black and white print

Okay, so how many unpaper towels do I need to start?

So now you’re really serious about making the swap, but may be overwhelmed by the choices out there. I will write about all the features available such as snaps or rolls shortly. But for now, let’s focus on the question of quantity. Unpaper towels dry quickly while being just as absorbent as paper towels. So keep in mind, it’s not one wipe and it’s time for the wash. You really only need a few available at any given time. A set of 6 to 10 is a great starting point to see if that works for your family.

I also recommend having 2 sets so you can alternate between them when one needs to be washed. It’s also a nice way to have the different decor in the house. I love the idea of seasonal towels or pulling out the fancy towels for when guests come over.

But for starting out, I recommend 2 sets of 6-10 towels. You may find this is all you need, or you may find you need another set or more in a set. Don’t sweat it, these are investments that save you money in the long run. Even if you make your transition slowly, it’s a great start- pat yourself on the back!

If you love this post and are ready to find your first (or next!) set of unpaper towels, see my latest Summer Collection.

Zero Waste Natural Home

6 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste for your Green Home

May 1, 2020
Reduce kitchen waste. Beautiful white kitchen

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More and more households are starting to find ways to reduce kitchen waste. Global climate change is an enormous concern for all of us. It’s more important than ever to start making changes in our own lives to help minimize our carbon footprint. It doesn’t have to happen overnight, or be expensive or difficult. Slowly transitioning into one swap or adopting one practice at a time can go a long way. Here are 6 ideas to get you started.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link to Blueland, a cleaning products brand. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase, I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. You can read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy and Blueland’s FAQ for more details.

1. Compost Food Waste

Composting sounds scary and complicated. But just think, your grandparents may have done it. Mine did. It’s a long-time practice that is hugely beneficial to the earth. In fact, the EPA found we could save 20%-30% of food waste from the landfill by composting. There are kits on Amazon for as cheap as $20 that can get you started. If you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry. There are composting communities on Reddit and Facebook ready to help.

2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle to Reduce Kitchen Waste

This is a wildly important and yet only about 34.7% of Americans recycle, despite the vast majority support recycling. We need to start making it more of a part of our lives. Purchase two garbage bins for every room: one for recycling and the other for garbage. You’d be surprised how many recyclables you may be missing in rooms outside the kitchen where people most often do separate garbage from recyclables.

There tends to be a lot of confusion what your city may and may not recycle so it’s best to ask them directly. Call, email or visit your county’s recycling or utility authority’s website. They should be able to give you a complete list of recyclables and non-recyclables.

3. Buy in Bulk and Switch to Products with Less Packaging

Pantry staples such as canned food, rice, and beans can all be purchased in bulk. This reduces the amount of packaging required. Other things to try to buy in bulk: soap, white vinegar, trash bags, dishwashing detergent, coffee, butter, nuts/seeds, and dry pasta.

There are more and more products in the market or online with subscription services that use less packaging. I like Blueland’s cleaning products since you buy your spray bottles and soap dispenser once. Then you only need to buy refill tablets.

4. Eat Less Meat

This bears mentioning as an indirect way to reduce kitchen waste. I can write a book about the impact our meat consumption has on the planet. It is the number one cause of rainforest deforestation and the endangerment of certain wildlife, notably the orangutan. This is to house and grow feed for the cattle. Think of the sheer amount of grains and water it takes to feed billions of livestock meant for slaughter. It’s a huge waste of resources since we could feed more people if we ate less burgers. As Cornell put it: US could feed 800 million people with grains livestock eat.

It pollutes more than all of our methods of travel combined- that’s cars, trains, and planes. Factory farms are breeding grounds for the next superbugs, and these plants particularly affect marginalized communities. I don’t need to mention the egregious animal abuse practices of factory farms and slaughterhouses. The cruelty alone should urge us to eat less meat. Not to mention, you’ll probably save money and reduce your risk for heart disease.

Glass containers to reduce kitchen waste

5. Use Up Your Plastic Containers then Switch to Glass

Don’t throw away your plastic food containers yet! Once they are worn out it’s time to invest in glass containers. They will last you much longer and make better storage for food. Plastic is a terrible vessel for food. It can make your food taste funny and has a risk of containing BPA and other toxins.

6. Switch to Unpaper Towels

I’ve written before about how paper towels are detrimental to the environment. To create paper towels we have to cut down trees, transport those trees in large trucks, manufacture them in large polluting factories, wrap them in plastic and transport them to stores for us to buy them. It’s a lot of resources to use for convenience! Compared to washable kitchen towels, it’s barely a convenience. The level of care for reusable paperless towels is minimal. You’ll be saving money making the switch since you’re buying them once rather than buying paper towels again and again. If you want to learn more about them, check out my best guide to reusable towels here.

Unpaper Towels in black and white print

Where can you buy unpaper towels? Glad you asked! Check out our All Things Grow Collection to find the best unpaper towels on the market. These designer unpaper towels are hand-crafted and complement any kitchen decor, since they are designed with trends in mind. Don’t just tolerate the eyesore that is paper towels. Decorate your kitchen with soft, durable fabrics that serve you and your family.

Natural Home

Easy Household Swaps to Save Money (Especially During the Pandemic)

April 17, 2020
Beautiful minimalist kitchen

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Today, I’m going to share some zero waste AND easy to find swaps to make in your household. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many critically important staples are hard to find or much more expensive. I hope this will help people with this while staying eco-friendly.

In fact, making these changes in my own home has saved me money and alleviated stress.

DISCLOSURE: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products. This means that if you click on my link to make a purchase then I will get a small commission at no extra expense to you. You can read my Disclaimer and Privacy Policy for more details.

To get started:

Swap Away from Plastic Water Bottles

This is an easy one and, albeit, one everyone has heard before. It bears repeating, especially during the pandemic. There’s never been a better time to switch away from plastic bottles to glass or stainless steel water bottles. This does not have to be expensive! My husband and I bought lemonade, kombucha and other drinks that were sold in glass bottles. The coca cola glass bottles are nice but come in the beer tops that can’t be put back on. To solve this, I bought some wine bottle toppers.

If you’re looking to buy specially made bottles, here’s two of my favorite water bottles: Veegoal 18 oz Glass Water Bottle and Yomious 20 oz Glass Water Bottle.

If you’re concerned about your town’s tap water quality, I’d recommend a Brita Water Filter or my absolute favorite, Hydroviv’s Water Filters. They are customized based on your zip code. Water filters cannot filter out everything so companies have to decide what they filter. This means you may not be filtering out the right things in your area’s tap water. Hydroviv looks at your area and customizes your filter for you so you know you are drinking safe water.

Can’t Find Disinfectant Wipes? Here’s a Reusable DIY for your Swaps

The CDC has said bleach or isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus. Huffington Post shared this great DIY to make your own reusable disinfectant wipes out of old t-shirts or cloths. Cut them to whatever size you want and soak them in a solution of bleach or 99% isopropyl alcohol (use 2/3 cups for every 1/3 cup water).

Toilet paper rolls on a green table. Is it time to stop buying toilet paper in your swaps?

Toilet Paper Woes? Here’s an Eco-Friendly Switch

Much like paper towels, toilet paper is not great for the environment. And with people leaving people hanging by stockpiling them, it may be a good time to purchase a bidet. It’s far more sustainable for the earth. The US is actually behind other first-world countries in adopting bidets. Here’s a very affordable and easy to install one on Amazon that’s rated highly.

It’s Time to Ditch Paper Towels

Again, read my post about how terrible paper towels are for the earth and how much money you can save not buying them. Not that you may be able to buy them in many stores right now. I highly recommend investing in one or two sets of unpaper towels. They are just as effective and can be much more attractive in your kitchen. It is a great zero waste swap to make to save money and stress!

If you want luxury unpaper towels to start off with, check out our shop!

Stay Safe and Healthy

My hope is that all my readers and customers stay safe during these times. I hope these easy swaps can help save you money and lift a little stress from searching the stores for these difficult to find items.

Which of these swaps are you going to try first?

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