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The MANY Uses of Vinegar

August 4, 2014

many uses of vinegarThe many uses of vinegar is quite an impressive list! While vinegar has long been used as a natural cleaning, disinfecting and beauty aid, did you know it could do all of this? Of course, always test a small area first before trying any of these remedies and be sure to consult a doctor when using it as a health aid!

AROUND THE HOUSE

-To wash no-wax floors, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

-To clean windows without streaking, mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.

-To remove water rings on wood furniture, rub a mixture of equal parts of white distilled vinegar and olive oil. Rub with the grain and polish for the best results.

-Rub down shower doors with a sponge soaked in white distilled vinegar to remove soap residue.

-Prevent icing on car windows by wiping the windows the night before with a solution of one part water to three parts white distilled vinegar.

-Deodorant and antiperspirant stains may be removed from clothing by lightly rubbing with white distilled vinegar and laundering as usual.

-Kill bacteria AND soften your clothes by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. No more need for fabric softener!

-Clean that hummingbird feeder regularly with equal parts apple cider vinegar and hot water. Rinse with cold water and air dry before re-filling with food.

IN THE KITCHEN

-Add 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar to 1 pint water and use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables, then rinse thoroughly.  Research has shown that vinegar helps kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables.

-Prevent eggs from cracking when boiling them by adding 2 tbsp of vinegar to the water before boiling the eggs.

-Improve the flavor of boiled ham by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar to the cooking water.

-Not sure your baking soda is still good?  Pour 2 tablespoons vinegar in a small dish, and add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Good baking soda should make the vinegar froth significantly.

-Deodorize your child’s stinky lunchbox by soaking a slice of bread in white vinegar and then leaving it in your child’s lunchbox overnight. Should be odor-free by morning!

-Did you leave that produce out just a bit too long and now have fruit flies/gnats?? First remove the source of the problem by throwing away the over-ripened produce and then place a bowl filled with ½ quart water, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap on the counter to attract the fruit flies.

-To keep your garbage disposal fresh with vinegar cubes. Make your own vinegar cubes by  filling an ice tray with a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to fill the ice tray and then freezing it. Run the mixture through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for one minute.

-Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.

-Freshen your dishwasher by filling the soap reservoir with white vinegar and run the machine through a wash cycle.

-Clean your electric can opener blades with a toothbrush and white vinegar. Dip the toothbrush in white vinegar and position the bristles against the around the edge of the wheel. Turn on your can opener and let the brush do the work.

HEALTH & BEAUTY USES

-Add one to two capfuls of apple cider vinegar to your warm bath. It draws toxins out of the body, leaving behind toned and moisturized skin. (also great to soothe sore muscles)

-Soothe sunburn pain by soaking washcloths in apple cider vinegar and laying them on the affected area.

-Soak your fingertips for 1 minute in 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water before applying the polish to make your manicure last longer.

-Pour one ounce of vinegar in your hair and rinse after shampooing to leave it soft and shiny.

-Apply a small amount of vinegar to bug bites to relieve itching.

What our many uses of vinegar do you and your family use?

SOURCES:

 Household Repurposing Ideas: 5 Clever Uses for Vinegar

95 Household Uses for Vinegar

Natural Remedies for Bug Bites

Eco-Friendly Life Hacks

July 21, 2014

eco-friendly life hacksEver feel like going green can be complicated? We here at the GoGreen Web Directory have put together a list of simple eco-friendly life hacks to make going green just a bit easier!

DID YOU KNOW?

RID YOUR GARDEN OF APHIDS NATURALLY BY INTRODUCING LADY BUGS INTO YOUR GARDEN. One adult ladybug can eat up to 1,000 aphids a day!

MAKE USE OF STEAM. Instead of using electricity for an iron, hang clothes in the bathroom while you take a steamy shower to loosen the wrinkles.

FILL THAT FREEZER AND SAVE. It takes less energy to cool a full freezer than an empty one. So, stock up when you find that great sale on grass-fed meat or organic veggies and fill that freezer. Save money on your energy bill AND your grocery bill.

SPICE THINGS UP TO GET RID OF SPIDERS. This one might have more of an odor than you would like, so plan accordingly! Mix a half a cup of vinegar, a tbsp of chili powder and one quart of water together and mix well. Add to spray bottle and spray area. (be sure to test a small area first)

BE AN EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL. Water plants and flowers early or late in the day to avoid water evaporation from the sun.

SKIP THE DISPOSABLE STRAWS. Not only do they fill landfills with unwanted plastics, they could cause unwanted lip wrinkles as well.

TURN OLD T-SHIRTS INTO GROCERY TOTES! Kill two birds with one stone by creating re-usable grocery totes out of old t-shirts. Find out how HERE.

RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BUY OR APPLY. Before heading out to purchase that new body wash or lip stick, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to see just how well it ranks.

GREEN CLEAN THE MICROWAVE. Don’t fill your home with harsh chemicals when cleaning that dirty microwave! Instead microwave ½ a cup of vinegar with ½ a cup of water for 10 minutes. This will loosen residue off your microwave walls making removal with a sponge quick and easy.

FORGET THE PLASTIC WRAP. And don’t waste money on expense storage containers either. Instead, re-use glass spaghetti sauce jars as food storage for soups, sauces or even salads. Or wrap produce or bowls of leftovers in a clean kitchen towel and tie with a rubber band to keep things fresh for days.

FIX THE LEAK. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water day according to the EPA. Not sure if you have a leak? Test your tank by dropping a few drops of food coloring into the tank; if the color shows up in the bowl without flushing, you’ve got a leak. Generally the problem lies with the flapper value and can easily be replaced.

KEEP THE K (cup). Instead of throwing away those k-cups, reuse them as plant starters. Remove foil top,  add the tea or coffee grounds to your garden or compost, fill k-cups with soil and get ready for planting your seedlings! Find out more HERE.

STOP THE SINK STINK. Have a less than pleasant odor coming from your disposal? Simply run orange or lemon peels in your disposal to freshen it up!

GET RID OF THE RUST. Does your patio furniture or barbecue tools need a little TLC? Try cutting a cucumber or raw potato in half and scrubbing the areas of metal in need of cleaning off rust.The oxalic acid found in these foods is great for removing rust. (be sure to test a small area first!)

KEEP ANTS AWAY THE NATURAL WAY. Having an outdoor party? Keep ants away from your picnic or party (or even your kitchen!) by placing mint tea bags, cucumber peels or bay leaves around the perimeter.

NO CLAY FOR YOUR CAT.  Are you a cat owner? Avoid clay based cat litter.  Look for alternatives made out of plant-based material such as corn, wheat, recycled newspapers or wood chips, which are friendlier on the environment than clay litter which does not biodegrade.

GIFT WRAP GREEN.  Wrap that baby shower gift in a baby blanket or crib sheet instead of paper. Or visit a local thrift shop and purchase a vintage scarf to wrap that special birthday or anniversary present. The extra thought will be appreciated by the recipient and Mother Nature will appreciate it as well.

SUPPORT LOCAL ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESSES. Visit the GoGreen Web Directory to find local eco-conscious businesses, learn about green events in your community, and connect to green living information and news.

 

 

12 Amazing Uses for Cucumbers

July 6, 2014

Cucumbers arenuses for cucumbers‘t just for salads anymore! Here are 12 amazing uses for cucumbers that just may getting you buying this green veggie all year long!

FOR THE BODY:

1. Helps with digestion and weight reduction – Because of the large amount of water and low calorie comprehensive, cucumbers are a terrific addition to your diet especially if you are trying to lose a few pounds.

2. Soothe the burn. Get just a little bit too much sun this summer? Try laying sliced cucumbers on that sunburn to relieve the pain!

3. Kill Bad Breath Naturally. Freshen your breath with a slice of cucumber. Simply press a slice of cucumber to the roof of your mouth for approximately 30 seconds and watch bad breath disappear.

4. Relieve Constipation. Cucumbers are made up of 95% water making them a natural diuretic and can help relieve constipation. So, add cucumbers to your diet daily in salads, in place of chips, or even to sandwiches.

5. Prevent a Hangover. Avoid a hangover by eating a few slices of cucumber before heading to bed. The sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes in cucumbers help reduce hangovers and headaches.

6. Increase Energy.  Instead of grabbing that coffee or soda for an afternoon pick-me-up, eat some cucumber slices instead. Cucumbers contain vitamin B which is a good source of natural energy.

FOR THE HOME:

7. Keep Pests Out of the Garden Naturally. Place a pie tin with several slices of cucumber in your garden to keep pests away. The chemicals in the cucumber have a reaction that pests hate, but humans can’t smell. Replace cucumber slices regularly to keep pests away all summer.

8. Eliminate a Foggy Mirror. Tired of not being able to apply make-up or shave with that foggy bathroom mirror after your shower? Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up.

9. Remove Squeaks. Instead of pulling out the WD40 to rid your door hinges of squeaks, simply rub a cucumber on the hinge instead!

10. Remove Crayon from Walls. Have an “artist” in the family? Remove that crayon from the walls by rubbing an unpeeled cucumber on the crayon to remove just like an eraser. (Be sure to test a small area first to be sure it doesn’t damage your wall or the paint!)

11. Shine Your Shoes. Rub a slice of cucumber on your shoes to shine them quickly and repel water!

12. Remove Tarnish from Stainless Steel. Use slices of cucumber to shine up those faucets. Rub slices on faucets and then rinse clean for a natural shine.(Be sure to test a small area first to be sure it doesn’t damage your stainless steel.)

Have other uses for cucumbers? We would love to hear them!

ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

 

Going Green at the Beach

June 9, 2014

Going green at the beach doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a little forethought and planning, we can make a big impact on keeping our beaches and oceans clean and beautiful for generations to come. Here are a few tips on going green at the beach this summer:

-TRAVEL LIGHT. While ideally walking or biking to your favorite spot is the most favorable mode of transportation, it is not always feasible. If you must drive to the beach opt for a car pool or take the bus.

-STAY ON THE BEATEN PATH. Always use walkovers or paths that have been created for your use. Never walk through sand dunes or wildlife areas. Dunes protect land against storm waves and harbor specialized plants and animals.

-ONLY LEAVE FOOTPRINTS BEHIND. Don’t be a litter bug! Pick-up all  trash and dispose of properly.No recycling bins at the beach? Carry items home and place in your recycling bins instead of tossing them in with the regular trash.

EAT CLEAN. Ready for a picnic at the beach? Be sure to pack local/organic food and beverages in reusable containers. Fill reusable water bottles with your favorite organic and natural drinks. Avoid disposable plates, napkin and cups that can fill up our landfills and oceans.

– USE SAFE SUNSCREEN. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the sun causes 90% of all non-melanoma skin cancers and 65% of melanoma skin cancers, not to mention that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. But all sunscreens are not the same. Your best option is to purchase sunscreens which contain safer ingredients such as zinc and titanium. Chemicals in sunscreen are thought to cause coral bleaching which in turn causes a virus in the algae to grow.  The virus kills off the alga and since coral feeds on algae, it makes it difficult for the coral to survive. To keep our oceans healthy, look for sunscreens that are eco-friendly and that have physical blockers such as dioxide and zinc oxide. These chemicals are safer for our oceans AND our bodies. Visit the Environmental Working Group for a guide to the safest sunscreens for your family.

-CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY BEACH TOYS. Avoid petroleum-based toys for the beach. There are many natural beach toy alternatives available these days made from biodegradable materials, wood, rope or even cotton. Also consider purchasing items from second hand stores or borrow from friends!

-BUY AND DRY NATURALLY. After a fun day at the beach, rinse out swim suits with cool water and then  air dry along with towel and other items. When purchasing your beach gear opt for natural fibers such as cotton and hemp. Not only is it more eco-friendly, it will be cooler on those hot sticky days!

ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

Eco-friendly BBQ Ideas

May 26, 2014

eco-friendly_bbq_ideasEco-friendly BBQ ideas for this summer! Whether you prefer a vegetarian feast or ribs and steaks, here are a few tips on making your summer BBQ eco-friendly:

CHOOSE GAS OR PROPANE OVER CHARCOAL. While many folks love the way a charcoal grill flavors food, it is not the cleanest eco-friendly BBQ ideas.  Charcoal burns dirty and releases soot particles in the air that can worsen chronic heart and lung problems. If you must use charcoal, Grist.org suggests the Rainforest Alliance Smartwood program’s certified Char-Broil products, including the mesquite and hickory wood chips. Also when using charcoal, avoid petroleum based lighter fluids and self-lighting charcoal. These release petrochemicals into the atmosphere

Looking for the cleanest option available? Opt for electric! Electric grills are the cleanest since they release 99% less carbon monoxide and 91% less carbon dioxide than charcoal.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GRILLING.  Did you know that worldwide agriculture, especially livestock production, accounts for about a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions? What you grill is as important as what you use to grill according to University of Michigan environmental engineering professor Steve Skerlos.   Filling the grill with local/organic vegetables make the least impact on our environment. When purchasing poultry or meat for your BBQ be sure to opt for:

  • grass-fed
  • free-range
  • hormone-free
  • locally raised

FILL THE GRILL. Steaks, chicken and veggies on the menu? Be sure to load up the grill as much as possible to reduce carbon output and reduce cooking time. Also, plan your cooking time to correspond to when your grill is ready and don’t leave you grill burning any longer than you need to.

GREEN CLEAN. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your grill. Kitchen Daily suggests using a baking soda paste and a wire brush to clean the grate before grilling. During the cookout, scrape the grill while it’s still hot to keep it clean for your next grilling adventure. Also, to keep your grill at peak performance,  clean out your grill regularly. Build up of grease and food particles in your grill will produce unnecessary smoke.

FINALIZE THE  GUEST LIST.  Avoid waste by confirming your guest list before going to the grocery store so as not to overbuy or leave leftovers that will go to waste. If you do end-up with extras after the big feast, send home leftovers with guests to enjoy the next day.

SET A GREEN TABLE. Now that you have prepared a delicious eco-friendly meal for friends and family, set an eco-friendly table to enjoy your meal! Minimize the use of disposable plates, napkins, cups, and single serving packages. Opt for reusable dinner wear and fresh flowers for your table.  And when it’s time to clean up, be sure to recycle what you can, and use natural cleaning products.

Have eco-friendly BBQ ideas for this summer? We would love to hear them!

ABOUT THE GOGREEN WEB DIRECTORY:

The GoGreen team is always working on ways to improve the Web site, directory, and Living Green content and finding innovative ways to support its members. It’s vital that members have a green marketing resource to improve exposure and help them expand their local reach, and GoGreen’s presence at green events, its role in the sustainable business community, and relationships with a number of partners has resulted in tremendous growth for the directory and its members.

On the GoGreenWebDirectory.com you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

 

Eco-friendly Tips for Spring

May 12, 2014

Eco-friendly tips for spring from inside your home to outside in your yard! Yes, spring cleaning and gardening are FINALLY in full swing. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to a green and clean home:

AROUND THE HOUSE

– Summer is a great time to experiment with new recipes that include fresh produce. Now’s the time to join a CSA and shop the farmer’s markets! Buying local and organic produce not only helps our local farmer’s and the earth, it ensures you are getting the highest quality and freshest produce available. Visit the GoGreen Web Directory to find out more about CSAs and Farmer’s Markets near you.

– If you haven’t already done so, during your spring cleaning consider organizing recycling bins in your garage or storage area to make it more convenient. The less work it requires, the more likely you will be to stick with it. Make it a family affair by getting the kids involved.

– Spring clean those closets! Turn those old t-shirts into rags to reduce the paper towel consumption in your home. Plan a garage sale or neighborhood swap for items you no longer need.

– Declutter the top of your refrigerator to make it more energy efficient. Cereal boxes, kitchen ware and other items prevent heat from venting properly, and make the appliance use extra energy. Also, be sure to clean the coils and grill along the bottom to be sure your fridge is working a peak performance.

-Add natural air fresheners to your home by purchasing PLANTS. Some of the most efficient air-cleaning houseplants include Spider plants, English ivy, rubber plants, and peace lilies.

– Ready to scrub your house from top to bottom? Be sure to not add harmful chemicals to the air by making your own natural cleaners. Here are a few recipes to try (be sure to test a small area first when trying new products):

1. Floors: Mix 4 cups of white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water. If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for a pleasant scent. After damp mopping the floors, the smell of vinegar will dissipate quickly, leaving behind only the scent of the oil.

2. Glass: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray on glass and wipe clean with old newspaper or a lint-free cloth.

3. Toilet: To clean your toilet, pour a cup of vinegar in the bowl before going to bed and then, in the morning, just brush and flush.

4. Scrub: Lemon and salt to scrub tough stains from tubs (make sure it doesn’t scratch)

IN THE YARD

– Now’s the time to create a compost bin in your backyard. Composting things like vegetable scraps, grass clippings and leaves gives you rich compost that adds valuable nutrients your plants need. Not sure how to get started? Here are a few tips.

– Conserve those precious rain drops by adding a rain barrel to your yard.  (And save on your water bill this summer at the same time!)

–  Rid your garden and yard from grubs, snails and other crawling insects without chemicals! How? Add bird feeders and nesting boxes to your yard. These encourage more visits by our feathered friends and opportunities for them to eat slugs, snails, grubs, caterpillars and other pests that destroy plants.

– Add native plants to your landscape. Native plants are adapted to your area, which means they naturally require less maintenance and water than exotic plant. Not sure what plants are native to your area? Check out this EPA Landscaping for Energy-efficient home map. Or hire an organic landscaper near you. Visit the GoGreen Web Directory for more information.

-Think twice about clover. Clover may be luckier than you think! According to Organic Gardening Magazine, Clover is drought-tolerant, virtually immune to diseases, and distasteful to common turf insects. And it generates its own food by fixing nitrogen in the soil making it a terrific addition to your organic lawn.

– Create your own pest control spray. Instead of using harsh chemicals to rid your garden of pests, try this All-purpose insect pest control from Organic Gardening Magazine:

  • Chop, grind, or liquefy one garlic bulb and one small onion.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and mix with 1 quart of water.
  • Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the strained liquid; mix well.
  • Spray your plants thoroughly, including leaf undersides.
  • Store the mixture for up to 1 week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator.

*The ingredients can cause painful skin and eye irritation. When preparing and applying, wear rubber gloves and keep the mixture well away from your eyes and nose.

– Tired of swatting flies all summer long?  Try basil instead. Place pots of basil at doorways and windowsills and on the kitchen counter to keep the flies at bay. (And add fresh basil to your summer recipes like tomatoes and sauces. YUM!)

How do you plan to GoGreen for spring? We would love to hear your tips!

 

The GoGreen Web Directory: New Look! New Features!

May 5, 2014

ggwdlogo

Have you visited us lately? If so, then you might have noticed our new look! If not, be sure to stop over and see all our new features that we hope makes green living even easier for you! Here are some highlights:

WITH OUR NEW DIRECTORY, IT’S EASIER THAN EVER TO SEARCH FOR LOCAL, GREEN  BUSINESSES AND EVENTS! Simply use the search bar at the top of the page  to find exactly what you are looking for or browse the full directory by clicking on “OUR DIRECTORY” tab! And remember, with the GoGreen Web Directory you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GREEN BUSINESS OWNERS GET LISTED ON THE DIRECTORY WITH OUR PREMIUM PACKAGE BY JUNE 30 AND RECEIVE 2 MONTHS FREE! Why the premium package? Gain top exposure to your business on our directory targeting consumers who share your values and vision as a eco-friendly business. Our premium package includes:

-First priority listing on the directory

-Listing in multiple categories and multiple locations giving you additional exposure

We hope you find our new website a valuable tool in your quest for a greener lifestyle. Please visit us often and let us know how we can help make our  green community an even stronger for all of us!

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