Is it really possible to reduce waste at home and save money? Each small step we take, every change we make will create a positive impact on our environment, our lives and the wider world.
One of our favourite quotes by Matt Bevin sums it up… “While it may seem small, the ripple effective of small things is extraordinary.”
Consider what sort of impact would be made if every person in the world did something small every single day. Collectively we’d make a big impact! Reducing waste at home may seem difficult and a big task at first but there are small things we can do around the home that will create less waste and the added benefit is that it can save you money too.
Here are our top five ideas to inspire you to make a change in your daily habits, and to reduce waste at home:
Your home is the best starting point because you can control what comes in and what goes out.
You will lessen your carbon footprint by using reusable items or those that are biodegradable. You will also save money when you are not constantly replacing items after every use.
Compositing may be daunting but it probably not as involved or messy as you may think. It’s an ideal process in particular if you’re keen to grow your own veggies. It builds good soil structure, it allows soil to retain nutrients, water and air and protects plans from garden diseases. All soil types will improve with the addition of compost.
If you’d like to give it a go here are the basic steps…
Once it’s ready add it to you garden and get growing your own veggies. Plant seasonally and you’ll reap the rewards
of delicious, fresh veggies that you’ve grown yourself!
If you’re still not keen you can keep your food scraps in a container in the fridge or freezer and find a community composting location such as a community garden to contribute to.
Before modern conveniences were available there was canning, freezing, pickling and fermenting. These are the methods that have been around for centuries to keep food from spoiling and avoiding it going to waste.
If you’re growing your own veggies or fruit then you may find that you have an abundance of fresh item each season. Next time you have too much of anything consider how you can preserve it and use it at a later date when perhaps it’s not in season. Here are some examples…
You’ll end up saving lots of money by not buying food and produce out of season and it will be just as fresh or tasty as though you’d just picked it. Best of all you will not be contributing to more environmental waste.
This one is one we are incredibly passionate about. It astounds us that supermarkets and retail outlets are still allowed to sell toxic and harmful cleaning products. These toxic products contribute to indoor air pollution and medical conditions and are poisonous, just read the labels on their own packaging!
You can create your own effective home cleaning solutions that will be safe for adults, babies through to teens, your pets and the environment. Best of all you are likely to have most of the key ingredients in your pantry already. These include:
You may also like to read more in our article, 10 Natural Home Cleaning Hacks, which provides great tips on cleaning almost every area of your home without the nasty, toxic chemicals. When you choose to stop buying expensive and toxic solutions you will quickly notice how much money you are saving! Not to mention the health benefits…
Do you really take notice of how much you throw in the bin? Sometimes we think we are recycling, reusing and being responsible but we often don’t realise how much we are actually sending to landfill until we empty the contents of our bins.
Once a week empty the contents of your bin (including recycling bins) and see where you can make small changes to your habits to contribute less to landfill. Here are some ideas for your consideration….
So there are our five tips to help you reduce waste at home and save money along the way. Best of all you can get the whole family involved. Buy less, waste less, save more! Create a ripple effect by starting in your home and community and watch the movement grow around our precious world.
The change in urban environments and our work commitments means that many people now live in smaller spaces and don’t get out in the fresh air as often. So why not bring the benefits of the outdoors into your inner sanctuary by using beautiful, green and lush indoor plants?
While this may seem like a new trend, the benefits of incorporating plants into the indoors have been around for hundreds of years. Not only are indoor plants easy to look after and maintain, they are powerfully packed with lots of health benefits too. Here we explore the benefits of indoor plants for your health and mind, and which plants are best to use.
Indoor plants drastically reduce indoor air pollution and purify the air inside your home. Our homes can harbour unhealthy invisible toxins such as benzene formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. These toxins are emitted through furniture, carpets, appliances and household products. Studies have found that incorporating plants into our indoor space can eliminate and neutralise the air within our homes and purify it so we can breathe easier.
Recent studies have shown that green indoor plants with broad leaves help boost your mood and alleviate stress levels. They stimulate the mind and enhance productivity so are a great addition to a teenager’s room who is studying for exams, your study nook or your home office. Green luscious leaves and plants also add colour and life into the indoor space you inhabit. Plants are also known to increase positivity and mental well being.
With the busy lives we lead these days having a restful and blissful eight hours sleep each night can be challenging. There are some plants whose fragrance can stimulate relaxation and promote a better night’s sleep, in particular lavender or jasmine. The fragrance from these plants are beneficial when placed in the bedroom and can help you relax and unwind prior to drifting off to sleep.
Ten percent of the moisture in the air we breathe is released by plants. This is particularly helpful when the air quality in our homes is rather dry especially when the heating is running during the winter months. So if you have family members who suffer from eczema and asthma they will benefit from the humidifying effects of natural living plants in the home.
You might already know about the health benefits of the aloe vera plant and its gel for the skin, but the plant itself is also great for purifying air. It has many healing benefits with the gel acting an effective healer for cuts, abrasions, skin conditions and for soothing burns.
There are numerous indoor plants to choose from which will provide you with the greatest health benefits, but how do you choose one that will look great and will thrive indoors. Here we have compiled our top 5 plants to use indoors…
The rubber plant (Ficus Elastic) is a great ornamental plant with glossy oval shaped leaves.
Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) is also known as golden cane or butterfly palm. It has a beautiful, luscious whisply leaf and is a very popular addition to any indoor space.
Lavender (Lavendula) is easy to grow and maintain in pots and ideal particularly for bathrooms or bedrooms for its calming fragrance and affects.
The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum Sensation) has dark glossy green leaves that presents as lush foliage. A great indoor plant that grows beautiful white flowers.
Aloe Vera (Aloe Barberae) is often celebrated for its medicinal, soothing and air cleansing properties.
All of the plants listed above work well to eliminate air pollutants and toxins by taking in the toxins and converting them to oxygen.
Looking after indoor plants is relatively easy and will be enjoyable. Be mindful that plants will grow so ensure you choose a plant and pot that it lives in to suit your space and environment. To get the most from your indoor plants keep them well hydrated with regular watering. Most indoor plants will thrive in medium light so try and avoid dimly lit areas and direct sunlight. If you find leaves are wilting take your plant outside for some fresh air and a good water when the sun is shining.
Have some fun in your home by experimenting with decorative pot plant holders, hanging baskets and filling your rooms with green energy and life. To get the full benefit from indoor plants place them within two square meters of where you normally sit or sleep. Your health will thank you for it!
Do you feel like you’re living in chaos? Can’t seem to find anything? Sick of looking through piles of things only give up on finding that item? Keeping your home organised and neat can be tricky, particularly when we’re busy and rushed. But it doesn’t have to be difficult and organising your home will make you more efficient, give you time to rest and relax and also make the task of keeping it clean faster and easier. Here are 28 genius tips for organising your home to keep each area of your home organised, from your kitchen to living areas to bathrooms and bedrooms and everywhere in between…
Having an organised home is refreshing.
LIVING AREA TIPS
If you feel that the task of organising is overwhelming, simply start off by tackling one cupboard or one room at a time. Once you’re done working your way through each room of your home, you will feel a renewed sense of serenity and the chaos will dissipate, making it much easier to you’re your home clean and tidy.
We all know that our actions can really impact the environment, and although most people would like to do what they can to make it better, they believe that green living can be hard - we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be!
Here are some simple actions that will make your home environment greener and healthier for you and your loved ones and will also benefit our amazing planet.
What’s better than heading into the backyard and grabbing some fresh veggies that taste great, along with the knowledge that they are free of chemicals? Not only will your body thank you but so will the planet for reducing contamination to the environment.
When choosing what you’d like to grow, it’s a good idea to make a plan so that you can stagger the sowing of seeds to give you a constant supply of those fresh and seasonal veggies! Get the kids involved too – you might find that they eat more vegetables seeing as they helped create them.
When you’re done creating your veggie garden and have reaped those benefits, you can use those, along with other food scraps to create compost (your free organic fertiliser) and reduce landfill waste!
You can invest in a compost bin or you can just start a pile in a heap on the ground. It’s a good idea to keep your compost moist, not wet, and add food scraps, lawn clippings and coffee grounds to the mix.
It also will require some aerating so turning the compost with a fork once a week will help it along. Decomposition time varies and is dependent on what you’ve used to create your compost and the moisture and aeration of your heap. When it all looks and smells like very dark soil your compost is ready to be used. Use it in your garden to create an abundance of healthy soil for your veggie patch.
There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of air within your home, making it much healthier for your family to live in and is beneficial for the environment!
Firstly, you need to get rid of all those toxic cleaning products that are plentiful on our supermarket shelves these days. Healthier options are always available - one of which mixing a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water which cleans and disinfects!
Another thing that you can do for the air quality is to invest in a cold air oil diffuser. Using a variety of natural oils in a diffuser can neutralise chemicals and bacteria, eliminate the need for any synthetic air fresheners and keep your home smelling amazing!
We strongly recommend not to use air fresheners and avoid scented cleaning or laundry products that don’t disclose their fragrance ingredients on the product label. These products may trigger allergies and often contain suspected endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates and synthetic musks.
If we all do our little bit it will collectively amount to a lot - so do yourself, your loved ones and our environment a favour and start living green today!
Spring is here and it’s time to breathe some new life into your home with a good Spring clean!
It’s a time when those neglected areas finally get some TLC, the de-cluttering of the pantry and cupboards finally happen, and those items stored in boxes that you haven’t needed all year can get used or perhaps get their marching orders. It’s time – you know it is…
Spring cleaning is not only great because it gets your home organised and clean, but it’s also an important thing to do for your health. One advantage that shouldn’t be overlooked is that you will burn a whole heap of calories, but more importantly you will also get rid of allergy culprits including dust and mould that may be lurking in your home.
Here are five tips to get you inspired – get started on your spring cleaning and have some fun along the way!
Inspect your home and make a list of what you need to do. List the order of priorities so that you know where to begin. Don’t forget to tick off the items as they’re completed. This is a great way to keep motivated and feel a sense of accomplishment once each item is done. If you really want to make it fun get some friends (or your kids) involved and reciprocate the favour when their house is ready for a clean!
Have some fun by creating and mixing up your own natural cleaning products. You’ll need some spray bottles, water, vinegar and baking soda – these products will clean just about everything!
Here’s an all-purpose cleaner recipe to get you started:
Equal parts water to white vinegar
Few drops morning fresh or dish washing detergent
10 drops of tea tree, lavender or lemon essential oil
Mix the essential oil and vinegar with a little water in a clean spray bottle. Fill it to top with water (based on 350ml bottle). Gently shake it and you’re ready to go!
Bi Carb Soda
Sprinkle bi-carb soda in the bath tub, sinks, vanities then spray with your vinegar product. Leave it for at least 10 minutes before giving it a good scrub.
Is there anything that you can up cycle in those stored boxes? There are so many clever ideas online for turning your old items into something new. Try your hand at some arts and crafts - create something unique that you be can be proud of.
This is a great time to consider donating old books, appliances, clothes, tools or anything else you may no longer need to charity. De-cluttering and helping someone less privileged – it’s a win-win!
Last but certainly not least, make a playlist of your favourite dance tunes and turn the music up! Music is one of the best ways to lighten the mood and keep you motivated – perhaps even help you clean at a faster pace - you’ll have the house beautifully clean in no time!
Our point here is that Spring cleaning doesn’t have to feel like a boring chore after all. You can have some fun along the way and you and your home will feel refreshed afterwards.
If you’d love a spring clean but simply can’t find the time we can also help. We only use eco-friendly cleaning products and methods to keep your home free of toxins and safe for all family members. Enquire now at http://www.blisshomecare.com.au/enquire-now/
If you're cleaning bathrooms the traditional way, you're probably using disinfectant cleaners, glass cleaners, and acid bowl cleaners. Although these products do a good job of cleaning, they can be toxic to the environment and to the people who use them. In addition, some cleaners are made from petroleum products, which is not a renewable resource, so using a product that is water based would be a "greener" alternative.
Many residential companies or home owners who clean in the traditional way also use white cotton cloths for cleaning surfaces. When using cotton cloths, you take a chance that you will cross-contaminate surfaces as they move from one area to the next.
Cleaning bathroom floors in the traditional way may include sweeping with a broom or dust mop, and then using a cotton mop, sponge mop, or cotton rag to clean the floors.
When you clean bathrooms using environmentally friendly products, tools and methods, you use safer cleaning products, and more efficient tools and cleaning systems. First, consider switching to products that are safer for the environment, aquatic life and human life. Check with your local distributor, as they should carry at least one environmentally friendly product line. Ideally, cleaning product is eco-friendly, non-hazardous and certified.
Bathroom cleaning involves disinfecting a number of different surfaces, so you want to avoid cross-contaminating surfaces. The best way to do this is to use color-coded microfiber cloths. Each color is used for a particular task. For example:
Cleaning floors using green cleaning equipment and methods means you'll use a good quality approved vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter to vacuum the floor, rather than sweeping, which spreads soil around and causes dust to become airborne.
Mopping floors using green cleaning equipment and methods means you'll use a microfiber mop instead of the traditional mop and bucket. Microfiber mops are lighter weight, use less water, and are able to trap more soil in the fibers than traditional mops. In medical facilities, you can quickly switch mop heads from room to room to avoid cross contamination.
As you can see, making a few simple changes in chemicals, equipment and cleaning methods can make a big impact. Not only will you be making a contribution to protecting the environment, but you'll also be protecting your family, pets and employees from toxic chemicals and outdated equipment that can cause unnecessary injuries.
Microfiber is no longer a "buzz word" that is taking the cleaning world by storm. Most cleaning companies should be using them on a daily basis as a basic cleaning tool.
How to choose the right microfiber cloth for your all cleaning needs. There are different grades of Microfiber for different types of tasks and most manufactures will carry at least 3 different types of Microfiber cloths. The most common types are:
When purchasing for your Microfiber cloths, visit your local cleaning suppliers, as they more likely to supply high quality Microfiber cloths. You can usually tell a good quality Microfiber cloth by doing couple of tests. First, run the cloth across your hand. Does it seem to catch? This is caused by the dense fibers and indicates quality Microfiber. Next, put a small amount of hand lotion on mirror and then wipe your mirror cloth to see how many passes it takes to remove the lotion. A good quality Microfiber cloth will remove the lotion in only one or two passes.
Microfiber cloths come in variety of colours and the reason for that to prevent cross contamination. You certainly would not want to use to clean a toilet and then use the same cloth to clean your kitchen bench tops.
when washing microfiber cloths, it is best to wash and dry them separately from other laundry items such as cotton cloths, towels or clothing. If you don't wash them separately, they will pull the lint off these items and become so loaded it may make them useless. Avoid using bleach and fabric softener. Bleach will damage the fibers and fabric softener will reduce the static charge, which is an important part of what makes Microfiber cloth works so well.
when cleaning Microfiber, use about half the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for a load of laundry. Microfibers release soil very easily when washed, so more is not better in this case. It is recommended that your water temperature not to exceed 95 Celsius. Microfibers can air dry (Microfiber cloths dry very quickly) or you can use a machine to dry them as long as you use a low heat setting and do not add a fabric softener sheet.
Green cleaning is much more than using few chemicals labeled as GREEN. Green cleaning is defined as a system of cleaning promotes healthy surroundings for children, families, visitors and pets that we love. It is equally important and detrimental to environment that we live and share.
We are becoming more concerned and aware about the health of the environment. Awareness is also growing about importance of air quality.
Did you know that the air in our home can be more toxic than the air outside....
The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside. If you are not regularly airing your home (allowing fresh air to enter) will have stale, stagnant and filled with chemical pollutants. Poor air quality in your home can lead to health problems such as allergies, respiratory problems, eye irritation and tiredness.
We are also constantly adding to the air pollution in our home with products we use such as hair spray, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides etc. and we are constantly breathing this polluted air in our homes. The air in the home is not moving around and refreshed by winds and renewed by plants. Pollutants and soil is brought in all the time with our shoes. Cleaning is an important part of removing dirt and pollutants from your home and allowing fresh air to flow in pushing stale air out will create healthy breathing for you and your family.
It has been, and still is a traditional practice, in many countries to air out the blankets and rugs on a daily cleaning ritual. This would remove dirt and toxic spores and the sun light would kill and re-freshen bed coverings and rugs. These days houses are sealed, covered to avoid nastier from coming in but what we are doing is trapping pollution from the outside and concentrating the fumes from hundreds of products we use inside in our homes (air fresheners, deodorants, insecticides, cleaning products) which can lead to toxic indoor atmospheres.
How a home is cleaned can be a major factor in the quality of indoor air. It is important to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions. A simple practice is to OPEN THE WINDOWS on a regular basis to let fresh air in and help move the stale stagnated air to move around. Good practice to air your home on a regular basis, especial your bedroom after you have woken up let some fresh air in. When cleaning your home open the doors and windows.
Another is to use non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products in your home.