One of our household resolutions for 2022 was to try to cut down on the amount of paper towel we use. We started to notice how much we were throwing out… and let’s just say we began to examine more closely how we might be contributing to climate change. We started to adopt, little by little, some of the practices of green housecleaning, choosing and using products and procedures that are safe for the environment and don’t emit any pollutants when used.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned.
Ditch the paper towel habit
FACT: Canadians love paper towel! More than 5 billion pounds of paper towel are used each year, amounting to 15 pounds—the equivalent of 50 rolls—per person, per year. According to Environment Canada, of the 6 million tonnes of paper and paperboard used annually, only 25 per cent of them are recycled; paper waste accounts for more than one third of all waste in the country.
INSTEAD: use old clothes, sheets and reusable towels—they make good cleaning supplies without creating unnecessary waste. But perhaps the best choice of all for today’s Earth-conscious homeowner is towels and napkins made from high-quality, quick-drying microfibre. A good-quality microfibre is Earth-friendly and even offers several benefits over cloth towels and napkins—it’s more absorbent, dries faster, it’s soft on the skin and it’s durable and resists pilling.
You’ll find high-quality microfibre cloths for sale in bulk and in different sizes at any hardware store.
Don’t ignore your vinegar and baking soda
They’re the star of the show! Vinegar and baking soda are incredibly efficient cleaning wizards—if you know how to use them. They’re non-toxic and you probably already have them in your pantry, which will save you an extra trip to the store.
Handy hints for using vinegar to clean:
∙ A few squirts of vinegr can get rid of mold, scum, and mildew buildup and is a particularly helpful ingredient when cleaning bathrooms or kitchen sinks.
∙A 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water cleans windows, floors and that grimy grout.
∙ Clean your microwave by boiling a solution of vinegar and water. Once steam forms, it’ll be easy to wipe away the residue.
∙ Cooking an aromatic meal? Boil vinegar simultaneously and the vinegar will absorb the odour.
∙ Diluted vinegar is a powerful stain remover.
How to clean with baking soda:
∙ Make a baking soda and water paste and scrub to remove mold or residue from pots and pans.
∙ Baking soda has odour-absorbing properties. Stick a box in your fridge to keep it smelling fresh or sprinkle some in your garbage.
∙ For tough food spatter, pour baking soda onto your stovetop, let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub gently.
Not just for squeezing in your drink
Lemons have both antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. They contain citric acid, which works as a cleaning agent, so you’ll want to keep plenty on hand as an essential part of your all-natural sanitizing regimen.
How to clean with lemon:
∙ A little lemon and baking soda (or salt) can keep stainless steel products and coppers looking as shiny as the day you bought them. Cut a lemon into quarters, dip the fruity parts in salt, and use the lemon as a sponge to polish metal.
∙ Rub a slice of lemon on a cutting board to remove germs.
∙ Place lemon peels in a jar with vinegar for a few days. When you strain out the zests, you’ll have a powerful
∙ Don’t forget to compost afterwards!