Tuesday's Tip: Everyday Earth Day - FamilyEducation

Tuesday's Tip: Everyday Earth Day

April 19,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Friday is Earth Day.  Need some tips on how to make every day Earth Day in your kitchen?  Here’s a rundown of some easy, simple ways to make your kitchen and home more green!

*When you need to clean, instead of reaching for a toxic chemical, look to your kitchen!  Vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and salt all have antibacterial and cleaning properties.  In fact, our favorite go-to cleaner is simply made and stored in this handy-dandy sprayer:



The bottle itself was less than a dollar, and I have refilled it countless times with inexpensive white vinegar.  I use this for windows, counters, sinks, and cleaning anything that might come in contact with food, such as our refrigerator.

*The kitchen is also a great place to start for green pest control.  I wish I didn’t know this, but cinnamon and garlic are great ant repellents.  Just a sprinkle of cinnamon close by where ants may be entering your home, and they simply cease to come inside.  Garlic works the same way, but may not be as appealing to some noses.  You can google “natural pest repellents” and you will be amazed at what sorts of simple kitchen items can help you naturally combat pests.

*Non-toxic weed control can also start in the kitchen.  This is a new one for me, but apparently a gallon of white vinegar, the juice of two lemons and 2 tablespoons dish soap sprayed on weeds on a warm, sunny day will kill the weeds after two applications.  I can’t wait to try this trick for the weeds growing between some bricks in our backyard.

*We recycle everything possible.  Our city has a great recycling incentive program in which you only pay for the trash you throw away, anything you recycle is free.  We recycle and reuse items too:  old jars can be used for transporting items and lots of clean recycleables become craft items.

*We use reusable grocery bags and reusable SnackTaxi food bags.  This alone cuts down on the amount of plastic bags we use tremendously.  To further cut down on our plastic consumption, I wrap anything I wish to freeze in waxed paper first, and then place it in a storage bag.  This way, the freezer bag can be reused.

*One last tip:  try your hand at composting.  We had a compost pile at our old home, and we’re preparing to build a new one here.  All your non-animal food waste can be combined with yard waste to create a rich compost for your garden.

So that’s how the Sweet Pea family makes every day Earth day...now how ‘bout you?

SPC