DIY Natural series: Becoming greener one less product at a time

Part 1: Cleaning the house

The first, easiest, and most cost-saving action we took. I didn’t throw out all our cleaning products, rather made my own as I ran out. So instead of replacing with store-bought ones I made my own alternatives, sometimes even using the old packaging to also cut down on waste (trash). Although there is literally a recipe for every cleaning product out there (yes you can still have them all should you wish) I find it redundant and frankly, tiring. Initially I cut it down to an all-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, floor (tile) wash, laundry detergent, fabric softener and dishwashing liquid. Since then I have evolved and now do: strong all-purpose cleaner that can be used for the toilets and bathroom as well, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, and a sanitizer just for in case. Because we now live in a house with carpets I also added a carpet cleaner. For our clothes, I bought an eco-ball (available from Faithful to Nature) – once that is no longer effective I will go back to making my own detergent. For tough-to-clean things I use baking soda and vinegar (I keep the vinegar in a spray bottle, sometimes even adding a few drops of essential oil to cut through the vinegar smell. This makes it very easy to get into hard to reach places) and scrub using a toothbrush or a bigger brush with hard bristles. This makes the best cleaner EVER. All of my products are stored in old bottles, or jars (I keep all of our coffee jars as well as any other glass jar no matter how big or small. They all find a use some time or another!)