4 Ways to keep your house clean the green way

It used to be if you wanted your home to be clean and free of germs you had to resort to exposing yourself and others to harmful chemicals and toxins. The products used to kill those germs and clean your house were not only dangerous to yourself but to the environment. Luckily, thanks to the green movement people are saying good-bye to harmful cleaning products and cleaning their homes in a cleaner, greener way.

Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to learning house cleaning using the green method. To start cleaning the green way, here are some suggestions that will help get you started.

Avoid Harmful Toxins and Chemicals

Cleaning products can be very misleading when it comes to how they are labeled. Just because it says it is natural or environmentally safe does not mean that the ingredients inside are actually natural or safe to use.

If you wish to clean your house using the green method, you will want to keep an eye on the ingredients inside your cleaning products. Look for ingredients like grain alcohol or plant oils as these are natural cleaning solutions. If you are unable to find products of this nature consider making your own cleaning products at home so you are 100% certain your cleaning products are safe and environmentally friendly.

Stop Water Waste From Happening

Reducing your water consumption is one of the easiest ways to go green while cleaning. Try to change your habits while cleaning. Instead of leaving the water running while doing the dishes or cleaning the cupboard, shut it off and save the water. When you are washing floors and other areas, try to use as much water as possible before you change the dirty water to clean water. When you’re done with the dirty water, use it for watering the plants outside.

Go High-Tech Green Cleaning

The use of ultraviolet light as a cleaning solution has become extremely popular over the years. The UV light has the cleaning power of bleach but is considered environmentally safe and non-toxic to yourself and your family. UV lights can be used to clean almost any surface in your house from kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.

Reuse Your Cleaning Products

Going green isn’t just about what types of chemicals and toxins you are exposed to. It can also be about how much waste you produce while cleaning. To avoid environmental waste, try converting to cleaning products that allow you to reuse the packages and products or even using cleaning products in ways that they aren’t necessarily meant for. These products can include cleaning products that let you refill bottles after use and sponges that can be rinsed and reused multiple times. While you will eventually have to replace these items, the ability to reuse them numerous times before replacement will help you reduce your environmental waste.

Going green is a lifestyle change and by implementing some of these green home cleaning tips you will be taking that all important first step to change! How do you clean the green way?

GM making commitment to solar energy to save money

Many companies are going green because it makes sense financially. GM is a great example, as they are installing fields of solar panels at various location.

General Motors broke ground Wednesday on a six-acre field of solar panels in front of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant as part of an effort to green the production of its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car.

DTE Energy will own and operate the 516-kilowatt system as part of its Solar Currents program, which is installing photovoltaic systems at sites such as Monroe County Community College and a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan parking structure in downtown Detroit.

DTE will lower GM’s energy bill because of the solar panels, which were first reported by the Free Press. That savings, about $15,000 a year, will combine with more efficient lighting and equipment updates to lower Detroit-Hamtramck’s energy costs by nearly $3 million annually.

With the large investment GM is making in US auto plants, hopefully we’ll see this kind of progress from them on green energy around the country.

This is just one of many examples of corporate American being ahead of the curve compared to those who view alternative energy in a skeptical light. This is our future . . .

How Budding Designers Can Save the Planet, One Fewer Print Jobs at a Time

If you are a designer, then you already know about saving planets. As you design and advertise in a digital world, you’re also reducing the amount of paper you’re using.

What happens when you’re working with graphic design that needs to be physical and not in the online environment?

Bring your planet-saving techniques into the office to help make print jobs more environmentally friendly.

Printing Alternatives

Want to show a co-worker your latest project or report? Try emailing them a screen shot instead of printing out the page. Cartridges and ink are definitely unfriendly for the environment, and printing also uses up paper. If you really must print something, conserve ink by using smaller fonts for words and by printing in black and white instead of color whenever possible. You can also use programs like Skype that will let you video chat and share your screen with others, which helps reduce printing jobs. Set up an electronic office network so you can reduce printing for office announcements.

Use Environmentally Friendly Printers

Although you might do your best to reduce your print jobs, there are times when you will have to use a printer. Try to use printers that are designed to help save energy and reduce ink. Some printers on the market are designed with the environment in mind. They use soy ink and allow for double-sided printing. Some will merge pages so you can print several pages of a report onto one piece of paper.

Of course, you can always consider scanning as an option for reducing print jobs. Instead of using ink, just scan an image or document, and then send it to a co-worker or client by email or through a social networking site. You can also use scans instead of faxes.

Consider using digital printing when you have to do a print job. Digital printing reduces waste since the ink won’t get absorbed by paper with a digital press. The print stays on the top of the paper.

Reduced Printing Can Save Energy

Help the environment by cutting down on the amount of energy you use. Turn your printer off until you need to print a specific project. You might find that this is just annoying enough that you will find reasons why you don’t need to print certain papers. This is a double-help since reducing print jobs reduces pollution. To make shut-downs and start-ups easier, consider plugging your computer and printer into power strips that you can shut off with the click of a button.

Reduce Paper Usage in Printing

When you use paper, make sure you use both sides of a page, and fill the pages up. Try to use recycled paper whenever possible, and when you purchase new paper, look for a lighter stock. Don’t forget to recycle your own papers when you have finished using them.

When you’re working in graphic design, you’re already a step ahead of most people. You know about strategic planning and proactive maneuvers. Take this information into your office to reduce print jobs. Develop strategies to minimize printer usage. Take your creativity and talent and put them to use in the office as you help save the planet.

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