Friday Faves: Sara Snow
Today's Friday Fave is about a book that I've enjoyed reading: Sara Snow's Fresh Living. I picked this up about a year ago when Sara made a guest appearance on Jon and Kate Plus 8. Each chapter focuses on a different room and has tips to being more natural and green. I'll be honest and say that the book is overwhelming a bit if you try to implement everything she says. From changing laundry detergent to cleaning products to children's toys to bed linens, it can be quite a feat to try to make your house totally green. I took her advice and decided just to make a few changes.
The first change was simple: add house plants to your home! I love plants for their aesthetic quality, but the fact that they are a natural air purifier makes them not only lovely but practical. One of the easiest plants I've found to have is the umbrella plant. I have two different types, and both of them are super easy to care for and very happy about anywhere.
The second change started a year ago but has become a bigger deal now that I stay at home. I try to buy and eat fresher food. Although it isn't always organic, I do my best to buy locally grown veggies and fruits from the Farmer's Market, and at the very least keep my shopping to the "perimeters" (one of Sara's tips), where healthier and fresher food is stored.
The last big change was implemented today. Last Friday, after I cleaned my house, my chest felt tight and it hurt to breathe. I had a feeling it was spurred on by my cleaning products, since I usually use a lot of bleach and ammonium (not mixed, of course). I felt better Saturday morning, but when I went to help my sister clean her house before she moved in, it all came back. A doctor's visit later in the week confirmed my suspicion: my lungs were not happy with all those chemicals I was breathing in.
So, today I made the change. I got rid of my harsh products and opted for naturally made cleaners. This is what I used today:
That's right, my products today consisted of basic ingredients you can find in your fridge and cupboard right now. One other item should be added in the photo, and that's hydrogen peroxide. I started small and made only a few cleaners, including an all purpose, a glass, and a furniture polish.
All Purpose: one part vinegar to one part water
Glass: 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, rest filled with water
Furniture Polish: two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice
Toilet Bowl: pour in one part baking soda, then add four parts vinegar; let sit for 15 min.
Disinfectant: Fill one spray bottle with vinegar and one with hydrogen peroxide; spray one then the other on any surface you want disinfected
The best part about this change? My house doesn't reek of bleach, and my cleaning products bill is going to be pennies compared to what I usually spend. Plus, my husband is happier, since he actually has an allergy toward chlorine. (I know, I'm mean to have used bleach as long as I have.)