With Mother’s Day less than a week away, many mothers are preparing for a nice brunch or dinner, accompanied by the usual gifts, such as, candy or flowers. While candy and/or flowers may be very nice gifts, if you happen to want to think a little outside of the box for your gift this year, why not give your mother the gift of a professionally cleaned home.
If you happen to live in the Boulder or Denver areas, contact Clean Conscience today to set up an appointment. While I can’t speak for anyone else, I know my mom would take a nice clean house over flowers any day. To all of you moms out there, have a very happy Mother’s Day!
New Year’s Day is a mere two days away, which means many people are putting together a little list of things they may like to change to better themselves in the upcoming year. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions are often forgotten about after a few weeks, days, and sometimes even hours. This year, instead of making a resolution like “eating less chocolate” or, “read more books” (which are both fine resolutions, don’t get me wrong) why not make a green resolution. By making a “green resolution”, you will not only be bettering yourself but also helping the environment. Here are a few examples of green resolutions, which can be simple changes that have a large impact.
“Carpool, Bike, or Walk”– Instead of driving everywhere in 2015, try walking or biking to your destination when you can. Not only will it reduce pollution from your vehicle, both are also a good form of exercise. If you do need to drive, say to work or school, try carpooling with friends or coworkers.
“Buy Less Bottled Water”– By using a water filter and reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottled water, not only will you be making a huge difference for the environment, but you’ll be saving a lot of money.
“Reusable Shopping Bags”– The number of plastic shopping bags consumed is staggering, something like 1 million per minute worldwide. Needless to say, plastic bags are not good for the environment. The best way to limit the use of plastic bags is to bring your own when shopping. The reusable shopping bag not only reduces the number of plastic bags used, they also fit more items and are way more durable.
“Reduce Water Waste”– Sometimes we don’t even realize how much water we actually waste. Luckily, cutting back on water waste is actually quite easy. Not letting the water run while brushing your teeth or taking shorter showers, are two effective ways to cut back water usage.
These are merely a handful of suggestions of how to have a greener 2015. If we all make a few simple adjustments to our everyday life, and are a bit more mindful of our usage and waste, we can all make a huge difference in the upcoming year. Happy New Year everyone!
The holiday season is upon us, and if you happen to be planning on entertaining guests this season it’s time to start getting your home into tip top shape, which means tackling some chores that you may often forget about or just choose to put off. The good people at Enviro Maids, have compiled some tips on how to take care of some of the more common, “dreaded chores”. Tasks such as, cleaning out and disinfecting your trashcan, taking care of soap scum, and cleaning stainless steel appliances are a few of these forgotten and/or dreaded chores which are discussed. So, check out this article and get your home as clean as possible for this years holiday parties.
Easy Ways to Tackle those Dreaded Chores
You diligently scrub, scour, and disinfect your home regularly, but are you guilty of putting off cleaning certain areas of your home? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Everyone has their least favorite chores. Whether it’s cleaning soap scum, dusting chandeliers, or scrubbing the kitchen trash can, we’ll share our tips and tricks to help make those dreaded tasks more bearable. If you’ve been putting off certain chores, tackle them now before holiday guests arrive.
Kitchen trash can
Your kitchen trash can is one of the most germ-filled surfaces in your home. WebMD reports that the average trash bin has 411 bacteria per square inch! Traces of food and liquid can sometimes leak through plastic bags, leaving you with a stinky, icky mess. Give your trash can a good cleaning once or twice a month to prevent mold, mildew, and a petri dish of bacteria from covering its surfaces. Spray the inside and out with a cleaning solution and scrub; rinse and let completely dry before lining with a plastic bag.
Unsightly and stubborn to get rid of, soap scum is notorious for being one of the most dreaded cleaning tasks. Soap scum is a combination of mineral deposits, soap residue, body oils, and dirt. Tipnut.com shares a couple of ways to get rid of the cloudy, stuck-on mess:
Mix ½ cup of boiling water (be careful!), 1 ½ cups of white vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the surfaces of your shower and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Scrub with a nylon cleaning brush and rinse.
Wet the surface to be cleaned with hot water and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto a damp sponge. Scrub the trouble spots using a circular motion; rinse and repeat as necessary. For stubborn areas, try adding a bit of white vinegar to the baking soda.
Over time, dust and grime can accumulate and stick to your window blinds. What makes this task so tedious is trying to clean each of the slats. To remove dust, simply slip an old sock onto your hand and using your thumb and fingers, run your hands over the slats. For stuck-on grime, mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm water and follow the steps above.
Need to brighten up your crystal chandelier and remove the cobwebs? It’s not as bad as it seems. The pros at Goodhousekeeping.com suggest first covering the table or surface directly below your chandelier with a drop cloth. Next you’ll need your favorite glass cleaner and two cotton gloves or two old white socks. Spray the glass cleaner directly onto one of the gloves and wipe each area; use the other glove to dry and remove any remaining residue.
Stainless steel appliances
With so many different hands going in and out of the refrigerator throughout the day, chances are your stainless steel refrigerator is constantly covered by fingerprints and streaks. Goodhousekeeping.com has an easy fix:
Prepare a solution of 1 teaspoon dish detergent and 1 quart hot water
Using a microfiber cloth, rub the detergent solution onto the marks in small sections, going with the grain of the stainless steel.
Rinse with clean hot water, and dry immediately.
Buffing with mineral oil is also a great way to remove streaks
De-crumbing the toaster
If there’s a burning smell coming from your toaster each morning and the bread you’re toasting isn’t the culprit, chances are it’s the leftover crumbs lingering at the bottom that’s the problem. Cleaning your toaster is one of those chores many simply forget about. To clean your toaster oven, Realsimple.com suggests:
Placing a small oven-safe dish filled with water inside the oven and heating the dish at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The moisture will help to soften stuck on gunk. Unplug the oven and remove the crumb tray and the rack; dump out the crumbs. Use a plastic spatula to gently get rid of stuck-on bits. Wipe the inside with a damp cloth; wash the tray and rack and dry. Done!
Christmas time is just around the corner, which means many people are picking out their tree to bring home to be decorated. Decorating the tree has always been one of my favorite parts of the Christmas holiday. It is often a family affair, with everyone pitching in to help make the tree look as bright and festive as possible; with lights, tinsel, and of course, ornaments. Unfortunately, over the years, many ornaments are either broken or lost. However, before you run to the store to buy new ornaments to replace those lost or broken, check out these tips on how make natural, DIY ornaments, from Good Housekeeping.
All-Natural Christmas Decor
Bring the beauty of nature to your Christmas tree with these all-natural ornaments and decorations.
Red Burlap Garland
Make a unique garland by using red burlap to adorn your tree. Take 2 yards of your material (find it at fabric or crafts stores) and cut into 3-inch-long strips, making sure you cut with the grain. Pull threads on each side of the strips to fringe the edges about 1/4 of an inch on each side. To make the garland ruffled, pull one thread from the center of one end and pull to gather the garland slightly. When finished, wrap around your tree however you like before hanging with ornaments.
Golden Walnut Ornament
Spruce up your holiday walnuts by making them look like treasure on your tree. Spread walnuts onto newspaper or another surface you don’t mind getting messy. Using gold spray paint, spray walnuts, turning so they are fully covered. Allow time to dry. Using an ornament hanger with one end straightened out, push the straight end into the little hole on top of each nut. The wire should stay by itself, but you can add a dab of glue to make the hanger more secure.
Cranberry Mini Wreaths
What goes around comes around with these tiny cranberry “wreaths” for your tree. Take about 20 to 25 cranberries (depending on the size of hoop you want to make), and thread onto floral wire. Tie the floral wire in a circle, and hang among the other bows and baubles on your tree.
With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the holiday season is just about here. The holidays can be an extremely joyous time, filled with laughter and spent with loved ones. However, along with all of the fun, laughter, and family, this time of year can also be incredibly stressful. Organization, is one way you can help yourself cut-down on the stress this year. This article, from the good people at Enviro Maids, has several tips that will help you get organized, to take away some of the stress that comes along with the holidays.
Stress less this holiday season with our organizing tips
In an ideal world, the holidays are a stress-free time when you visit with family and friends, bake batches of cookies, and enjoy relaxing moments sipping hot chocolate curled up by a roaring fire. If you’re like most people, however, your holiday season is usually anything but relaxing — you’re busy shopping, wrapping, standing in long lines, and entertaining guests all while juggling your usual hectic schedule. This holiday, we’d like to help take some of the stress out of your holiday season. The key is early planning and getting organized. Read our list of organizing tip, tricks, and ideas. Who knows? Maybe this season you’ll have time to sit by the fire.
Gift-giving can be overwhelming especially if you have lots of people to buy for and don’t seem to have enough time to get all your shopping done. Not to mention trying to figure out what to buy the person who has everything. Help make gift-giving a pleasurable experience with these gift organizing tips.
If your extended family has grown over the years, gift-giving can get out of control and expensive. Consider drawing names so everyone focuses on buying for just one person, or agree to buy gifts for only the children.
Shop early to avoid last-minute frantic shopping or expedited shipping fees
Not sure what to buy your teenage nephew or picky best friend? The pros at Reducethechaos.comsuggest using the Amazon.com “wish list” feature. Ask friends and family to pick items from Amazon.com they’d like to receive and have them save the items to their “wish list.” Once their list is completed, they can share it with others via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
When you come up with a great gift idea throughout the year, be sure to jot it down or type it in a spreadsheet. This way, when the next holiday season rolls around, you’ll have a list of ideas ready.
Stock up now on tape, wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift bags so you’ll have your gift wrapping station set up.
Wrap gifts as soon as you purchase them or wrap a few gifts each day to avoid having to wrap heaps of gifts at the last minute.
Shopping online saves you the hassle of having to fight for a parking space, navigating large crowds, and standing in long lines to pay. If you do visit a brick and mortar store, shop during non-peak times: early weekday mornings or during the early evening hours.
Organizing Holiday Meals
Plan your holiday menu as far in advance as possible. The extra time lets you tryout recipes and stock up on non-perishable ingredients in advance.
Not sure what to make or want to try a different recipe? Search websites such as Allrecipes.com or Pinterest for endless inspiration.
Cook and freeze items ahead of time.
Ask family members to contribute by bringing an appetizer, dessert, or side dish
Not a fan of cooking? Have the meal catered
Stagger your cleaning tasks. Trying to get your entire house or apartment clean in one day is overwhelming.
Ran out of time and guest will be arriving the next day? Don’t panic, focus on cleaning the rooms and areas of your home guests will actually be using — the bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
When preparing food, spray pans with non-stick spray before cooking to cut down on the scrubbing and soaking time later
Make a list of all the things you’d like to get done during the holiday, then edit the list, keeping only the tasks you can realistically accomplish.
You can’t do it all; delegate whenever you can.
Leave some space in your schedule to take a break and to relax.
There are many things that I love about the fall season; the chilly temperature, the changing of the leaves, and tailgating at a football game are all things that make Autumn, my favorite time of year. However, the one thing that I love even more than all of the things I’ve already listed, are the scents of the season. Apple, pumpkin, cinnamon…..I love it all! There is also nothing better than coming home and having those wonderful scents fill your home. Unfortunately, in order to achieve this many people turn to artificially scented sprays and candles. However, thanks to our friends at Seventh Generation, you can forget about those sprays and candles, and make your own Autumn concoction in a simmer pot. The following article tells you what ingredients you’ll need and gives directions on how to naturally fill your home with the scents of fall.
Fill Your Home With the Scents of Fall – Naturally
As cooler air makes its way across the country, we’re reminded that the holidays are quickly approaching. From Thanksgiving decor to Christmas trees, our homes start to feel the holidays approach, too. This year, skip the artificially- scented candles and sprays and create your own simmer pot! Using fruit, liquid and spices, a simmer pot is an easy, natural way to make your house smell like fall.
What You’ll Need
4 cups of apple cider
The peel of 2 naval oranges
1 apple, sliced in half
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of allspice berries
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
4-5 cardamom pods
1 small piece of fresh ginger
1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Keep the pot on very low heat for up to a few hours, allowing the scent to fill your house. Add more liquid as needed – and save the mixture in your refrigerator for up to 3 days!
When we were kids, my sister and I had some of the most original costumes on the block. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but that didn’t stop our parents from creating some truly awesome Halloween costumes. A big part of the costume process, was finding items from around the house and incorporating them into the costume. Coming up with costume ideas and then being able to participate in the making of those costumes was a ton of fun, and a creative way to spend a little family time together. If you happen to be interested in having some fun creating green Halloween costumes with your kids this year, check out this article from Seventh Generation, which has a few ideas for costumes made from recycled materials.
A Green Halloween: Kids Costumes from Recycled Materials
From fall foliage to pumpkin picking, October is always an exciting month. With all of that fun, the days seem to pass by a little too quickly, and next thing you know, Halloween night is right around the corner! We’ve found some easy, adorable costume ideas made from recycled materials that are sure to have your little ones be the talk of the neighborhood.
Created out of recycled boxes and paint, this tutorial features step-by-step instructions with photos, creating a WALL-E version that may me more adorable than the original. No empty boxes around? This dad found his supplies out behind his office.
With a little imagination, Oh Happy Day shows us how to turn brown craft paper and cardboard into the perfect garden critter costume. Instructions for both the shell with a headband of antennas, this snail is sure to stand out!
Penny of Mother Natured gives a step-by-step tutorial for creating bat wings from an umbrella – perfect for recycling a broken umbrella you may still have tucked away. Pair with black clothing and this bat is ready to spook its way throughout the neighborhood.
Today is the 4th of July, the United States’ Independence Day! Like most people, I will most likely spend most of my day eating and drinking at a barbecue awaiting this evening’s fireworks display. If you happen to be like me, and are either planning on attending or hosting a barbecue this 4th, then check out this article from Earth 911, which gives several tips on how to have a more green Independence Day. Enjoy your holiday weekend, and…….Happy Birthday ‘Merica!
8 Ways to Green 4th of July
The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Summer’s hottest holiday will no doubt call for backyard barbecuing, fireworks and maybe even a dip in the pool.
Here’s how to throw a little green into your mix of red, white and blue.
To avoid this, do your best to use normal tableware that can just be washed and reused. If you must go the disposable route, clean them up (they’re often washable) and use them at your next big gathering.
We also love the “bring your own plate” theme. The hodgepodge of different dishes can serve as talking points at your party. An added bonus: Turn it into a dish swap. Bring your own dish and leave with a different plate for your collection.
The same idea works for glassware. Instead of charging a “keg fee,” a party-goer’s ticket is his or her own glass.
2. GET OUTSIDE!
The best way to reduce your party’s footprint is to calculate its energy usage. The No. 1 way to avoid added costs to your electric bill is to utilize the outdoors – perfect lighting, temperature and truly inherent green setting.
Host your barbecue at midday when the light is bright and fills your crowd with energy. Or fight soaring temperatures and take advantage of the cooler evening weather. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and reduce the energy costs of using indoor facilities.
3. USE PROPANE FOR GRILLING
Before diving into this one, we want to point out that we are not trying to step on any grillmaster’s toes. The debate between charcoal and propane is a tough one: Which one produces more flavor? Which is cheaper, faster? And most importantly, which is more eco-friendly?
We consulted a recent study by Environment Impact Assessment Review to answer this one. Drum roll, please…
According to the study, “the overwhelming factors are that as a fuel, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production and considerably more efficient in cooking.”
The two grilling methods were defined by their overall footprint, with charcoal using 998 kg of CO2, almost three times more than propane, which weighed in at 349 kg.
ScienceDaily reports that as fuel, LPG is “dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production.” When purchasing a propane tank, make sure there is a trade-in option. Most retailers will let you bring in an empty tank in exchange for a decent discount on your next tank.
4. SAVE (AND REUSE) YOUR DECORATIONS
If you’ve hosted Independence Day celebrations before, you know the décor is often the same: streamers, party favors and table toppers all in bold red, white and blue.
Sadly, most people often use these decorations once and then throw them out. But they can be reused year after year! So, this year, after the party’s over, take the time to store and save your decorations. You or someone you know can use them again next year, which helps to save on a bit of unneeded trash.
5. OPT FOR GREENER FIREWORKS
Fireworks are hardly an environmentally friendly activity, but they’re an unwavering Fourth of July tradition. If you’re setting off your own fireworks this year, be sure to use fireworks rich in nitrogen. They often cost a bit more but put out less smoke into the environment.
Another option is to gather your group and go see your local fireworks display. It’s a great way to see a much bigger fireworks show and negates you from harming the environment with your own personal display.
6. GATHER IN GROUPS
This may seem like a no-brainer for such a popular holiday, but the larger a group you gather (preferably outdoors), the less energy you use at individual parties that may take place indoors. Plus, the more people to help prepare and purchase food, the less of a cost it is to each individual. Just make sure your fellow party goers know these green tips!
7. USE LARGE WATER CONTAINERS
Plastic water bottles are convenient, but like other disposable goods, they can add up fast. In lieu of individual plastic bottles, store water for your family or guests in large containers so they can re-fill their reusable water bottles or reusable cups. If you must use plastic water bottles, be sure to encourage your guests to recycle them.
8. DON’T FORGET TO RECYCLE
One of the easiest ways to go green is to recycle your waste. So be sure to put a clearly marked bin out at your party.
If you did opt for disposable dinnerware, remember that those plastic plates, cups and utensils can be recycled. Paper plates will have to be thrown out or composted due to food residue.
If you’re unsure about recycling specific materials in your area, we’ve got you covered. Use Earth911 to find local recycling centers for your common party waste, such as plastic bottles, aluminum cans and glass bottles.
This Sunday is a day when we all can give thanks to the wonderful women who raised us, loved us, and put up with us no matter what……our mothers. On Mother’s Day, it is customary to give your mother a gift. Usually, the gift is something like flowers, chocolate, or a card.
This year, instead of giving mom one of the same old generic gifts, why not give her something she really wants, like a clean home! Contact Clean Conscience, today to schedule an appointment for a house cleaning. Give the gift of a nice clean home to your mom, wife, sister, aunt, friend, etc……any mother you think deserves it.
So, to all of the mothers out there (especially my mom, Sheila), thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!!!
Even some of the most eco-friendly folks can sometimes lose their way when it comes to the holidays. Perhaps, the reason for this is that the holidays can be stressful enough, and you don’t want to make things any harder by trying to make sure everything is eco-friendly. Luckily, the good people at The Huffington Post, have put together a list of tips on how to have a greener Easter. Hopefully, these tips will help everyone who is celebrating, have a more sustainable Easter Sunday!
13 Tips for a More Sustainable Easter Celebration
As Easter approaches, Food Tank wants to share some ideas on how to have a more healthful and sustainable holiday.
1. Locally sourced eggs If you choose to celebrate with real eggs, support your local farmer and buy eggs from pasture-raised chickens. Eggs from pasture-raised hens are healthier for you, containing more vitamin A, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, according a report conducted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
2. Alternatives to Easter eggs There are many alternatives to using real eggs for Easter celebrations; for instance, the White House traditionally uses decorated wooden eggs for its annual Easter Egg Roll. There are also plastic Easter eggs that are compostable, and ceramic Easter eggs that are dyeable!
3. Blown eggs Blown eggs are another reusable dyeable option. Blown eggs are made of real eggs whose yolks and whites have been removed. Here is a tutorial. The leftover yolks and whites can then be used for baking, scrambled eggs, or other cooking projects.
4. Homemade egg decorating There are many methods to make homemade egg dyes, using vinegar and spices, fruits, and vegetables. Check out these instructions from Real Simple!
5. Prevent food waste If you hard boil fresh eggs before you dye them, the prospect of eating all of those hardboiled eggs may be daunting, but throwing them out is wasteful. Turn the eggs into a delicious dish: here are some ideas!
6. Avoid plastic Easter grass Cellophane Easter grass, often found in Easter baskets, cannot go into the recycling bin. If you already have Easter grass, reuse it. If you were going to buy some for Easter baskets, try replacing it with shredded newspaper or tissue paper.
7. Give children stuffed toys instead of live Easter bunnies and chicks Dyed Easter chicks are a perennially controversial topic: chicks are dyed while in the egg or sprayed shortly after hatching. The food coloring used to dye the chicks is non-toxic, but the real concern is what happens to the chicks after the dye wears off. Chicks are sold as seasonally-themed pets, most of whom are discarded or neglected after they molt and lose their artificially colored feathers.
Rabbits are also common Easter gifts: just as with chickens, rabbits are often neglected, surrendered to animal rescues, or released into the wild when the novelty wears off. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends giving children stuffed or chocolate bunnies instead of live animals, as rabbits can live seven to ten years on average and are a serious commitment. The Make Mine Chocolate! campaign also strives to educate the public on the realities of rabbit ownership.
8. Make a locally sourced Easter meal If it’s your tradition to have an Easter meal, why not try to make as many of the dishes as you can from local food? Check Local Harvest for your nearest farmer or farmers market.
9. Visit a local farm Take the time to bring your family to a nearby farm. Children and adults will get an up-close look at how their food gets from the farm to home. Be sure to contact the farmers ahead of time! Here’s another link to Local Harvest with helpful things to remember before your visit.
10. Instead of an Easter basket, Easter plants Check your local nursery for seeds or seedlings and give friends and loved ones a reusable Easter gift: a homemade herb garden.
11. Give a donation to Heifer International If giving plants is not your style, consider making a donation to Heifer International or a similar non-profit to fight poverty while providing an animal to a family in a developing nation.
12. Minimize packaging with candy and treats Choose Easter treats with less packaging to cut down on the amount of waste generated by the holiday festivities.