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Simple Tips to Go Green

If you asked ten people what it means to be green you would probably get ten different answers. For some it means buying only eco-friendly shampoos and cleaners, using energy efficient light bulbs, or driving a hybrid car. To others, being green means making your own cleaning products, composting, using a bicycle for transportation and only using candlelight.

So what’s your definition of being green? According to my last survey, most of the readers here on iDreamofClean are “sort of” green. You aren’t extreme when it comes to being eco-friendly but you do what you can when it’s easy and convenient. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Easy and convenient ways to be a little more green.

Simple Tips to Go Green

1. Just Say “NO!”

If you’re a child of the 80’s you probably remember the slogan. But we’re not talking drugs today. We’re talking about saying “no” to stuff!

Every new season brings the temptation to buy a new wardrobe. Every holiday causes us to buy knick-nacks that no one needs and most don’t really want. But we get it anyway. Then we have to buy bookshelves, furniture and containers to hold it all. The amount of stuff we own grows causing us to feel claustrophobic in our home. What do we do then? Move into a bigger home.

It’s a vicious cycle!

Saying no can help you be a little more green but it also means less to clean!

2. Give the Gift of Experience

Rarely does one look back ten years and remember that “thing” they received on their birthday. Instead, they reminisce about the time they laughed all day at the zoo with their best friend or ran that 5K with their mom. So consider skipping the physical gift next time and instead make memories with your loved ones by giving the gift of experience.

3. Switch Disposable for Reusable

  • Instead of plastic lunch baggies, try reusable sandwich and snack bags.
  • Instead of paper towels, try terrycloth rags, microfiber cloths, or even old t-shirts.
  • Instead of paper napkins, try cloth napkins. Of course, if your guest are anything like mine, they will be too afraid to use them! :)
  • Instead of buying printing paper, use the back of junk mail. It has to be good for something, right?!
  • Instead of disposable plates, cups, and cutlery, use ceramic dishes.
  • Instead of disposable diapers, give cloth diapering a try.

4. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

The thought of making your own cleaning products might scare you because you don’t have time to learn all the ins and outs of green cleaning. Well, let me assure you, the goal of iDreamofClean is to provide organizing and cleaning tips for the BUSY mom. That means simple, easy tips all the way…even when it comes to making your own cleaning products.

There are definitely specific concoctions you can make when it comes to homemade cleaning products and we even have a collection of those cleaning recipes here on iDreamofClean. But, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can clean almost anything with just vinegar, baking soda, water and a cleaning cloth.

  • For an all purpose cleaner, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add a little water…the exact amount really isn’t important.
  • For an abrasive cleaner use a paste of baking soda and water.

Those ingredients are extremely inexpensive and will pretty much cover everything from windows to mirrors to bathtubs to refrigerator shelves to countertops (sans porous stone countertops; those need a cleaner with a higher pH balance.)

If your ready to move on to the next level of cleaning products you can always try homemade dishwasher detergent or homemade laundry detergent. However, I’m not yet convinced the homemade versions work as well as their manufactured counterparts. If you have a good one, I’d love to hear about it!

5.Buy Used

Keeping your wardrobe simple is a great way to be green but you may prefer a little more variety than 7 outfits in your closet. If so, frequent thrift stores, consignment sales, or even host your own clothing swap. It will help you use your creativity when puting together and outfit all while being a bit more green in the process.

So, there you go…5 simple and easy ways to be a little more green. For more tips, visit The Frugal Seed, Broccoli Cupcake, and Laurel of Leaves.


  • Lori @ Laurel of Leaves April 9, 2012, 2:06 pm

    ‘Just say no’ is one of the best pieces of advice out there for going green. Great list of tips!

  • Susie B. Homemaker April 9, 2012, 9:17 pm

    Love these tips! I’m working hard on saying no more- especially when it involves bringing more stuff into the house, since we are already running out of room for everything. And tip #2 is a goal of mine for this year- giving fun memorable experiences rather than a gift that’ll just be tossed aside for the next one.