Keeping your bathroom and kitchen areas clean can be a laborious task, but since it needs to be done anyway, why not do it the "green" way? Most people grab the usual bleach and chemical cleaners to tidy up their houses. However, these chemicals are not only toxic to you, but also to the environment. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your dirtiest areas in your house spic and span without the harmful side effects.
Use Recycled Paper
This goes for paper products being utilized in the home including towels, napkins, and even toilet paper. Many of these products are made with 100% recycled paper or at least some sort of percentage of post-consumer paper. Stores such as Trader Joe's and drugstores such as CVS all sell 100% recycled paper towels and toilet paper for the same price as regular non-recycled paper products. I always look for 100% recycled paper products and to me they are of equal quality to those of non-recycled material, or even better.
Use Plant-Derived Cleaning Agents
A lot of cleaning products contain bleach or ammonia and other toxic chemicals that get rinsed down or flushed away into our drains that lead to other public waterways and eventually the ocean. By using all natural, plant-derived cleaning agents, not only are you benefiting the environment, but your and your household as well. Not only are these products just as effective, but they are cost the same as regular chemical cleaning agents. Brands such as Nature Source and Green Works all offer multi-purpose cleaning agents that are natural and plant-derived, from tile scrubbing to window/mirror cleaning agents. I have been using plant-derived or "green" cleaning products ever since they became available and they are just as effective and efficient, and they also give me a peace of mind knowing that they are much safer for my environment.
Use Less Water
This goes for even the littlest things. Wash dishes by hand if possible. Dishwashers use and waste tons of water, and most people don't even fill the washer completely when washing. While washing dishes by hand, make sure to only let the water run while you are actually rinsing off the dishes. Also, try to sweep and dust off kitchen and bathroom floors more frequently rather than mopping with water.
In General Less Is More
Here are some other helpful side tips. When cleaning up a spill on the counter or stove area, try to reuse an old rag instead of copious amounts of paper towels. With rags, you can soak up the spill, wring it out and clean up the rest of the mess with the same cloth. I always hang onto scraps of cloth or old pieces of clothing to reuse for spills and other little liquid clean-ups. Also, try to clean during the day, so you can use natural lighting rather than eating up your electric bill by cleaning at night.