Be greener, use less energy and eliminate toxic substances around your house: it’s a no-brainer. Just a few eco-friendly DIY tips and tricks along with a handful of small, inexpensive changes to your home can cut your electric bill and help you reduce your waste output by eliminating disposable products. Check out these 12 tips and suggestions for a greener, safer home including vinegar wood stains, natural home scents, non-toxic cleaners and reusable dryer balls.
Use Vinegar to Make Non-Toxic Wood Stain
Did you know you can stain wood using nothing but vinegar with some metal added to it? Chemical reactions between the acidic vinegar and the metal in objects like rusted nails, steel wool and pennies create different colored wood stains.
used steel wool to create the subtle dark stain seen above; get more recipes at
Shorten Your Dryer Vent Hose
Many clothes dryer vent hoses are longer than they need to be, dragging out drying times and creating a potential fire hazard. Make the hose between the back of the dryer and the wall as short as possible. Straight is best; 90-degree angles can cause flammable lint build-up.
Make an Easy Non-Toxic All-Purpose Cleaner
Vinegar really is pretty amazing stuff. It’s cheap, powerful and one of the safest ways to get virtually everything in your house sparkling clean. Give it extra grease-cutting power with the addition of one simple, natural ingredient: orange peels. The next time you eat an orange, don’t throw the peel away! Place them in a jar, cover them with vinegar, put the lid on and let it sit for two weeks. Then strain it and add it to a spray bottle, and you’ve got pleasant orange-scented all-purpose cleaner.
[Recipe at Brandy Fisher]
Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes
Heat radiating from uncovered hot water pipes can waste a lot of energy. Decrease the heat loss from those pipes with a quick, easy and inexpensive DIY project. Most home supply stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot and ACE Hardware sell pipe insulation, which is typically made of foam and fits right over the pipes with minimal work.
Get the step-by-step tutorial at Consumer Reports.
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