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Earth Friendly Tip 1: Make Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaners

Wood Lake Nature Center's Karen Shragg gives eco-friendly tips in honor of Earth Day April 22.

Editor's Note: April 22 is Earth Day, as it has been for over 40 years. But why limit it to just one day? Join us here on Nature Notes for the next 10 days for a new environmentally-friendly tip from , naturalist and director of .

Cleaning your home and spot treating laundry with non-toxic products helps the earth and you. It keeps you away from potentially harmful products and there is less pollution at the source where they are made, as well as less pollution as they drain from your home and head to waste treatment plants.

Here is a recipe that’s inexpensive and easy to make. You can use it on all but wood surfaces and its great as a laundry pre-treatment. I recommend making up a batch every 3 months and filling multiple spray bottles and placing it under the sink and in the laundry room.

It costs less then 20 cents per recipe, whereas a store-bought cleaner runs $4 to $20 a bottle; reuse your store-bought cleaner bottle to make the concoction for another eco-friendly benefit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Borax
  • 32 ounces or 4 cups of hot water
  • 20 drops essential oil such as lemon or lavender; optional
  • 1/4 cup liquid dish soap. Be sure to use a brand that is environmentally friendly; check your local co-op.

Directions:

Combine vinegar and Borax with hot water. Add essential oils, if desired for fragrance, and dish soap. Stir ingredients together. Place in empty spray bottle and be sure to label it appropriately.

Stay tuned for more earth-friendly tips in the coming days.

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