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The ultimate green guide for beginners

If you’re like most people, when a grease spill happens in the kitchen or there is hardened cooking residue on an oven grill, you break out the degreaser. It’s a harsh chemical that makes short work of fat and grease and it is then washed off the grille or pan or surface with water or paper towels. In the process you’ve just introduced more chemicals to your municipal water system and more paper with chemicals to a landfill. It’s so common a behavior, most of us don’t even think about the ramifications.

However, a common commercial kitchen trick for dealing with grease on a cooking surface is to use pickle juice. Most restaurants get loads of the stuff since pickles are often used as a garnish or topping. To keep them preserved, they are contained in a bucket of water and vinegar. The mixture actually works extremely well as a natural degreaser as well. Many cooks use it during cleanup to break down the carbonized grease and leftover residue on flat grills as well as to break down fat on cooking instruments. The same method can be easily used at home.

Most pickle containers sold in the store have plenty of extra water and vinegar mix, or a home cook can produce the same mixture at home with vinegar and water. However, there is something about the pickles that seems to add an extra mix, not to mention it smells better. Again, this is an alternative way to clean a kitchen cooking surfaces as well as reduce harmful chemicals being introduced to municipal water. It also ensures that paper towels used can instead be put in recycled paper versus thrown away. The chemicals are no longer present in the waste paper, so there’s no issue recapturing the paper again.

For thousands of years people have used natural goods to effect cleaning in the kitchen; chemicals have only been used for cleaning in the last 50 years. An easy way to be green is to go back to our roots and cut down on uses of poison. See Mopfrog of the Hamptons for more tips and advice on a personal green guide for daily living.


The Green Guide: How to Be Greener at Home

It might seem like a big commitment to be kind to the environment. But in actuality, there are many small steps you can take on a daily basis that create a significant impact. This green guide gives you simple ways you can make a difference.

Change Your Showerhead

Choose a showerhead with a spray of 1.5 gallons a minute, which can keep you from wasting almost 15,000 gallons of water every year, explains the This Old House website. You can also save water in the shower by taking faster showers or turning the water off when you lather. 

Set Your Air Conditioner When You Go Out

When you’re leaving your home, turn up the temperature on your air conditioner. This will keep it from trying to cool down the house when no one is home to enjoy the cold air. This habit saves you from wasting electricity, and will keep your bill lower as an added benefit.

Switch the Setting on Your Washing Machine

Set your washer to the cold setting when you do your laundry. Heating water for the wash requires about 90 percent of the energy the washing machine is using, according to Energy Star, so switching to cold will save all of that energy. Cold water is usually sufficient for cleaning the clothing effectively. 

Use Green Products

Cleaning with eco-friendly products gives you a simple way to help the environment while significantly improving the indoor health of your home at the same time. Standard home cleaning products that you buy off store shelves generally contain harmful chemicals that can pose problems to you and your family’s health and that are considered hazardous to the environment. Instead of using these typical cleansers, look for alternatives that are considered non-toxic and safe for the environment. Mopfrog of The Hamptons cleans homes with environmentally friendly products that are non-toxic, effective and have a Green Seal for meeting environmental standards. 

Stop the Water From Running

Brushing your teeth with the water running does nothing except waste water. By turning it off, you save as much as eight gallons of water a day if you brush twice a day, notes the EPA. 

Check Your HVAC Systems

Changing or cleaning dirty filters in your air conditioning and heating systems can save a significant amount of energy. This is because dirt clogging up the filters blocks the air from flowing as it should and makes the system run harder, using more energy.

Switch Your Lightbulbs

If you use traditional incandescent lightbulbs throughout your house, change them out for compact fluorescent lamps, light emitting diodes or halogen incandescents. Depending on the type and the situation, these energy-efficient options last up to 25 times longer and tend to use 25 to 80 percent less energy than the regular options, explains Energy.gov.

Whether you decide to follow a few of these tips or all of them, you’ll be doing your part to help the world around you. And be sure to pass this list along to your friends and family because the more people who make small changes, the healthier the environment.

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