Here are some do-it-yourself cleaners that use environmentally friendly ingredients, like baking soda and vinegar, which are quite inexpensive.
2 cups water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70% concentration)
1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil (optional)
Pour solution into a spray bottle for use.
Use for rust stains on porcelain and enamel (not for use on granite or marble)
Half a lemon
1/2 cup borax (can be found in the detergent aisle)
Dip the lemon into the borax and scrub surface; rinse.
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER AND DEODORIZER
For kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator
4 tablespoons baking soda
1 quart warm water
Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe.
DISHWASHER STAIN REMOVER
1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink
To remove rust from the inside walls, pour the powder (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary.
Here are a few tips on how to reduce your use of paper and print resources in the workplace.
1. To Print or Not To Print. Decide if you actually need to print that 1000-page document. Could you use a soft (or electronic) copy?
2. Share. Does everyone in the room need a copy? They might. Or they might not. For presentations, decide if sharing is an option.
3. Double Up. Reduce number of pages printed by printing on both sides or printing multiple pages to one page.
4. No Brainer. Print on 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
5. Keep it Black & White. If you are printing draft versions of a color document, consider printing only in black and white to save on color ink.
6. Reduce. Consider using software such as GreenPrint to minimize the paper used by each print job.
7. Recycle. Always recycle your ink cartridges. The e-waste bin is located in the corridor by the Dentist office, through the double wooden doors.
Lunch Room/Break Room Tips
Use these tips and tricks to cut down on waste (and spending) in the lunch room.
1. Waste not. Use real dishes, not disposable products. All you need is a sink, soap, sponge, and dish rack.
2. Get your hands (and your dishes) clean. Hand-wash instead of using a dishwasher to save energy. And while you’re at it, get biodegradable sponges and soaps and phosphate-free soap.
3. If you must. If your only option is to use disposable cold cups, plates, or cutlery, look for sustainable products, especially compostable ones.
4. Make yourself at home. Have everyone bring in their own mug from home, or purchase some mugs, cups, cutlery, plates and bowls for the office. There’s also something to be said for having a few comforts from home in your workspace.
5. Get used. When it comes to products, the greenest thing is to use something that’s already been created, instead of creating something new. It’s also usually cheaper, so look to buy used equipment, from plates to fridges. You can buy from thrift stores.
6. Buy Energy Star. If you must buy new appliances, look for energy efficient ones, look for ones that are Energy Star certified. This is another green tip that also saves money.
7. Lose the baggage. Cut down on needless packaging. For example, share milk and cream for coffee, instead of using individual cream or creamer packets, and spoons available for stirring, instead of disposable stirrers.
9. Skip the water cooler. If you don’t like your tap water, consider a water filter in the fridge instead of a water cooler or individual bottled water. This one will save you a ton of money too!
10. Unplug the energy sucks. Plug all the non-fridge appliances, such as the microwave, coffee maker/grinder, toaster, etc. into a power strip (surge protector) so that you can switch their power off at the end of the day. Appliances plugged in, even if not in use, suck some energy.