I've been doing these things for awhile now and haven't shared them with you so what better day than now?
I think cleaning is a great place to be "green". It encompasses a lot and probably a lot that we don't even think about. Now I've not done a lot of research to back up my ideas or theories. Sorry, that's not my bag. But, I feel these things are "greener" options so stick with me. And I promise it'll be practical, easy to find and accomplish and not too bad on the wallet.
First of all, I have recently started cleaning with vinegar/water and baking soda. On everything. It's really great. It cleans up everything. I did look into this a bit and these are all natural sanitizers, they kill germs and they are safe for you. This is the biggest thing. I saw a segment on Dr. Oz (I know.. shhh!) about household cleaners. He was having people show them how they use these things. Then, he'd show them how they "should" use them to protect themselves from internal damage from the toxins. No joke! I don't want to dress for a nuclear meltdown every time I step into the bathroom and with a baby on the way at the time, I didn't want her to not be able to walk in the room. Scary stuff, folks! So, I adapted this way of cleaning and I love it. You can add essential oils for scent (and some for more cleaning fun like orange, tea tree or lavender) but I haven't ventured into this yet. Though I do light a candle because there is a faint smell of vinegar for awhile and my husband can smell it a MILE away! No joke. I did it for months before telling him though and he didn't notice.
**NOTE: I buy vinegar and baking soda in bulk at Costco. WAY cheaper than chemicals. I promise. vinegar to water 1:1 in a spray bottle. Spray the area then sprinkle on some baking soda and hear it sizzle. Eating soap scum and sanitizing everything!
Another thing I did was throw out my mop. We decided to buy a steamer. This was recommended by a friend and it's an awesome investment. Not only are our floor cleaner but it needs nothing. The hot steam is enough to remove dirt and grime and to sanitize the floors. Perfect for baby crawling! The floor isn't sticky afterwards because I didn't get all the soap up. There is no buildup of junk on the floor. There are removable pads that can be washed so no need to replace. More savings! It's awesome. We bought ours at Costco. But, it is available everywhere. And, it's a great price. We've had ours for at least 2 years with no problem.
**NOTE: My mother in law finds it hard to push and I can understand that. It doesn't bug me and a different model might be different (we have the same). Also, I JUST realized I could extend the handle. Ha. I do feel the need to get down and hand scrub some corners sometimes. It's great at that but just at certain angles it misses. Still worth it. (Link to ours below)
Shark S3501N Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop
I hope these help inspire you to live a bit greener. I need to find something new this year. Since my garden is NOT coming to be. But, more about that later...
Happy Earth Day!