"DON’T EVEN BUY IT!"
Using move environmentally friendly products whenever possible will go a long way toward keeping our environment safe.
- Antifreeze Use less toxic propylene glycol-based antifreeze. Recycle old antifreeze.
- Batteries Buy rechargeable batteries and charger or use solar powered substitutes.
- Bug Sprays Cream of tartar, red chili pepper, paprika or dried peppermint will stop bugs.
- Cleaner (General Purpose) 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 gallons hot water. Stir to dissolve. Use mop or sponge to clean. Alternative products - Murphy’s Oil Soap or Citra-Solv.
- Drain Opener Use plunger or snake. Put 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice down drain. Flush 15 minutes later with hot water. Prevent clogs by pouring boiling water directly down drain weekly.
- Fertilizers (chemical) Use compost, dried blood, fish meal, wood ashes and "green manure" (annual rye)
- Flea Killer Use a flea comb. Vacuum often. Wash pet’s bedding. Give pet brewers yeast, garlic tablets or Vitamin B as preventative measures.
- Floor Polish Mop with 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 2 gallons of water to remove dull, greasy film.
- Floor Wax Stripper Four a small amount of club soda on a section of the floor. Scrub well, let soak for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
- Insecticides Plant resistant varieties. Use "companion" plants that repel insects (like marigolds).
- Insect Repellant Burn citronella candles, punk, or incense. Alternative product—Bite Blocker.
- Metal Cleaner Mix a dab of white toothpaste with water to make paste. Rub on metal with damp sponge. Rinse in hot water and buff dry with soft cloth.
- Mold Inhibitor and Disinfectant Place 1 teaspoon borax and 3 tablespoons white vinegar in spray bottle. Dissolve borax by pouring 2 cups hot water over it. Shake. Spray onto mold-growing areas. Leave without rinsing. Vinegar will evaporate.
- Moth Balls Use cedar chips or dried lavender sachets.
- Oven Cleaner Sprinkle salt on spills while still warm. Scrub. Or mix 1 cup baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt with water to make a paste. Spread evenly over oven. Wait overnight. Soak steel wool in water and scrub. Alternative product - Citra-Solv.
Paint Use less toxic latex paint. Or use solvent-free paint, when possible.
- Paint Stripper Use citrus-based paint removers. Where a dust mask to sand and scrape paint.
- Paint Thinner Reuse your old thinner: Let paint particles settle, then pour off clear liquid.
- Rug Cleaner Sprinkle baking soda on rug then vacuum. Use club soda on stains. Alternative product - Heavenly Horsetail All Purpose Cleaner for steam cleaning.
- Scouring Powder 1 cup baking soda mixed with 1/4 cup borax. Rub on surface with dampen sponge. Let "rest" a few minutes, then rinse well. Alternative product—Bon Ami.
- Spot Remover Clean spill immediately. Use club soda for juice, tea, gravy, ketchup, mud. Cold water for blood. Lemon juice for ink, perspiration. Beaten egg whites for leather.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner Pour into bowl: lemon juice or 1 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar or 2-3 tablespoons cream of tartar sprinkled on area. Let rest, scrub with brush, rinse and flush.
- Varnishes and Stains Use pure tung oil mixed with pure linseed oil, shellac or water-based alternatives.
- Weed Killer Pull weeds. Use mulch. Maintain a healthy lawn by adjusting the pH to 6.5, mowing high with a sharp blade, and watering deeply when the soil is too dry.
- Window Cleaner Use 1/8 cup white vinegar in 1 cup warm water. Use spray bottle. Dry with newspaper (the ink helps clean windows too)
Information provided by the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments.