Houseplants to purify your indoor air!

areca plm pltIndoor plants are a fantastic way to bring the outdoors inside, no matter what time of year it is (and, with temperatures starting to drop, windows and doors will likely be spending more time closed!).  Not only can plants breathe life into a room, but did you know they can also, literally, breathe fresh clean air into your home as well?!?

Sadly, our indoor air can become even more polluted than outdoor air(!) due in part to everything from VOCs in paint to all of the horrible things we track in on our shoes and then send airborne!

Just take a look at what some of the most common household plants can “do” for your home!:

  • Areca palm – this one is the top purifier and also humidifies the air as it cleans!  (Lady palm and bamboo palm also do an amazing job!)peace lly plt
  • Peace lilies – also a great all-around air purifier, and incredibly easy to maintain.
  • English ivy – fantastic for removing airborne mold (up to 60% of airborne mold in just six hours, by the way!).
  • Spider plants – great at removing 100% of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air in only 24 hours.
  • Boston ferns – another great over-all air purifier but especially for removing formaldehyde from the air.
  • Rubber plants – great for cleaning out those VOCs.

To reach maximum effectiveness, it’s recommended to have at least one 6” plant per 100 feet of living space.

Amazing, isn’t it? Actually, it’s exactly what I would expect Mother Nature to provide… something to clean-up our dirty work (and dirty air!).

Stressed? Natural ways for a Green Mom to shake the blues!

CB060663Mom Goes Green is always sharing ways to try to improve the things around you… your family’s daily life, your home, your community, our planet.  But what about you? What’s a stressed-out and tired Green Mom to do?

Well, this weekend is a long holiday weekend for many of us.  Why not take time for YOU (for a change!)? Here are three simple ways (with relatively earth-friendly twists) to naturally rejuvenate and leave the stress behind (even if only for a night!):

  • Go ahead and splurge – take a bath and add some natural and organic bath salts.  Studies show that the salts increase prolactin levels by up to a third and help in relaxation!
  • Grab a cup of hot organic coffee or tea – it can actually trigger psychological warmth and pleasant feelings, even after only holding it for 10 seconds!  For a natural antidepressant, add a nice spice… cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, you choose.
  • Turn off the TV and read – stimulating your mind actually creates happiness.  To be eco-friendly, borrow books from the library or a friend, make your purchase at a used book store or, for the avid reader, buy a Kindle or Nook.

There you have it… simple steps… and what it takes for a stressed Green Mom to shake the blues!

Got (more) rust? Think vinegar and lemon!

200369716-001Not long ago I shared my little trick for removing rust from metal (our daughter’s Razor scooter had taken the brunt of the cold and dampness in the garage over the winter)…

Now, more annoying rust came-a-callin’… on a piece of brand new clothing! (This is the part where I clenched my teeth and let a few “choice” words fly!)

Well, never fear.  When rust spots seem to pop up out of nowhere, you don’t need to add it to the batch of clothes that have been designated for ‘cleaning duty days’ and ‘yard work sessions’.  You can salvage it with a few simple items:  distilled white vinegar & salt or just a simple lemon.

Here’s how:vinegar

  • Saturate the rust stain with distilled white vinegar and pour on a generous amount of saltRub the salt into the stain…. OR….
  • Squeeze the juice from a lemon onto the stain (bottled juice works too).
  • For both options, the best ‘next step’ is to actually put the garment in the sun (Mother Nature will do her magic) until the garment has dried. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, no problem… just let it dry on its own.

lemonzYou might want to repeat the process for super stains but then just launder the garment as usual and VOILA!…

Guess what?… no more rust stains! And guess what else?  No chemicals needed! Fantastic…

Weeds & vinegar: a lethal (but safe!) combination

vinegarSo, it finally feels as if Spring has arrived! Your indoor spring cleaning is probably underway but, if your yard is like ours, it may look like the outdoors needs some attention too.

Along with the sprouting of our lovely spring bulbs, some not-so-lovely things are sprouting up too.  Yes, I’m talking about weeds!

Want to control them environmentally and safely without harsh chemicals? Then here are two simple items for your shopping list:  distilled white vinegar and a sprayer bottle.

If you’re like me, you may already have a sprayer bottle or have kept one around just waiting to be reused, so your list may contain one, simple item… vinegar, because (just like my kids) weeds hate the taste of vinegar!

All you need to do is fill the bottle with vinegar and spray the nasty culprits! It works best with young weeds and, for those tough hardy buggers, it may take more than one application but, I assure you, it works! I should also add that it works best on a sunny day and when rain is not in the forecast.  weedz

However, this also comes with a warning… vinegar is NOT selective. It will kill whatever you spray.  You need to be cautious not to let it come in contact with prized flowers or plants, so make sure your bottle has a very controlled sprayer and not a wide range mist.  For this reason also, vinegar is best for gardens, flower beds, sidewalks, driveways and around paver stones, but isn’t recommended for lawns since it will take your grass right along with the weeds!

Ahh… vinegar! Is there anything it doesn’t do?!?  Okay, well yea… there are “things”, but the list of what it DOES do just got longer… and you can now add “weed warrior” to that list!

Got rust?: Aluminum foil, remove, recycle…

alum foilYesterday we were gifted with some fantastic warm weather and bright sunny skies (an anomaly around Ohio these days!).

After school, all our daughter wanted to do was jump on her Razor scooter and scoot around the neighborhood.  But when she pulled it out of the place in the garage where it had been propped up, for the better part of winter, we were mortified… rust, rust, and more rust!

It’s only a year old and it had been well cared for, but it looked like it had literally been left out in the elements for weeks.razor

Fortunately, I had exactly what we neededNot a chemical, not a commercial cleaning concoction, just plain old aluminum foil waiting in our pantry.  Before my daughter started to panic, I got “the supply”.

All you need to do is tear off a sheet, roll it into a ball (shiny side out, preferably) and start rubbing away the rust. And voila… shiny and new!

This works wonderfully on chrome and many types of metals.  For the tougher spots, you can also saturate it in distilled white vinegar for a few minutes and then put the aluminum foil to work.

The beauty of it all?  When you’re done, the aluminum foil can go in your bin for alum flrecycling!

Mom saved the day!  The scooter was scootin’, “green principles were intact” and everything (and everyone) was bright and shiny!