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Archive for October, 2010

The Many Uses of Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common item kept in many homes, but did you know that there are tons of uses for baking soda? Here are a few to get you started:

In Your Home:
*Place a box of baking soda in your garbage can or refrigerator (they make special boxes for this) to absorb smells.
*Do you have some smelly shoes lying around? Sprinkle a little bit in the shoes to deodorize them.
*Sprinkle some baking soda on your carpet, let it set for a little bit (some say anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour) and then simply vacuum up the baking soda, along with the smell.
*Sprinkle baking soda over upholstered furniture, gently brush, and let sit for anywhere between 1 hour and overnight, then vacuum away any smells trapped in your furniture.
*Keep your fresh flowers alive longer by adding a teaspoon to the water.
*Put baking soda under your sinks, in cracks, and around ground level windows to repel cockroaches and ants.
*Sprinkle some in your cats litter box to help remove foul odors.
*Mix baking soda and water instead of soap to wash your fruits and vegetables.
*Add a cup of baking soda to your toilet bowl, let sit for an hour, then flush.
*Mix baking soda and water to make a paste to gently scrub away marks from walls (including crayon!).
*Sprinkle on a damp sponge to clean stainless steel without scratching.
*Keep your drains clean by putting 4 tablespoons of baking soda in them each week, and flush with hot water.
*Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water to clean the inside of your oven.

Outside Your Home:
*Scatter baking soda around your flowerbeds to keep rabbits away.
*Sprinkle baking soda around the soil of your tomato plants to sweeten your tomatos.
*Clean your screens by dipping a damp wire brush into baking soda, scrub the screens, then rinse with a sponge or hose.
*To clean up light oil spills in the garage, mix equal parts of baking soda and cornmeal and sprinkle on the spill, let it dry, and then sweep or vacuum away. If the spot is still there, sprinkle with baking soda, let it stand and then scrub it using a wet brush.

Do you have a favorite use for baking soda, or did one of these suggestiions work for you? If so, let us know by leaving a comment!

For more information on the many uses of baking soda visit:
http://earth911.com/news/2010/09/28/surprising-uses-for-5-items-you-already-have/
http://earth911.com/news/2010/07/26/baking-soda-multipurpose-superhero/
http://www.armandhammer.com/news/arm-and-hammer-baking-soda-countless-uses-for-less-than-a-dollar.aspx
http://lifehackery.com/2008/07/22/home-4/
http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/uses-for-baking-soda-outdoors-activities-ga.htm

By MPPL on October 15, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Household Products

Have a Green Halloween

Make your own costume from things around the house – old clothes, game pieces, sport team items, something from the recycling bin, etc., or purchase items from a resale shop.  
 
If make-up is used instead of a mask, purchase non-toxic or hypoallergenic cosmetics.  
 
After using costumes, trade with a friend, start a “costume closet” at  school, church or home to share next year, or donate the costumes to a favorite charity.  
 
When buying candy, look for treats with minimal packaging – or give pencils, erasers or money.  
 
Send your children out with a reusable bucket, canvas bag or pillowcase.  
 
Don’t be a litter bug, dispose of candy wrappers in your bags, buckets or trash cans along the way.  
 
Stay local to trick-or-treat, bike, wagon or carpool.  
 
Use rechargeable batteries in your flashlight for trick-or-treating.  

Don’t throw away the pumpkin seeds – bake and eat, or put outdoors for the birds and animals.  
 
Put a soy or natural beeswax candle in your Jack-o’-lanterns, or use a battery-operated light, with rechargeable batteries, of course.  
 
As your pumpkin grows old, put in your yard for animals to eat, or put into compost pile.  
 
Make your own luminaries from old cans with a pattern of hole punches.  
 
Keep Halloween decorations from year to year so you don’t need to purchase new ones each season.  
 
If you are hosting a Halloween party, used reusable dishes, tableware, cups napkins, etc.  Serve from a pitcher instead of individual bottles and  cans.Make a mystery punch with your favorite juices/pop, and add dry ice for a spooky effect. Instead of paper invitations, send an electronic  invite to your guests.

From SWANNC’s September E-Newsletter

By MPPL on October 8, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Holidays