"The ammonia vapour from concentrated ammonia solutions is severely irritating
to the eyes and the respiratory tract, and these solutions should only be
handled in a fume hood. Saturated ("0.880") solutions can develop a significant
pressure inside a closed bottle in warm weather, and the bottle should be opened
with care; this is not usually a problem for 25% ("0.900") solutions.
Ammonia solutions should not be mixed with halogens, as toxic and/or explosive products are
formed. Prolonged contact of ammonia solutions with silver, mercury or iodide salts can also lead to explosive products:
such mixtures are often formed in qualitative chemical analysis, and should be
lightly acidified but not concentrated (<6% w/v) before disposal once the
test is completed." - www.wikipedia.org
Why, oh why, would people want to clean with substances that are so bad for us? These chemicals we are using to "clean" our homes are potentially very harmful for us. I don't know about you, but when the bottles of cleaners have hazardous written all over it, it makes me rethink using them. Why not trying a greener choice?
There are many products these days that do a great job of cleaning- personally tested! But more importantly, they do a great job of caring for the environment.
I prefer the ingredients in my cleaners to be something like "corn and coconut derived biodegradable surfactants" and "corn alcohol" (whiskey?) than "petrolium distillate". I feel much safer using non-toxic, ammonia-free , natural cleaners, where the only symbol on the bottle is a little triangle with arrows instead of symbols that show skull and crossbones and some liquid that burns though your hands. Gross. Bring on the vinegar and water!!
I love the idea of cleaning with vinegar. It's a great, natural cleaner, but I'm not going to lie. It's not the best smelling stuff. If I wanted my house to smell like pickles, I'd be cool with using it, any day, every day. Then I saw the vinegar- Dawn soap pin. 50-50 mix of the two and you've got a pretty effective cleaner. At first, I was skeptical. I didn't dedicate a whole bottle to making the concoction. It was about a table spoon of each, just to test it out. I really didn't want my house smelling like pickles. So, it tried it out, and it actually is pretty awesome stuff. I'll keep using it for sure. My toilet is gleeming thanks to this stuff. Also note, the bottle is now full. I believe.
I always wondered why developers always felt the need to have a fresh slate when it comes to their lots. They cut down every tree in an entire subdivision, flatten the lots, deleting any type of landscape. Urban sprawl is an expression that is full of negative connotations, yet that is exactly what we, as consumers, are asking for. We want large, single family houses, with a gas station within walking distance (or in reality within FAST driving distance). Our society seems to be begging for convenience, at any expense.
When we move into our first home, we want it either brand new or move-in-ready, and we'll pay for it. People can spend an extra 10 grand because they prefer the house without the bubble gum pink walls and green bathtubs. People tend to overlook the potential in the renovation projects, but they are often the answer for smart growth. There are many different benefits to thinking green when it comes to urban sprawl issues.
Consider building on an existing lot- Generally, these lots are in mature neighbourhoods, which means beautiful trees, existing commodities, character, etc. With existing grocery stores, parks and schools already only minutes away, it reduces the amount of driving that would come with a new area of town. With the amount of homes in this world that are condemned (or should be) there is less need to clear another lot in a new neighbourhood. (See the picture above)
Consider a renovation project- Instead of building a new home, renovate! While some people aren't very excited about that thought, sometimes, making your house fresh and beautiful again isn't as scary one would think. Simple renovations like replacing fixtures, like faucets, lighting, doorknobs are easy and cheap. And I always say, paint is one of the cheapest renovations. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint does for the atmosphere of a home.
For larger undertakings, such as installing new high performance windows, or removing batt insulation and insulating with spray foam, or replacing appliances with Engergy Star appliances, the initial renovation costs are absorbed in the savings when it comes to the hydro bill.
Consider putting in a basement suite in your house and think about the rewards- Having the extra rent money, reducing the need for yet another single family home, having a use for the space that would otherwise be storage, etc.
There are so many ways to go green! A tiny sacrifice can take this world farther than we can imagine. What will you do today?
I have so much stuff! Desks, bookshelves, small kitchen appliances, books, chairs, you name it. And at least 2 to 100s. Ever thought of using the most random items for other uses?
For example, I found an old shower curtain rod, complete with the curtain rings. Not that I'd have a problem bringing my old, extra rod to the thrift store, but I figured I could use it. Unconventionally, I'll admit, but I did have this pile of purses on the closet floor. Shower rod+ rings+ purses= room for my shoes on the closet floor. Just what every girl needs.
And another use for those spare shower curtain rings- hanging my numerous scraves. Belts could work too, or whatever you can think of really...
A thin vase became a great way to show off my bracelets. I always had the problem of not being able to close my jewelry box because most of them are so chunky, so problem solved in a repurposed kind of way.
I have a great laundry room. Huge and lots of storage, what could be better? My only problem with it was... at 5'-3", the overhead shelving required a chair to reach anything. And if anyone knows me, they know that me and standing on chairs don't mix, so I set about adding more (yes, more) shelves at a more reasonable level for the likes of myself. I knew I was going to need a shelf over the washing machnine and dryer, and I figured, instead of going out and buying yet another shelf, i opted to use my very old, very first snowboard. I just couldn't say good-bye. So I didn't. Now, I can say I'm still using the snowboard I had in junior high!
I had an old coat hanger and a spare bed sheet. I figured my door needed a wreath, so that's what we got!
Ants on a Blog
By Jena Keenan