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Looking to have your windows cleaned for the upcoming season? Windows can now be cleaned using nothing but pure water. This is not tap water, but rather water that has been filtered of all impurities and when left to dry naturally will not spot the glass. One of our sister companies uses this latest technology and guarantees that if you are not satisfied for any reason, the window cleaning is free. Visit Portland Window Cleaning today!

Watch this video which explains the process of pure water cleaning.

Certified DEQ Approved formulas to safely remove moss and mold from your composition or tile roof.

Posted by Danielle Downs on Feb.26, 2009

1. Incorporate Native Plants in Your Landscaping When planning your landscape, consider using a collection of native plants. Native plants are adapted to your area, which means they naturally require less maintenance and water than exotic plants. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases than many exotics, reducing the need for pesticides. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and beneficial insects. Some of your local plants may even have medicinal properties. Non-native species are often invasive and can suffocate your lawn. Anyone with bamboo or English ivy knows how hard it is to maintain control of invasive growth. If you are determined to plant an invasive ornamental, please plant it in a buried pot to keep the roots contained. You can easily dig it up in the winter and bring it indoors.

2. Plant Deciduous Shade Trees to Reduce Energy Use Planting deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in the fall) is a great way to cool your home and reduce your air conditioning costs during the summer. When these trees drop their leaves, they also allow sunlight to warm a home or building during the winter. To maximize the benefits of deciduous trees, plant tall trees on the east and west-facing sides of your house. This will help shade your home during the hottest months of the summer. Planting trees on the south facing side of your home can help shade the roof, as the sun will not hit that side of the house much during the summer. Make sure to prune trees so that at least a few branches are shading the roof and the air conditioning unit. This adds up to additional energy savings. Also, use the leaves for mulch or your compost pile. Natural leaf mulch returns nutrients to the soil and costs less that purchasing mulch from the hardware or landscape store.

3. Use Xeriscaping in Your Landscape While xeriscaping is mostly associated with the arid landscapes of the Southwestern U.S., its main concepts are applicable to all gardens and landscapes. The basic ideas of xeriscaping are the use of efficient irrigation systems, low-water use plants, reducing turf grass, and creating water-wise garden designs. Rock gardens, cactus plants, and non-grass ground cover can all be incorporated into your Xeriscape. In the south, pennyroyal works as a great grass replacement. The best xeriscaping methods differ by region.

4. Use Efficient + Non-polluting Reel or Electric Lawn Mowers and other eco-smart equipment While gas-powered mowers are a great time-saving device, there are alternatives that are cleaner, non-polluting and more energy efficient. Modern reel mowers are a great way to mow the lawn and get exercise at the same time. They are also easier to use than you might imagine.

5. Use Rain Barrels to Irrigate You can cut back on your water use by storing water in rain barrels and using it to irrigate you garden and landscaping. Rainwater is naturally soft water that is chemical-free. Plants love it! Using rainwater also reduces municipal storm water runoff. Some barrels come with a spigot on the bottom that you can fasten a garden hose to. Put your barrels on a platform when possible. The extra height will help gravity boost the water pressure. If your barrels are large enough, you might even get to wash your car during drought restrictions this summer!

6. Compost! Composting occurs in nature and is a process that keeps organic nutrients cycling from soil to plants and back to the soil. You can use organic waste from your home to return needed nutrients to the soil. Things like fruit peels, grass clipping, leaves, and egg shells are great materials to recycle and mix into garden soil. Composting has many benefits, including reducing municipal waste, improving soil moisture retention, boosting plants’ immune systems, and reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. If your compost is only for decorative plants (not food plants) your dog waste can be added safely.

7. Grow food It’s cheaper than buying it, saves refrigeration and transport carbon emissions, and encourages kids to eat their veggies. The best tasting tomato is one you grow yourself. The portion of the yard staked out for gardening is less lawn to care for and less grass to mow.

We are looking for GREEN LINKS! From around the world.

By the Care2 staff. – Annie B. Bond

Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products — and removing toxic ones — goes a long way towards ensuring a home with fresh, clean air. Clean air renews and rejuvenates; it doesn’t pollute our lives or the environment. Living in a less toxic home, removed from neurotoxic chemicals, improves sleep and concentration, makes babies less fussy, and gives a sense of well-being. Your household’s toxic burden on the environment will be significantly reduced by following these steps, and this too can bring peace of mind.

1. LOOK UNDER YOUR KITCHEN SINK: Remove toxic products
WHY: Almost everyone in the world has a cupboard full of poisons under their kitchen sink. Wasp spray, oven cleaner, waxes and polishes—the place is full of chemicals that display the words poison, danger, warning, or caution. Small amounts of the poisons drift from, and leak out of bottles and spray bottles, which then waft around the kitchen. Household poisonings are one of the highest threats to the health of children.

HOW: Place products with signal words in a locked cupboard in storage for your community’s next Household Hazardous Pickup Day (see next tip); replace all hazardous products with safer versions in the future.

HIGHLIGHTS: No chemicals wafting into your household; safer environment for kids.

2. ABOUT HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE PICKUPS: Take toxic products
WHY: Hazardous materials shouldn’t be poured down the drain or thrown away in the trash as they can cause serious pollution problems in the waste stream.

HOW: Call your local recycling center, town or city hall. Most communities have at least one Household Hazardous Waste Pickup Day a year.

HIGHLIGHTS: There will be fewer toxic materials leaching out of landfills, burning in incinerators, and being washed into the waste water stream.

3. REPLACE TOXIC PRODUCTS: Choose non-toxic, biodegradable substitutes
WHY: Help reduce the toxic burden of manufacturing, your home, and the waste stream.
HOW: Read “Signal Words” on labels. The signal words poison, danger,warning, or caution, found on the label of products such as pesticides and cleaning products, are placed there by order of the federal government and are primarily for your production. In some cases these signal words are on the label because of the potential impact the product can have on the environment. Poison/danger denotes a product of most concern, one that is highly toxic, and ingesting small amounts—in some cases a few drops—can be fatal. Warning means moderately toxic, as little as a teaspoonful can be fatal; and caution denotes a product that is less toxic, one in which it would be necessary to ingest between two tablespoons and two cups to be fatal. Corrosive products can damage skin and mucous membranes, and a strong sensitizer is a chemical that can increase allergies.

HIGHLIGHTS: Labels provide information by which you can protect yourself, your family, and the environment.

4. LEARN NON-TOXIC CLEANING BASICS: How to use kitchen cupboard
ingredients

WHY: Save money, protect your health, reduce your use of valuable resources of the earth, avoid petroleum products and other non-renewable resources.

HOW: Learning to clean from scratch—making homemade recipes—can truly work if you take time to understand a bit about the chemistry behind how the materials work. Here are the five ingredients that Annie (the author of Clean & Green among other books, and Care2’s Healthy Living channel producer) finds to be the safest, most effective, and useful for cleaning.
The Five Basics for Non-Toxic Cleaning
Make sure to keep all homemade formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.
Note how to safely reduce four airborne allergens in the home with these simple steps.
HIGHLIGHTS: Establish a safe, cheap and simple lifestyle.

MORE: Visit Care2.com’s Healthy Home category for many non-toxic cleaning tips. Just scroll down to Non-Toxic Cleaning.

5. OF MOPS, SPONGES, RAGS, AND OTHER ACCESSORIES: Natural, reusable

WHY: Reduce your use of non-renewable resources; avoid products with potentially harmful ingredients such as sponges with antibacterial ingredients; reuse old shirts as rags and more. Use cloth rags instead of paper towels to save trees. Save money!

HOW: Look at your purchase of mops, paper towels, sponges, buckets, vacuums, and more with an eye towards their durability, health and environmental impact. If you must use paper towels buy recycled, unbleached paper.

HIGHLIGHTS: Reusable mops, rags instead of paper, safe sponges, HEPA vacuums all work towards providing your home and environment with fresh, clean air, and reduce your consumption of nonrenewable resources.

6. LEARN ABOUT YOUR WATER: Is it hard or soft?
WHY: With hard water you will most likely need to clean with a detergent instead of a soap to avoid soap scum.

HOW: Read here about when and why to choose a detergent or a soap

HIGHLIGHTS: Choosing the right product for the right job reduces time and resources.

7. DISINFECTANTS? CHLORINE BLEACH? Look for alternatives
WHY: Just as antibiotics are causing drug resistance, so too are disinfectants. Chlorine bleach can cause cancer causing chemicals to form in the waste water stream. Here is more information about chlorine and the home.

HOW: Make a safer antibacterial spray by using these suggestions. Read here about toxic sponges.Visit your natural food store and ask for their recommended chlorine beach alternative. Seventh Generation and other brands offer alternatives that work.

HIGHLIGHTS: A healthier home and healthier environment.

8. CONSERVE WATER

WHY: Clean water is one of our most precious and diminishing resources and we don’t want to waste it.
HOW: Don’t run the water unless you are using it or catching it in a bucket for use; sweep instead of wet mop when possible; put a tracking matt at the door to collect mud and dust so you will need to wash the floor less; etc. Use common sense.

HIGHLIGHTS: Do your part to preserve the earth’s precious resources.

9. CLEAN INDOOR AIR WITH PLANTS

WHY: Plants have been found to reduce indoor air pollution!

HOW: Here are the top 10 plants that clear indoor air.

HIGHLIGHTS: Plants clean the air and provide more oxygen too!

10. USE YOUR SENSES: Smell, feel, hear

WHY: If you use your nose you will know when food is rotten, when dog beds need to be cleaned, when toxic chemicals may be leaking from old product bottles, and more. If you use your sense of touch you will know when doorknobs are sticky, the floor needs washing, etc. If you allow your senses to be your guide you will stay on top of cleaning jobs that need to be attended to.

HOW: Listen to what your senses are telling you.

HIGHLIGHTS: Cleaner indoor air, alert to potential toxic exposures.

EcoPortland

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