Living green in the kitchen means, in part, replacing toxic cleaners with green alternatives, and eliminating unnecessary use of energy and trips to the grocery store by being good stewards of what we already have. Try these tricks.
Replace Toxic with Green
Table Salt: Scrub dirty casserole dishes and pots and pans (except iron skillets) with it, instead of commercial cleaners.
Dried Hot Peppers: Grow peppers in a pot or buy a few; dry. Deter ants by laying them at junctions where they crawl inside.
Baking Soda: Use instead of expensive, caustic powders to remove baked-on crud from stove tops or ovens, and to scrub the sink.
Open boxes of baking soda absorb unpleasant odors in the fridge. Every few months, pour the "used soda" down the kitchen drain and flush with water to sweeten it. Get a new box for the fridge; repeat.
Being Stewards of What We Already Have On Hand
Keep a soup container in the freezer: This sounds weird, but if you try it, you will always do it. Save that tiny chunk of leftover roast dripping with au jus, and all leftovers—mashed potatoes, rice, vegetables, meats, broths, liquids left from veggies—in a plastic lidded container in the freezer. Just layer the next item in over the previous one. After a couple of weeks, pull it out, semi-thaw in the microwave, place in crock pot with a can of stewed tomatoes and/or chicken broth, salt, pepper, a sprinkle of sugar and any herbs you have on hand. Go to work and come home to delicious soup.
Never toss a chicken carcass. Plop it in some water in the crock pot with a dollop of wine, a chunk of onion and celery, salt and pepper and whatever herbs you've got, or none. Turn on high for an hour, and then reduce heat to low 'til you can get back to it. Strain. Toss everything except the chicken tidbits, which go in your freezer soup container. The broth is liquid gold. Freeze it in small freezer bags. Pull out a bag Monday to add to stir fry, Tuesday for cooking noodles, Wednesday to season veggies; you get the picture. Yum!
-Vinegar and Salt for a nice scrub.
-Bathroom Cleaner - 5 parts baking soda to 1 part water makes a nice tub scrub.
-Vinegar as a "Pine Sol" cleaner for the toilet. Use it straight.
-Lemon Juice down the disposal.
Air Freshener Ideas:
-Cinnamon and Cloves, boiled on the stove
-Vanilla on a cotton ball
-Vinegar in a bowl (will absorb odor pretty well)
There is just so much out there and its easy to make and a whole lot cheaper.