The Maids of Portland, Maine

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Four Unexpected Causes of Pollution

Four surprising ways you're hurting the environment—and the surprisingly easy changes you can make to be greener. 

1> Using Body Wash All The Time...
Liquid soaps require five times more energy for raw-material production and nearly 20 times more energy for packaging production than bar soaps do.
Greener Habit...Stick with bars when you wash up. Not only do they have a considerably lower impact on the environment but also you'll use less.

2> Being Oblivious to Your Electronic Settings...
The average home contains about 24 energy-sucking electronic devices, with TVs, desktop computers, cable boxes, and game consoles among the worst.
Greener Habit...It's easy to tweak a TV, so start there. Select "home" mode in the setup instead of "retail," which is meant for a bright in-store display. If there is an automatic brightness control, turn it on.

3> Running the Dishwasher and Clothes Dryer During the Day...
These machines produce heat and humidity, which means your air conditioner has to work harder
Greener Habit...Use your dishwasher and dryer during off-peak hours, which typically start between 8 P.M. and midnight and end around sunrise.

4> Overdoing It With Aluminum Foil...
Americans discarded about 2.8 million tons of aluminum—including containers, cans, and foil—in 2013, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Whereas soiled containers can be recycled, dirty foil can't. And it can take centuries for aluminum to biodegrade.
Greener Habit...Use unbleached parchment paper for baking and roasting as well as for wrapping sandwiches and snacks. It's biodegradable, compostable, and often reusable.



Courtesy Of: Real Simple

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cleaning Products You Should Never Mix

When you're faced with a tough cleaning job, it's easy to get frustrated — and tempting to get creative with how you combat it. But before you reach for every cleaning product under your sink and start playing chemist, please just don't. "People often think that if one product works, mixing it with another one will make it even better," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.

But here's the scary truth: "Certain products, which are safe when used alone, can sometimes cause unsafe fumes or other chemical reactions when mixed with other products," says Nancy Bock, Senior VP of Education at the American Cleaning Institute.

And even if your ad-hoc cleaner combo isn't dangerous or toxic, you can never be sure what effect two products can have on a surface or fabric when combined. Always read the warning and ingredient labels on cleaning products — and never mix these:

1.) Drain Cleaner and Drain Cleaner... Never mix two different drain cleaners together as they are powerful and can lead to an explosion.

2.) Baking Soda and Vinegar...One is basic and one is acidic. When you put them together what you get is basically water. If mixed together and stored in a tight container, the mixture can explode.

3.) Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar...combining the two can be potentially toxic and can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

4.) Bleach and Vinegar...Together they produce chlorine gas which can cause coughing, breathing problems and burning, watery eyes.

5.) Bleach and Ammonia...Bleach and ammonia produces a toxic gas called chloramine which causes the same symptoms as bleach and vinegar-along with shortness of breath and chest pain.

Courtesy Of: Good House Keeping