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The Barton Open School Green Corner

Welcome to the Green Corner! This is a spot where you can get tips and tricks for being a greener household.

Toothpaste... and more!

Last week I wanted to wear a pair of silver earrings, but I couldn't because they were getting to be very dull. What did I do? Well, I looked online that afternoon and found a very strange solution. Toothpaste! While this may sound strange, it works. When I was really small my mom told me that if I ever got any extra toothpaste on myself, to run it on the faucet. Toothpaste shined up the faucet, and my earrings! This is a green idea because you are not using chemicals to shine your silver or stainless steel. Toothpaste is kind of expensive, so you can use 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda to create makeshift toothpaste. (It cleans your teeth, too!)

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is yummy in most anything, but what do you do with it when the best if used by date has passed?
Try these ideas: vanilla extract is very smelly (in a good way) and can be used to remove other smells from the inside of microwaves, refrigerators and coolers. Vanilla extract tends to have high alcohol content so it can be used to remove sticker residue. Supposedly you can use vanilla extract as insect repellent if you mix it with water (1 teaspoon vanilla with 1 cup water) but I have not tested this.
Have fun trying them out!

Reducing Junk Mail

Many people wish that their household would stop receiving junk mail. Many companies have ways to take you off their mailing lists electronically, or you can do it the old- fashioned way and write to them with this request. Junk mail may just be an annoyance to you, but tons of paper is used every year that could be used on something way more important. It’s important to recycle the excess mail you already are getting too. So, write those businesses about saving their paper and postage – it works!

Use Reusable Bottles
Plastic water bottles are wasteful, and unnecessary. This may seem obvious, but lots of people haven't switched over to reusable bottles yet. "Investing" in a reusable water bottle (which can hold other liquids besides water, you know) is something that will really help the environment. If you "have" to use a normal water bottle, use it for a couple days, (refill it) then be sure to recycle it. About 30 billion water bottles are thrown away every year. WOW!
Make It Last

Is there anything around the house that you think should be replaced? I am sure there is. Before you buy something new, check to see if you have done everything you can to make it last. Have you cleaned it really well? Have you painted it? Oiled it? Doing these things is more work, but it may save you money, and you will be a greener person!

Minimize Packaging

A lot of companies use too much packaging. Try emailing them your thoughts! With the Internet, it’s hardly a hassle! There are also companies that do a great job at keeping their packaging to a minimum. Write them too!