This page on organic solutions for the home goes hand in hand with the Clean Green Arsenal, which lists suggested natural cleaning supplies for various places in the house. This page is rather short at the moment, but I expect to grow! Also visit The Indispensable Vinegar and The Organic Garden for more tips on going green at home.


For cleaning tips for various household surfaces and dealing with tough problems such as pet urine and stains, check out the Clean Green Arsenal.


Pack lunches and snacks in reusable containers, and if you find yourself getting "doggie-bag" containers a lot from restaurants, consider planning ahead and bringing in a container from home for your leftovers. Not all restaurants might appreciate this, but what they don't know won't hurt them, and it will save them money, too. Avoid picking up to-go meals on the way home from work -- this is something my family is still working on, but we're getting better, and saving money as a result. Try to avoid buying disposable plates and other plastic or styrofoam meal items. It's shocking how much of this goes into trash at home, at the park, at parties, etc.


Look for BPA-free plastic. It releases fewer toxins into your foods and drinks. Also some companies are trying to improve their plastics either by using recycled goods or working to achieve partially biodegradable materials. Support these companies and continue steering them the right direction.


Don't buy clothes that require dry-cleaning or ironing. I recognize that some businesses require suits, but if you work at a place where just plain "nice" clothes are acceptable, then stick to ones that can be washed and dried at home.


A clothes line, some clothes pins, and fresh air are all it takes to save money and energy to dry clothes.


When decorating your home, be creative and look for used items that can spice up your home at a fraction of the cost. Some items might need minor repairs or new colors, but you'll be saving an item from going to the landfill, and it might surprise you and/or your guests what you come up with.

If you are remodeling or building, try to used recycled wood and other materials, materials made from renewable resources, and materials made from recycled products. Our carpet is actually made from recycled soda bottles, and you can't tell the difference between it and our old carpet, unless you know a whole lot about carpet.


Whenever you need new lightbulbs, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs. They produce the same amount of light at a fraction of the energy usage, and they last many times longer than the incandescent bulbs. Yes, they are a little more expensive, but overall you will save tremendously from energy costs and lack of regular replacements. Over the years we have switched out all of our bulbs with CF ones, and we have yet to replace a single one.


Solar panels on the roof are an excellent way to provide energy for the home, if you can afford the initial costs. Ultimately, they pay for themselves, and my husband and I can't wait to get these for our home.

If you have a flat-portion on your roof, grow a garden! Not only will you be sending 02 into the air, but you can help insulate your home from the heat of the sun.


There are many choices for eco-friendly paints that have very low-VOCs, and these should be your first choice for paints. They are better for you and for the environment, so it's a win-win. However, I recommend doing some research before you buy, to make sure the brand you are looking at has had good reviews. For our house exterior, we chose Benjamin Moore's Aura paints, and there is almost no smell to the paint, and we only needed two coats and no primer. There are more interior green paint options, but again, do your research before you buy. Always make sure you clean your materials appropriately, sticking with paint choices that only require water to clean brushes and other tools, and dispose of excess paint at an appropriate hazardous waste facility.


I can't help you with your spouse or children. You're on your own there... :)

Fruit Flies

 In a small bowl, place one ripe banana, and pour in some vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and some extra water. Cover with plastic wrap, held in place with a rubber band, and use a fork to poke just a few holes in the top. Fruit flies will be attracted to the smell, go in through the holes, and get stuck inside, drowning when they land on the liquid concoction. We've had to do this a couple of times now, and the solution was a great success (for us, not the fruit flies!).

Crawling Insects, Such as Roaches, Ants, Earwigs, Pillbugs, and More

Please note that even though these items are relatively non-toxic, they should be kept away from dogs and cats, so be careful where you apply the powders and where you store them. Sprinkle these wherever you might expect bugs to crawl, such as under stoves, in cabinets, at door frames and windowsills, etc.

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from fossilized shells of tiny marine organisms. It is a fine powder, so be careful to avoid breathing it in when applying it. But it is a desiccant and very effective against creepy crawlies.

Another natural product people use effectively against household pests is boric acid, which acts as a bait for roaches and ants and other creatures. They don't die immediately but go back to their nest and share, eventually dehydrating until death. Boric acid works fine for roaches as is, but for ants and silverfish, mix in some sugar to attract them. Do NOT use boric acid in your garden -- it is toxic to plants.


Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around as an effective flea control, but because you need to take care not to breathe it, I recommend using with caution.