Reduce your environmental footprint one strategy at a time.

Spring Cleaning

Posted on | March 19, 2009 | 2 Comments

greenclean122The crocuses and daffodils are coming up. Admit it, you just want to throw open those doors and windows and clear out the musty winter yuck.

Traditional cleaning supplies have bad stuff in them. Think about it, what’s the first thing you child-proof: the cabinet under the sink with all the poisons in it…right?

This is a great post from Inhabitots about how to make your own cleaning supplies using just baking soda, table salt, vinegar, olive oil, soap, lemons, essential oils and water. For specific recipes for tougher cleaning jobs, visit this post at

Personally, I’m only about halfway there but I’m trying. Don’t even get me started about trying not to use so many paper towels!

If mixing up your own cleaning solutions isn’t your bag, go for the less toxic and less environmentally damaging products such as seventh generation or method. Or go to Green Depot’s new store on the Bowery and serve yourself from their cleaning product refill station.

All these chemicals eventually go down the drain and the least environmentally troublesome are the ones that are bio-degradeable and free of phosphates and chlorine.

Here are some more tips specifically for:

Cleaning caked up paintbrushes (hint: hot vinegar)

Cleaning copper (hint: think acid)

Removing red wine (hint: white wine and salt)

Homemade organic fragrant room spray (just smells really good)

and Sponges

One more thing… if you’re not sure, you can always do a little research. Best Green Tips has a good list of sites you can visit to avoid greenwashing!

Happy cleaning!


2 Responses to “Spring Cleaning”

  1. Healthy Indoor Air – Top : toeprintproject
    April 13th, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    [...] #9:  Use green cleaning products or make your own.  Cleaning products with few or no toxic chemicals make your indoor air easier to breathe and keep our waterways healthier.  Happy Spring Cleaning! [...]

  2. Ewan Matthews
    May 13th, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    I use essential oils when doing aromatherapy. Essential oils are very soothing.,”`


Established in 1999, Ellen Honigstock Architect PC is a full-service architecture and energy auditing firm based in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

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In the position of Chair of the Homes Subcommittee the NYC Greening the Codes Task Force, Ellen has been heavily involved in recommending new green policy in NYC as related to updating building codes, rules and regulations.

Ellen teaches Building Science, Building Envelope, Water Conservation, Indoor Air Quality, Quantifying Energy and Green Building Plans at the 1,000 Green Supers program for The SEIU Local 32 BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund.

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Ellen Honigstock, LEED AP
Ellen Honigstock Architect PC
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