Category Archives

green building

Eco-Friendly Oven Cleaning

In my quest to bring more eco-frinedly finishes and products into my client’s homes, I keep finding that “the simple-old-fashion” way is sometimes the best ecological choice. That’s what happened when I went in search of a more ecological method for cleaning my oven. It’s not a task I ever look forward to and mostly because of the obnoxious smell of the cleansers. And when some ordinary task, like cleaning the oven can be both non-toxic and easier – I’m game for giving it a try.

So here is a very simple and natural method for cleaning those splatters in our oven. It really is as easy as I had heard.

Simple household minerals such as baking soda can clean like magic. The key is using enough of the minerals. Sprinkle baking soda all over the bottom of the oven until it is covered completely with about 1/4 of an inch of baking soda. Then, using a clean spray bottle, spray the baking soda with water until the baking soda is thoroughly damp but not flooded. After that, go off and do other things. When you think of it, dampen the baking soda again if it is drying out. Before you go to bed, do that again. When you wake up in the morning, the baking soda can effortlessly be scooped out of the oven with a sponge, bringing all the grime with it. That’s it!

Now if your next delicious dish creates havoc in your oven, you’ll be ready!

How To Know What’s Green + What’s Not

Here are some great ideas from an article by John-David Hutchisonon to help you determine if a building product is really green or not……

When assessing the “greeness” of an environmentally friendly  building product I generally look at the following criteria:

1) Where does it come from – Is it a readily renewable resource? Is it locally manufactured? How are the raw materials and final products transported?

2) How is it made – What are the ingredients in the manufacturing process? Is there fair trade involved? Does it have a large amount of recycled content? How much energy does it take to produce?

3) How does it effect the environment after it is used – Does the material off gas? What is its care and life span? Is it recyclable at the end of it initial use? Very few materials can meet all of these criteria and this is not an exhaustive list, but these are essential issues to be weighed initially and balance out for the best options for each product – one product may work for a certain project but not be feasible for another.

Consumer demand for greener products is on the rise as the general public becomes more informed. This is a beginning. We have a long way to go and along the road there will be challenges. Green washing, resistance to change, and comparatively high initial cost are just a few of these hurdles. Among the bigger challenges will be the inherent human trait of not wanting to change; we have been building the same way with the same materials for quite some time.

Conversely, as consumers, we have become accustomed to the Wal-Mart World. We want it cheap and we want it now. The perception of “saving” may cost us more due to the lack of quality and shorter life span of these goods. An important aspect of green building is longevity and quality of product. At first this may seem expensive but over the long run green may be “cheaper.”

To learn more about eco-friendly interior design click here.