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Goodbye harsh chemicals, skin irritants, and synthetic fragrances. Hello clean—the green way! There are many benefits of switching to all-natural cleaning products and avoiding using harsh chemicals and toxins in your home. Not only does using natural cleaners make your space safer for your family (especially kids and pets), it also makes cleaning much more pleasant for everyone involved. Plus, you’ll be supporting environmentally responsible companies that are committed to naturally-derived ingredients, recycled packaging, and more sustainable production practices.
When you’re ready to make the swap, rather than throwing everything away and starting over, use up your existing products and slowly replace items with natural alternatives as you run out. This prevents additional waste and is easier on your wallet. Natural cleaning products are now comparably priced to leading traditional brands, and they are available at most big-box retailers—like Target and Amazon. With so many great options out there, it’s easy to find budget-friendly brands without compromising your values.
Here are a few of my battle-tested, major mess approved brands and tips for green cleaning your home!
From countertops to cooking disasters (and even mopping!), Seventh Generation’s All-Purpose Natural Cleaner is my must-have for pretty much everything. When it comes to hand soap, dish soap, and other all-purpose cleaners, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day are always great staples—and they offer refillable packaging options to cut down on waste.
For a deep-clean in the bathroom, I’m a fan of Seventh Generation’s Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Method’s Bathroom Cleaner. Method’s plant-based formula has a refreshing eucalyptus and mint scent and works serious wonders on tile and showers.
The Honest Company’s Laundry Packs are more concentrated than liquid detergents—minimizing water usage in production and making them lighter to ship or even carry home from the store. Seventh Generation’s Chlorine-Free Bleach gets your whites super bright, without the harsh bleach smell. And when it’s time to dry your clothes, ditch the dryer sheets. Instead, prevent static and soften fabrics with reusable wool dryer balls, like these from Molly Sud’s.
It’s easier than ever to get your dishes squeaky clean without the chemicals. Method—the dishwasher detergent I always have on hand—is packed with a whole lot of powerful natural cleaning solution to fight grime, grease, and it comes in an earth-friendly pouch!
Another small switch that can make a big difference in your home is minimizing paper towel waste with super-absorbent bamboo towels. Towels from brands like Econuts and Bambooee are super versatile and are washable for up to 100 uses!
I find that the simplest home remedies are the best cleaners—and easily concocted from ingredients you’re already using in the kitchen. DIY cleaning products can often be the quickest and cheapest options to reach for.
A good, old-fashioned baking soda and white vinegar mixture is the magic solution for almost everything.
KITCHEN: Sprinkle baking soda all over the surface you want to clean. Let sit for a minute before spraying the vinegar and wiping down with a wet cloth. The baking soda acts as an abrasive to scrub pots and pans, and deep cleans the sink and stove top. To sanitize the dishwasher, run it empty with a cupful of white vinegar on the top rack.
LAUNDRY: This same natural combination is a great substitute for bleach in the washing machine.
AROUND THE HOUSE: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for glass, mirrors, and windows. You can add a few drops of essential oil to make your own scented cleaning spray.
Lemons are another easy cleaning hack. After cooking or making tea, I’ll save used lemon wedges to rub over the sink (especially around the drain) to remove odors and to clean pots and pans.
To get rid of lingering smells in the kitchen, save your used coffee grounds. Place grounds in a bowl near the stovetop, in the fridge, or sprinkle some in the trash can or sink garbage disposal to eliminate odors naturally. Like salt and baking soda, the grounds also make a great abrasive for tackling those dirty dishes.
Now that you have your guide to tidying up, it’s time to transform your routine for the better. Happy green cleaning!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.