11 Ways to Green Your Kitchen Slideshow

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Grow Your Own Herbs
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Grow Your Own Herbs
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Whether you put them on the windowsill or on a ledge, growing your own herbs will literally "green" your kitchen. But in the eco-friendly sense, having fresh herbs means that there is a constant and very local source of easy-to-grow ingredients like basil, cilantro, thyme, or rosemary for quick access whenever you need them. Toss herbs in spring and summer salads, flavor sauces, and use them to add a brightness to sandwiches or cocktails. Check out these tips for growing your own garden.

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Vinegar
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Vinegar
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Moppins recommends using food-grade vinegar as a disinfectant in the kitchen. Simply create a half-half solution with water and use on the affected area. Moppins says that vinegar kills more germs than bleach, plus it doesn't contain pesticides. For linoleum, laminated flooring, and most hardwood floors, she recommends mixing one part vinegar to 10 parts water,  but says to avoid using vinegar on a stone surface because the acid will break down the stone.

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Wavebreak-Media/ThinkStock

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Easy Air Freshener
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Easy Air Freshener
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To freshen the air in a natural way, Moppins says to fill a spritz bottle nearly full of water and add a tablespoon of vinegar and a drop of your favorite essential oil.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Coffee Grounds — But Not for Drinking
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Coffee Grounds — But Not for Drinking
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Instead of using baking soda to absorb unwanted refrigerator odors, Moppins says to use coffee grounds, which are more effective.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Remove Rust with Lemon
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Remove Rust with Lemon
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What to do with difficult stains or rust? Moppins suggests pouring fresh-squeezed lemon juice on them with a little salt; it also works on delicate linens.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Refresh Drains with Your Own Home-Grown Herbs
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Refresh Drains with Your Own Home-Grown Herbs
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If you've taken tip number one and started growing your own herbs, then this will be a no-brainer for you. For unwanted smells, Moppins says to "freshen up a disposal drain by grinding up an oregano leaf."

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ULTRA-F

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The Usefulness of Baking Soda
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The Usefulness of Baking Soda
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Leftover baking soda? Moppins suggests using it for scrubbing sinks or mixing it with vinegar, water, and a little organic liquid dish soap to remove food stuck on the bottom of pans mix the vinegar and water together and heat them, then pour into the pan and add a little dish soap and baking soda to really get tough-to-remove foods off.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Cleaning Copper
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Cleaning Copper
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Instead of purchasing chemical-filled copper cleaners online, take Moppins advice to clean both brass and copper: sprinkle a cut lemon with salt. Rubbing the outside of the copper with the lemon will help return its shine, while the salt adds some abrasive elbow grease.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Cleaning Cast Iron
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Cleaning Cast Iron
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Skip the harsh soap and opt for removing stuck food on a cast-iron pan by boiling an inch of water and a drop of organic dish soap for a few minutes, says Moppins. After, she says to wipe on an oil to prevent rust or sticking. Check out these easy ways to green your kitchen tools and habits.

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IstockPhoto/ThinkStock

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Buy Green Cookware
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Buy Green Cookware
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Purchasing equipment made of cast iron is a green move because, if properly taken care of, it can last your lifetime and beyond. Or, try purchasing green cookware that you can trust and is safe to use, like the Xtrema products pictured at left.

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Xtrema

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Lessen Paper Towel Use
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Lessen Paper Towel Use
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Instead of going through rolls and rolls of paper towels, try using dishcloths or re-usable towels like this product made from Bamboo. Apparently, 20 sheets of Bambooee are equivalent to 60 regular towels and can be washed up to 20 times in the washing machine.

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Bambooee