Central Illinois Business Magazine
GREEN TIPS          April 2014

Green spring cleaning for your business

To spruce up your business or home this year, consider cleaning green.

Many general cleaning products are petroleum-based and have many health and environmental implications. Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in workers or customers) or toxicity to aquatic species.

Instead of opting for standard cleaning products, there are plenty of natural or green products and methods that keep your home or business clean and smelling great without toxic side effects. Save energy by using products that are meant for cold water use.

You can purchase green cleaning products at many local grocery stores or home improvement shops. Cleaning products such as Simple Green, H2Orange, or those that are Green Seal-certified cleaners are great options.

You can also make your own cleaning solutions. Here are some simple recipes that help save some cash and clean green.

Glass cleaner: Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work as well), 1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, 1 tablespoon cornstarch (reduces streaking) and 2 cups water in a squirt bottle and let your windows have it.

Polish wood with olive oil: Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/4 cup of lemon juice to create a nontoxic, gentle furniture polish to remove dust and bring wood surfaces to a brilliant shine.

Drain cleaner: Pour 3/4 cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with 1/2 cup white vinegar. Plug the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it out with a kettle full of boiling water. Repeat every few weeks for a clog-free bathtub.

Happy spring cleaning.

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Editor's Note

Welcome Home

With spring comes the season for homebuying and homebuilding. I’ve noticed homes in my neighborhood have been selling more quickly than in the past few years. And several homebuilders I talked with for this issue’s cover story are optimistic about what this season will bring.

The Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois will have its Showcase of Homes in the Prairie Meadows subdivision in Savoy from June 12 to 22 — the first showcase in five years. I’m looking forward to checking it out and seeing the craftsmanship of area homebuilders.

Also in this issue, we have a profile of architect Andrew Fell, who has designed both single-family homes and numerous apartment buildings in our community.

Two University of Illinois professors are hoping they can influence the paper industry to be more environmentally friendly. They’re experimenting with making paper from native prairie grasses and agricultural waste. Read about them in the Innovation feature.

Enjoy this issue, and the spring season.

Jodi Heckel is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or jheckel@news-gazette.com.