Santa Clara University

Center for Sustainability Banner

Sustainability Update

Back to Blog

What Can I Do?

Friday, Jul. 1, 2011

Reduce: Substitute non-toxic products for chemical cleaners

  • Remove red wine stains: Salt
    Stretch the stain over a bowl, cover it with salt, pour boiling water over it.
  • Bleach substitute: lemon juice
    Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle.
  • Remove stains from plastic or light-colored wood cutting boards: lemon
    Squeeze juice from half a lemon, rub it in, wait 20 minutes and rinse.
  • Unclog a drain: Baking soda, vinegar
    Pour 1/2 cup baking soda + 1/2 cup of vinegar down drain, cover with a wet cloth, wait 5 minutes, uncover, and flush with hot water.
  • General countertop cleaner: Baking soda
    Sprinkle baking soda and wipe. Create a paste of baking soda and water for tougher stains.
  • Fridge deodorizer: Oatmeal

Reuse: Things to do with old pantyhose

  • Fill with kitty litter and place in shoes, luggage, closets, dressers, etc. to absorb moisture and reduce mold and mildew.
  • Fill and hang with onions, potatoes and garlic to prevent rot.
  • Knot together to create all-purpose tie down straps.
  • Tie metal "S" hook on each end to create a bungee cord.
  • Use like a mitten to remove lint, pet hair, deodorant residue from clothing and upholstery.
  • Bunch up and use on surfaces where you're afraid of scratches. (Apply polishes to silver, brass, gold and other easily scratched metals).
  • Bunch up and shine shoes.
  • Put pantyhose over vegetables like squash and melons while they're still growing in the garden to protect against pest damage.
  • Tie off colorful hose as a stretchy headband.

Recycle: Host a Swap Party
Consider having a Swap Party, where your friends can come over with any clothes, books, sports or yard equipment, or anything else and trade them. This is a great way to recycle things you don't need anymore without throwing them away.

Respect: SCAN RAFT collection
Keep your waste out of the landfill and give someone else the opportunity to reuse. The Santa Clara Administrators Network (SCAN) is hosting an office supplies drive. SCU community members doing summer office upkeep can donate their functioning office supplies and materials to Resource Area for Teaching. Judy Gillette is organizing the RAFT pick up. View a PDF with more information.

Tags: Take Action, Waste



The Center for Sustainability sends Sustainability Updates to SCU students, faculty, and staff through non-Essential SCU Global E-Mail Distribution Lists. Others are welcome to subscribe to these monthly e-mails using this link.


Read past Sustainability Update articles. Articles are sorted by tags for quick browsing. Visit the archives.

Suggest future content

Have a suggestion for a program or person we should showcase? Want an upcoming event included next month? Please contact the Center for Sustainability with your idea.