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CleaningMatters logo sm May/June 2012

Celebrating the Season ... and the Environment

Entertaining Made Easier, Inexpensive and Green

As your warm-weather entertaining ideas turn to backyard barbeques and Mother's Day brunches, be sure to keep Mother Earth in mind too.

"One way to drastically cut down on your waste production this season is to use non-disposable dishes, utensils, tablecloths and napkins," says Nancy Bock, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Education at the American Cleaning Institute®. Not only will your table look even more festive, you'll know that you're doing the right thing for the environment, not to mention your wallet! If you don't want to use breakable dishes outside, or your budget doesn't call for investing in a set of outdoor flatware and place settings, remember that you can put some disposable plastic utensils in the dishwasher and use them again. Perhaps they won't last for 10 years, but certainly they'll hold up for a summer season.

Consider using older tablecloths that might no longer work for more formal gatherings, and try a mix of different napkins for a casual feeling. Invite the kids to make decorations for the table or buffet. Better yet, get the kids involved by having them set the table! After all, if it's a Mother's Day celebration, the mother of the house should do as little work as possible.

When it comes to cleaning up, again, get the kids involved by encouraging them to clear the table and load the dishwasher. Just follow these tips to make sure your dishwasher use is as energy efficient as possible:

  • Follow directions on the dishwashing detergent, and use as directed.
  • Save energy by running the dishwasher when it's full.
  • If necessary, scrape food residue and heavy grease prior to washing.
  • Presoak cooked-on stains.
  • Recycle dishwashing detergent containers when empty.

Just by following these simple ideas, your spring and summer entertaining will be festive, attractive and oh so green!

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Cleaning Matters® is compiled by the American Cleaning Institute and is not copyrighted. Such information is offered solely to aid the reader. The American Cleaning Institute and its member companies do not make any guarantees or warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to the information contained in Cleaning Matters and assume no responsibility for the use of this information.