Green Up a (New) Space Challenge {Vlog + Giveaway}

Ahh, spring… a time for new beginnings, new growth and of course, spring cleaning!

It’s also a great time to take a minute to take inventory of your green goals for the year. Maybe now is the time to implement a few small changes that you were considering back in January.

Today, I’m excited to be hosting a great giveaway, along with a little challenge for each of you (and myself!). Take a look at my vlog for more information!

To recap, the ideas I’ve had so far for greening up a particular space in my (new) home are:

  • My floors: natural floor coverings/rugs, and possibly a steam cleaner for the tile floors
  • Backyard composting: a bigger compost pile/bin
  • Trash organization: better cans in kitchen for trash and recycle

Your Challenge:

I’d love for you to join me in finding a spot in your home that you can green up. Remember, these can be small changes that don’t have to cost much, but that contribute to your overall green goals for your home and family. Let us know in the comments (or also over on our Facebook page) what you are hoping to do!

About the sponsor:

Apartment Guide has tips for decorating, healthy living and making the most of your space. It’s helpful information no matter where you live. If you’re ready for a whole new space or are looking to move, Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.

“Like” Apartment Guide on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (@AptGuide) for real-time tips and updates on making the most of your space.

About the Giveaway:

This giveaway is now closed.

Apartment Guide will be giving away an awesome green home gift pack (pictured above) to one lucky Simple Organic reader!

It’s valued at $100, and includes a sustainable-sawgrass material basket, a variety of green cleaning products, a natural-products candle, at-home composting bags and CFL lightbulbs.

How to enter:

Leave a comment on this post, telling us either what you hope to do in your own home, or offering suggestions on small or easy ways to green up a space in the home (maybe something you’ve already done). Feel free to comment on Nicole’s ideas as well!

Giveaway will end at midnight PST on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

Good luck!

Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Green Up a New Space” Blogger Challenge.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “Green Up a New Space” Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

About Nicole

Nicole can be found blogging at her lifestyle blog, and is the editor of Simple Homemade. She loves to read, sew, make ice cream, take pictures, watch baseball and go for walks by the beach with her hubby and three little kiddos. She loves anything handmade and is affectionately known as a bit of a hippie among family and friends.


  1. Elizabeth R says:

    I need to find a way to green our cleaning products and would love to start composting again. Currently the only green thing we do, we recycle and are using cloth diapers on our daughter.

  2. I make all of my own cleaning products, soap and shampoo as well as using natural skin-care products. We garden and have gotten away from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides – but I would really love to start composting and add a rain barrel to catch gutter run-off this year.
    Pam M.´s latest post: A Bunch of Random Updates

  3. My focus for this year is the first R-Reduce. Reduce our overall consumption is HUGE for our family this year,

  4. I’ve started composting again, since I have planted a massive garden this year. I’m really getting into the real food thing, which has made a HUGE difference in the amount of plastics showing up in our recycling bin. It’s amazing how much packaging comes in from the grocery store. I’m ready to start using green cleaners and personal products like shampoo. I think I will start with making my own laundry detergent, and go on from there.

  5. Jennie G says:

    Last year I went green with my cleaning products.

  6. We’re just getting started with out composting!

  7. I am transitioning to green cleaners. We’re moving to a new home and I plan to only use green cleaners there!

  8. Couple things – I have been researching and slowly switching over to green cleaning products. We are replacing all burned out light bulbs with CFLs. I am going to do some container gardening this year (heirloom lettuce, carrots, radishes and pole beans) – I know I should learn how to compost – I’m up for the challenge.

  9. maryann joye says:

    We decided that since we are still working that it is the best time to look into rainwater collection. Not just for the outside but to be used inside for flushing toilets and doing laundry. It can be a little pricey but we are at the point in our lives where we are staying put and even if it takes 8 – 10 years to equal the initial investment, we are committed to doing it.

  10. I just started composting a few weeks ago. I also wrote a post yesterday about line drying clothes–better for your clothes, your pocket book, and the environment!
    Kate from Kinda Crunchy Kate blog´s latest post: Things I Love Thursday- Drying Clothes Outside

  11. we just started our first indoor herb garden, and we plan on growing some lettuce and radishes in containers outside.

  12. We’ve been gradually greening our home for a few years now – we compost, use green (mostly homemade) cleaners, dry clothes on a line/drying rack, etc. This year we’re going to use cloth diapers on our soon-to-arrive baby.

  13. I make my own green cleaning products (lots of vinegar and baking soda with some essential oils), and it was a much much easier change than I would have thought. Now we are starting to work on composting for the garden.

  14. I’ve been using plain white vinegar in the rinse part of my dishwasher, and it gets my dishes as sparkling clear and spot-free as well as Cascade rinse did, and is much cheaper too!

  15. I am getting ready to plant a slightly bigger garden this year. I think I am ready to move beyond just growing some herbs.

  16. This isn’t exactly an indoor space, but I’m going to get a tumbling composter for our backyard this spring! I’m so excited about it! As always, focusing on consuming less is always going on in the background too.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Oh there are so many wonderful, easy, & money saving things people can do in their homes. I make all my own cleaners and recycle everything possible. I just started a vermicomposting bin last week in my basement using a big Rubbermaid container and red worms. Honestly, I did have a rough start with that one (at least 50 of those little suckers escaped the first night) but I think I’m back on track.

    I hope to add an outdoor composting pile, a rain barrel, growing more organic veggies & fruits in my garden, and consistently shopping at the bulk food store using reusable containers, all by the end of summer. Oh yeah, I started Dave Ramsey in January so the trick is finding AFFORDABLE ways to accomplish these goals!!!

  18. Kathy L. says:

    I started my compost about 2 years ago. The last couple of months I have switched to all natural cleaning, deodorizing, fabric softening products. i.e. baking soda & vinegar for cleaning the bathroom along with a homemade cleaning spray for my granite bathroom countertop. I also am now using a homemade liquid dusting spray that I love. I haven’t bought “Pledge” in 4 months and use vinegar as my fabric softener. The 2 girls left in my house (me & my youngest who is 17) have both switched to the “no poo” method for cleaning our hair. I can’t talk my husband into trying this. I have also recently started making our body wash, lotion & body bars! I have the “natural” ingredients for homemade deodorant but haven’t had time to make yet! These changes have really had an impact on my daughter. At 17 she is looking at the ingredients of items and being aware of what comes in contact with her body and the environment. I’m thrilled with all my natural, inexpensive, homemade products. Even though it takes a little extra time and I work full time, it is definitely worth it! Thanks for all the info at Simple Organic!

  19. I’ve started a compost pile this year and we are planting a large garden this year. We recycle what we can and I make my own cleaners. I want to try natural body care next and we are working on using essential oils and herbs for our health. There’s so much we can do, but I’m taking baby steps to make it work better for our family. Thanks!

  20. I’m in the process of getting rid of unsafe cleaning products and will be making my own hand soap, dishwasher and other cleaning products in the next few weeks. I’m SO excited!!!

  21. We just went very green in our household. Because of the huge waste the napkins and papertowels make, we just went paperless! We switched all of our napkins to cloth napkins and our papertowels are now cloth as well. All of my cleaning materials are all home-made and instead of using the easy wipes to clean my home, we use old rags and our cleaning mixture of vinegar and lemon. We have also switched our toilet paper to a more biodegradable product and our trash bags are also made of recycled materials. We also have our composted pill that is starting to contribute to our garden as well as the new trees that we bougt to be more self sufficient in our home. We thought it would be a lot of work going green, but we found it so simple and I feel much better about what my home is giving back to the environment!

  22. We are moving to a house with a garden, so figuring out how to do that green is our next challenge

  23. I would like to start making my own “green” dishwasher detergent.
    Marci´s latest post: First Days of Spring

  24. I want to turn my wasted front yard into a garden. The kids are not allowed in the front yard because of the 10ft + drop to the sidewalk. Guess I better get prepping so I can grow some corn, zukes, and anything else that I want :)

  25. “Reduce” and “reuse” have been big motivators for us this year. We’re learning to consume less and find new uses for what we already have. We’ve also started making the switch to natural cleaning supplies.

  26. Christine says:

    I want to green up our cleaners and go natural there. The other thing I’ve been looking at is beauty products. Last but not least, with gardening season starting, I’ll be using egg cartons for seed starters and newspapers for plant bed covers under the mulch.

  27. I want to start a compost! We’ve had a garden for a few years but I want to step it up :) I also want to experiment with homemade cleaners inside the house.
    Heidi´s latest post: Apricot Cookie Dough Bites

  28. I make all of my own cleaning products as well as using natural skin-care products.
    right now we try to focus more on reusing and recycling

  29. we try to declutter and if a new item is really necessary, we try to find it second hand and non plastic

  30. Christine S says:

    I never thought of the steam mop as green, but it surely is! I would love that! One big project for us is to replace some of our carpet. I’d love to do cork, as it is antimicrobial, sustainable, and pretty, but it is very expensive. I need to change my viewpoints as it is an INVESTMENT. Still working on that…

  31. Mandee Jo says:

    I’ve been thinking I need to put a recycling bin in the bathroom. There are always empty bottles and toilet paper rolls that need to be recycled in there. And I always feel like I am picking them out of the trash or they wait on the counter for days before I remember to take them to the recycling bin in the kitchen.

  32. I need to invest more time in making a greener homemade laundry detergent. Also, despite composting and recycling, I feel like we still have a lot of trash. Trying to reduce that amount of trash.
    Jenny´s latest post: Thats My Favorite Word

  33. Jennifer says:

    I am trying to switch over completely to homemade cleaning products – vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, essential oils. Next up is dishwashing detergent.

  34. We’ve been good about recycling, but I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of waste we create and to reuse things as much as possible…i’d like to compost, but its hard in an apartment! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  35. I would love to start composting or making my own cleaning products.

  36. Right now my main green attempt is recycling and using items until they fall apart or quit on me. I am getting ready to start a compost bin and organic gardening. Also, am going to start making my own cleaners, shampoo, etc.

  37. I have been working on recycling more…I used to just recycle paper but I am trying to other stuff too. I would like to try a floor steamer too! I have also been focusing on buying greener shampoos and body wash and stuff like that.

  38. I want to start a compost! I created all my own cleaning products, I’ve created all our bath and body products (except for lotion), we brought home some beautiful plants, and I’m trying to declutter more. But I have never had a compost before and I would love to start one. I’d love to have more help greening up other areas of my home as well! :)
    Ashley´s latest post: Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb- EdD &amp Lyn Mikel Brown- EdD

  39. My family has been making small green changes. We’ve always recycled but last year we started composting. This winter I switched to baking soda & vinegar for shampoo/conditioner and started using vinegar for some cleaning. My next steps are to go through our health/beauty items and get rid of or replace with greener options. And I want to get a rain barrel set up this summer.

  40. Jessie C. says:

    We’ve been doing green for years, would like to start making our own detergent.

  41. I’ve been composting in my backyard for a while now, but I’m looking forward to trying indoor anaerobic composting as well. I am also hoping to repaint the bathroom (and maybe some other rooms as well) with eco-friendly paint this year. In our home, we already use vinegar for most of our cleaning, soap nuts for the laundry, and a steam cleaner on the floors.
    Jeanne´s latest post: Blood Orange Curd Pi

  42. I dream of the day when everything goes into the recycling bin and nothing is in the trash can :) Although that dream is far away, I still dream though

  43. Here are some things we’re doing at our house: making “new” curtains by refashioning old ones from the thrift store; making my own cleaning products with baking soda, vinegar and castille soap; using the dish rinse water to give our plants a drink; and using rain barrels for our plants outside. We love re-purposing and re-making!

  44. I’ve been reading about using natural products to clean. I’ve plan on using more vinegar and baking soda to clean my kitchen and bathrooms.

  45. Rebecca R says:

    I am trying to start recycling our paper waste and being frugal with our electricity and water usage

  46. I try to stay natural and minimal in our cleaners. For regular messes, I have a spray bottle of vinegar and water. Laundry soap is a concoction of Borax, washing soda, and a natural bar soap. Right now I’m using seventh generation dishwasher detergent, but am looking for a homemade recipe that will save money and hopefully use what I already have!
    Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)´s latest post: Foodie Failure- Chocolate Fondue

  47. Charissa says:

    We’ve been working on a nursery for our baby on the way, and I’ve done my best with what we have to keep the products I’ve bought green–making my own diaper supplies (like diaper wash) or buying non-toxic versions, putting in heavy duty curtains to keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, borrowing as many baby supplies and clothes as possible (and keeping things simple in that area), and making my own cleaning products.

  48. I’m in the process of switching to homemade cleaners. Vinegar and baking soda are my new best friends!

  49. Have been using green cleaners for just over 1 year and loving it

  50. We are always looking for ways to green up our home, inside and out. It’s easy (and cheap) to make your own cleaners and laundry soap. I use the clothesline as much as possible, and just made a set of wool dryer balls to help with dryer efficiency in the winter months. A great way to get into new habits is to stop buying products you want to avoid – when they aren’t in the house you quickly find alternatives (this was how we stopped using paper towels.) Buying second-hand, using or repairing what we have instead of buying new, and just buying less, are all parts of our plan.
    Andi´s latest post: What Would You Like to See Here and a giveaway!