Happy Earth Day! It was gorgeous here in my neck of the woods today…I hope the same was true for you.

I have been interested in environmental issues for many, many years and the reason I called my site Healthy Green Kitchen is because I wanted there to be an focus on green living here. The same is true for my book my book One Simple Change: a good many of the chapters focus on green living because the book is about improving not just personal health, but planetary health, as well.

To celebrate the day, I want to share an easy recipe for an inexpensive DIY green cleaner; I also want to give a signed copy of One Simple Change to one of you!

It could not be simpler to make this citrus vinegar cleaner, and it’s a great natural alternative to store-bought household cleaning products. Use peels you save from eating oranges, or from using oranges in any recipe (such as this one for Orange Cardamom Curd). You can store the peels in a bag in the refrigerator until you have enough to fill whatever size glass jar you want to use. I used the peels from making fresh orange juice, which I do a few times a week: juicing oranges yield a lot of peels all at once (you can compost the extra ones). You could also make a vinegar cleaner with lemon, lime, or grapefruit peels instead (or use a combination).

orange peels_

Once you place your peels in your glass jar, cover them with white vinegar. Yes: cheap white vinegar. Vinegar is an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner that works well on many surfaces, including glass and wood, and the oils in the citrus peels boost the cleaning power further! (You can mix this cleaner with a bit of liquid soap for cleaning tiles, if you like.)

citrus cleaner_

Allow the citrus peels to sit in the vinegar for 2-3 weeks, then strain and transfer your orange-scented vinegar to an empty spritz bottle(s). You may dilute the vinegar with water as desired: 1 part citrus vinegar to 1 part water is a good ratio to start with; add more water if still seems too strong, then clean away! If you find the vinegar scent overpowering, you can add a few drops of a citrus essential oil, such as tangerine or lemongrass to the spritz bottle.

(This citrus cleaner was inspired by a post by Marisa over on Simple Bites.
More brilliant posts about diy citrus cleaners from fellow bloggers:
Natural Orange Vinegar Cleaner from Our Fun with Five
Natural Citrus Vinegar Cleaners from The Yummy Life)

And now for the giveaway…

Official Rules: I am giving away one signed copy of One Simple Change authored by me (Winnie Abramson) published by Chronicle Books, 2013. No purchase necessary. Open to residents all over the world over 18 years of age only. This giveaway will end on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner will be selected at random using random.org. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected.

To enter, please leave a comment below letting me know if you are doing/did anything special to celebrate Earth Day. Thanks and good luck! (Also: be sure to check out my recent post on composting, and enter that giveaway too!)


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  1. 1

    Vaishali — April 23, 2014 @ 12:10 am

    turned the lights off for an hr..

  2. 2

    tiffany — April 23, 2014 @ 1:34 am

    Enjoying the day outside and being grateful/appreciative of how beautiful the world is :)

  3. 3

    Karla — April 23, 2014 @ 6:58 am

    I have grapefruit zest from March in vinegar, and should strain it soon. For Earth Day, I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but one of the rounds at the local pub’s trivia night had to do with the holiday.

  4. 4

    Laura @ Chaotic Domestic — April 23, 2014 @ 8:35 am

    I enjoyed a nice walk outside with my husband and puppy.

  5. 5

    Mary B. — April 23, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    Re-committed to walking my errands rather than driving them (much easier to do now that the weather has warmed up!).

  6. 6

    ali — April 23, 2014 @ 9:02 am

    went for a lovely long run enjoying mother nature :)

  7. 7

    Jennie Cole — April 23, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    Opened the windows, enjoyed the fresh air, walked to the park!

  8. 8

    Nicole — April 23, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    Biked to school with the kiddos! Luv your site!!

  9. 9

    Kelley — April 23, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

    Picked up trash around the property.

  10. 10

    Eileen — April 23, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

    I have a lemon-infused vinegar cleaner almost exactly like this sitting in my bathroom cupboard right now! Love it. I didn’t do anything particular for earth day, but I cooked at home and had a no spend day–does that count? :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  11. 11

    Denise — April 23, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

    My 5 year old and I planted our vegetable garden – all from heritage seeds! We’re planning to donate seed at the end of the season to our local seed library.

  12. 12

    Barb — April 23, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

    Each Earth Day, my husband organizes a family outing to our sons’ school to pick up trash in the parking lot.

  13. 13

    Emma — April 23, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    What a great idea! I’m keen to start making my own cleaning products. I switched to eco versions a while ago but I can do better!
    I’m walking to work instead of taking the bus this week. Better for me as well as the planet :)

  14. 14

    Annie — April 23, 2014 @ 5:52 pm

    I enjoyed a short walk and wide open windows. It was a beautiful Spring day!

  15. 15

    Sarah P. — April 23, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

    This is great! I recently made homemade dusting solution using vinegar, olive oil, water, and lemon extract. It still smells a bit vinegary, so I think this would be the perfect solution. For Earth Day, I planted some garden herbs and signed a recycling pledge. I’d love to win a copy of One Simple Change!

  16. 16

    Georgie — April 23, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

    Love this. I normally use vinegar and baking soda to clean certain items, I’m adding this to my arsenal. On “Earth Day” I worked and made a baked marsala pasta dish.

  17. 17

    Sarah K. — April 23, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

    Took my daughter to the Earth Day fair in downtown Bend, OR!

  18. 18

    Claire — April 23, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

    Started planting in the garden with my daughters. We are late starting this year but late veggies will be better than store bought!

  19. 19

    Waad R — April 23, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

    enjoyed a small trip with my family to the park

  20. 20

    Nicole daze — April 23, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

    Enjoying the sunset!

  21. 21

    Adity — April 24, 2014 @ 12:20 am

    I have stopped using paper and plastic cups from the water cooler at work. Have a ceramic mug at my desk which I use for drinking water, coffee and tea :) Then clean the cup once finished using it. Hence able to re-use it and save hundreds of paper/plastic cups over a year

  22. 22

    Erica — April 24, 2014 @ 12:54 am

    I used Norwex cloths and water to clean my house, put my baby in cloth diapers and made sure to repurpose a soap pump with a homemade soap.

  23. 23

    Barbara Bogdal — April 24, 2014 @ 2:03 am

    I made few cleaning products( laundry detergent,dishwasher detergent,soft scrub,citrus vinegar,carpet deodoriser and body lotion) oh and a toothpaste;-)

  24. 24

    Leslie — April 24, 2014 @ 6:21 am

    I started doing my annual spring garden clean-up!

  25. 25

    Ann Light — April 24, 2014 @ 7:21 am

    I am making this cleaner today! Reduced to one TV in the house (with 4 kids) and turn off computers at night. Air dry laundry when possible.

  26. 26

    JoElle Johnston — April 24, 2014 @ 8:44 am

    Went for a nice long walk with the family.

  27. 27

    Faith — April 24, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    Enjoyed the surroundings in our neighborhood!

  28. 28

    Amanda — April 24, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    I biked the ten miles to work for the first time yet this spring, appropriately on Earth Day :)

  29. 29

    Kavita — April 24, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

    I always use the tea leaves from my morning and afternoon tea and also vegetable peels in my garden as compost. I love to see how wonderful my plants look when they grow:)

  30. 30

    Allison — April 24, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

    I spent time outside and tried to really appreciate the beautiful day- things I might normally glance over or not appreciate as much as I should.

  31. 31

    Paula — April 24, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

    Worked inside all day, however spent my evening walking with my husband and dog around our development. We enjoyed the blustery wind and made plans for this coming weekends backpacking trip.

  32. 32

    Fiona — April 24, 2014 @ 1:06 pm


  33. 33

    Dee Cloud — April 24, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

    I cut up my husbands old undershirt to use for cleaning rags.

  34. 34

    Danielle — April 25, 2014 @ 7:55 am

    I went on a lovely walk outside!

  35. 35

    Jennifer Brown — April 25, 2014 @ 8:53 am

    Helped bring a new life into this beautiful world!

  36. 36

    Darla — April 25, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    I didn’t do anything special for Earth Day since I am one of those people that believe every day is important in being a steward of our environment. I did my usual (recycling, composting, using as little as possible, reusing, gardening). I really enjoy your book and would love to have my own copy.

  37. 37

    Amanda Paa — April 25, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

    I celebrated Earth Day by vowing to switch from plastic storage containers to glass by the end of year. I went out and bought a few and am going to continue. Would love to have a copy of the book!

  38. 38

    sara — April 26, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    My daughter inspired us all to go on a walk around the neighborhood picking up trash.

  39. 39

    Melisa — April 26, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

    I was travelling on vacation but do my best every day with recycling, composting, and re-using whatever possible.

  40. 40

    Tracy Stone — April 27, 2014 @ 12:31 am

    I did not do anything in particular for Earth Day, but I do many different things most days that are just habits now.

  41. 41

    SixtaBell00558 — April 27, 2014 @ 4:28 am

    It’s laborious to search out knowledgeable

    individuals on this subject, however you sound like you already know
    what you’re speaking about! Thanks

  42. 42

    Jaclyn Reynolds — April 27, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    It was my daughters birthday and we celebrated her turning 15!

  43. 43

    Elle B — April 27, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

    Gardening with my almost-3-year-old: hoping to instill a love for nature and good food!

  44. 44

    Marisa — April 29, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

    I didn’t do anything special for Earth Day this year, but I do enjoy making my own cleaning products. I love Clean House Clean Planet-there’s so much information in there! Thanks for the opportunity-I’m so excited to read your book!