Sustainable stain removers

I’m tempted to pick up Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover every time I see one of those commercials with quirky Kelly Ripa. Deep down I’d rather support the environment than take the easy way out. Can you steer me in the right direction?

Here are a few environmentally friendly stain-removing tips from Joanna Yarrow’s 1,001 Ways to Save the Earth:

• Rub white chalk into oil stains before washing

• Remove tea, coffee, chocolate and blood with one part borax to eight parts water

• Tackle grass stains with glycerin

• Bleach white clothes by laying them in the sun

• Use salt to draw out red wine and fruit juice stains

My children understand that turning off the lights when they leave a room saves energy, but they aren’t motivated to do it. How can I get them to act?

Ever play the Slug-Bug game with your kids in the car? They’re determined to find more VW Beetles than you. Most kids love a good game of competition and love to win even more. Make the challenge of turning off the lights the same kind of game. Whoever catches the other one leaving a light on gets a point. Parents, you can play, too. Whoever reaches 10 points first wins. The prize? It doesn’t have to be something material—maybe they get to select what’s for dinner or what movie you watch on family night.