Green Your Home Fair helps make your house more sustainable

Looking for a few ways to go green around the house? Check out the Green Your Home Fair this Saturday at the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

“The fair is for anybody, anywhere in the city, who wants to take their house and make it more sustainable — whether they’re looking at the environmental issues or they want to save a couple of dollars,” says Tom Potts of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, the group hosting the fair.

An afternoon workshop led by Loretta Wallace will combine the eco-friendly and financial advantages of going green. Wallace is a neighborhood “green guide” for Sustainable 19125, New Kensington CDC’s greening initiative in Fishtown, Port Richmond and East Kensington (all in zip code 19125). She’ll be demonstrating how to mix up homemade, nontoxic cleaning products.

“You can use what you have in the house, and it costs 1/20 of the price you’d pay at the store. And you only need a few products for many different uses,” Wallace says.

The trick is to include acids, like vinegar, or alkalines, like baking soda, to cut grease, break down dirt and absorb odors.

“Of course, you can’t spend your whole life making products and cleaning your home,” says Wallace, who’s been going green since she went to the first Earth Day event in Fairmount Park in 1970. “I just hope people come in with an open mind.”

DIY furniture polish

To polish wood furniture, Wallace suggests olive oil and vinegar — otherwise known as salad dressing. The vinegar cleans the wood, while the oil moisturizes and shines it.

If you go

The fair is this Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kensington CAPA (1901 N. Front St.). Admission is free, and students from the high school will be on hand to give tours of the LEED Platinum building, which features geothermal heating, green roofs, a vegetable garden and insulation fashioned from old blue jeans.

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