Oranges have been a popular holiday gift for a long time. I can remember getting huge boxes full of fresh, Florida Valencias almost every year as a child. The only downfall was that many times we couldn’t eat them all before they went bad. So if you happen to have a boatload of citrus fruit on your hand, here’s some practical uses that will boost your health and make your home a bit more green and non-toxic.
1. Juice them. There is nothing better for you than fresh squeezed orange juice. I like to combine them with apples, pineapple, and banana for a sweet afternoon treat.
2. Clean your granite and marble. Cut an orange in half and salt it. Rub it on the surface of your counter as a natural cleanser. It leaves it clean and shiny. Hint: Orange juice is a fabulous grease-cutter. I’m sure you can think of something that needs a good cleaning – stove vents, walls, kid’s bathroom…
3. Make a natural toner and astringent for your face. Squeeze the juice from a slice of orange. Use a cotton ball to dab it all over your face and neck. Use another cotton ball to wipe away any sticky residue that might be left.
4. Freshen your garbage disposal. Put old oranges or just the peels down your disposal and run for 30-60 seconds. Hint: If you use hot water while doing this it will bring out the natural scent of the orange into the kitchen air.
5. Make an orange and clove air-freshener. This is one of my personal favorites. Tie a ribbon around an orange; cross it at the bottom like you would when you wrap a gift. Leave a long piece of ribbon at the top for hanging later. Poke whole cloves into the orange between the ribbon. Simply pick a spot and hang it up for a long-lasting scent that not only smells great but has aromatherapy benefits.
6. Gift them to others. Take a few of your oranges and add some nuts, tea, a clove/orange air-freshener (that you made earlier), and a magazine and make a nice gift basket for a sick friend or someone in a nursing home.
7. Make orange essential oil. Here’s a link to a good recipe. I couldn’t have said it better anway. See this Ehow article.
8. Play games with them. Young children love to play with food. Ask them to tell you the shape and color, and then play a matching game with various other fruits and veggies. The best part is you get to eat them after you’re done!
9. Send some to the troops. Sending care packages to military personel overseas is a terrific way to say thanks. If you don’t know any soldiers or sailors personally, contact your local red cross for addresses where you can send your gift.
10. Decorate with them. You can always just display your abundance of fruit in a bowl or basket. The pop of color is perfect for livening up a dull area of your home. There’s just something about the sight and smell of an orange that makes you feel happy. It’s no mistake that many perfumes and air-fresheners have orange as a main scent. Be well-be beautiful.
Photo by Built to Soar