Monday, August 19, 2013

Greening Your Home Part 3: Cleaning Supplies

 An unquestionable certainty of life, much like death and taxes, is that your home will always need cleaning. I can't tell you how many times I've thought to myself, "But I've just cleaned this!" And like so many other things that we use without really thinking conventional cleaners are not very good for the environment. They release volatile organic compounds and other toxic chemical's which remain on surfaces in your home and evaporate into the air.

Read: Part 1 (Big Purchases) and Part 2 (Decorating)

Did you know that the air inside your home, if you use conventional cleaners, is two to five times more polluted than the air outside your home? What's more is that these chemicals are seeping out of our homes -- not that we really wanted to keep them inside -- and polluting ground water and air. Additionally, these chemicals are related to 10% of the toxic exposures, through contact or ingestion, reported to US poison control centers.

If every household in America replaced one bottle of conventional cleaner with an ecofriendly product, that would prevent 11 million pounds of VOCs from entering the environment.

Pinterest is always a great source for homemade cleaners, using various combinations of lemon juice, vinegar, borax etc. for specific household chores (if you do make your own products, NEVER mix with conventional cleaners as this can have fatal results, and be sure to label any leftovers). But if you're an all-purpose cleaner gal like I am, good news: the market for household cleaners that are both effective and earth-friendly is booming!

A few brand of cleaners to check out:

  • Method
  • Seventh Generation
  • Planet
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
  • Greenhome.com is a great place to look for paper products, cleaners, and detergents as well as everything from vacuums to armiores

Use cleaning products that:

  • list their ingredients
  • contain no chlorine, anything that starts with chlor, or ammonia (hydrogine peroxide can be used in lieu of bleach)
  • are certified biodegradable and free of synthetic chemicals
  • come in recyclable packaging
  • for soaps and detergents - no phosphates or anything derived from petroleum
 
How are you planning to change your cleaning habits for a healthier body and Earth?