Spring is in the air, and with Spring comes Spring Cleaning for many of us. But in the rush to clean, you may inadvertently be doing more bad than good.
Most of the cleaning products we grew up with are full of trace amounts of chemicals that have been linked to health problems ranging from asthma to cancer, according to environmental watchdog groups like the Environmental Working Group.
So what can you do?
Here are three tips:
1. Go natural. Look for “green” cleaners, but be sure to read the labels. Unfortunately the terms “green,” “eco” and “eco-friendly” are unregulated and can mean anything from truly natural with no synthetic ingredients, to a mish-mash of chemicals with some natural essences thrown in for good measure. If you’re not sure what an ingredient means, go to the EWG’s Chemical Index here.
2. Avoid anti-bacterial products. These products are linked by health officials to the rise in microorganisms that are resistant to antibiotics. This is not new news. Read this Center for Disease Control alert from 2001. It says in part that antibacterial ingredients “are now being added to products used in healthy households, even though an added health benefit has not been demonstrated. Scientists are concerned that the antibacterial agents will select bacteria resistant to them and cross-resistant to antibiotics. Moreover, if they alter a person’s microflora, they may negatively affect the normal maturation of the T helper cell response of the immune system to commensal flora antigens; this change could lead to a greater chance of allergies in children. As with antibiotics, prudent use of these products is urged. Their designated purpose is to protect vulnerable patients.”
3. Consider going “back to the future.” Simple basics like baking soda, castile soap, vinegar, and lemon can do the bulk of the cleaning in your home. “Recipes” for these conoctions are available here.
How do you clean? Leave a comment and share!
Copyright OrganicMania 2009Filed under Uncategorized | Wordpress Comments (13) |
Like many Moms, I’ve been trying to get my son to take on more household chores. When we first made the transition to non-toxic, “green” household cleaners, it was a revelation. Finally, he could fully participate without any worries about exposure to household toxins. He loved spraying the cleaning fluid all around — which turns out to be the Real Reason to use green eco-friendly cleaners!
How quickly things change! Just a few months later, this newly minted kindergarten graduate thought himself too cool to help clean the downstairs bathroom. By the way, that’s the bathroom that’s every Mom’s worst nightmare: the gross downstairs little boy bathroom.
So I gave him another chore, whipped out the GreenWorks toilet bowl cleaner, and went to work on my own.
When he came by to check out the scene, he was furious.
“You didn’t tell me!”
“What are you talking about? I asked you if you wanted to help spray the new green toilet bowl cleaner.”
“NO! You didn’t tell me you had GREEN SPIDER WEBS!!!”
“You mean this?,” I asked, pointing at the dripping mess over the toilet.
“Yes, those are green spider webs!”
“Ok, well, when someone invites you to do something new, you should never say no before checking it out,” I admonished him. “You might be missing something cool. Remember that.”
And in the future, Moms, remember that the way to get your little boys to help with the toilet bowl cleaning is to say, “Hey, come help spray green spider webs down here!”
And don’t try this with your typical toxic toilet bowl cleaners, which can harm you and your little darlings. Stick to eco-friendly products like GreenWorks or this “Earth Stone” my bloggy green friend Anna reviewed here, or the Shaklee stuff my bloggy friend Mother Earth sells here. What green cleaning products do you use? What works for you? Leave a comment and share!
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Green Cleaning Products, Green Ideas & Stuff | Wordpress Comments (5) |
One advantage of Clorox’s “green market” entry is that the general population (as opposed to the environmentalists) is being made aware of the advantages of eco-friendly cleaners. But the real reason for Moms to use green cleaners may surprise you. In fact, I discovered this quite by accident the other day, when an accident of another sort – the juvenile variety – struck my bathroom tub.
There was a time when I would have groaned and hustled my little darlings out of the way while I dumped copious amounts of Ajax, Clorox, Mr. Clean, and what-have-you into the tub, waited for the noxious fumes to dissipate, and then quickly wiped everything away before my eyes started to tear and my throat began to burn.
But with eco-friendly cleaners, you no longer have to worry about the fumes. The fact that their plant-based ingredients are healthy for you and healthy for the Earth means that you can involve your darlings in messy clean-ups without any worry of health effects. For a generation of kids that seem to have largely escaped household chores, this is a revelation.
My son gleefully pushed the trigger button of the “friendly cleaner” and asked what else he could do to help. I was thrilled that together we got the cleaning job done in a fraction of the normal time. He was so eager to help that together we cleaned the entire bathroom. My husband was in shock when he returned home (he always worries when I clean of my own volition, thinks I’m coming down with a fever, been abducted by space aliens or something of the sort).
So there you have it – give those kids some responsibility – give them a “friendly cleaner” and turn them loose!
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Green Cleaning Products, Green Ideas & Stuff, Parenting, Product Recommendations, Tips | Wordpress Comments (8) |