Day 21

Clean

SPONSORED BY DR. BRONNER’S

OVERVIEW

“I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer.” ~ Denis Hayes, Founder of the Earth Day Network, Coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, President, Bullitt Foundation

Your dishes are piled high, your room is a mess and the mirror in your bathroom is covered in toothpaste. Begrudgingly, you know the time to clean has come! But before you reach for the conventional cleaning products there’s a lot you should know about the dangers that lurk within them. The harsh fumes that make your eyes water, the smells that make your throat sore, and the chemicals that make your skin tingle is due to the fact that the products that are supposed to clean your home are soiling it with toxins. First things first, before you can clean your house you have to green your cleaning routine.

Conventional cleaning products harm the environment in a variety of ways. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), like ammonia, evaporate and contribute to indoor air pollution, as well as outdoor smog. When we wash ingredients such as nitrogen and phosphorous down the drain, it floods waterways with unregulated levels of chemical nutrients, which can cause unsustainable growth in plant life, deplete water’s oxygen supply, kill fish, and lead to birth defects in aquatic wildlife. Those same chemicals – which are unsafe even in very low doses – often make their way into our drinking water.

But fortunately for us, many companies make safe soaps and cleaning products. In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an entire database of info to share with you. When companies are transparent about ingredients and business practices, you can clean with confidence while protecting human and environmental health. Check out Women’s Voices for the Earth’s Deep Clean Report to learn about the effect of chemicals used in products and how you can avoid them.

It’s also super simple (and economical) to make your own cleaning products from common household items like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. Check out the Bronner Mom blog and the TG Clean Pinterest board to find some great DIY recipes, that work!

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

THINK

Companies that make cleaning products are not required to list ingredients on labels, so we wind up exposing ourselves to nasty toxins, most of which are undisclosed. As consumers, we must be informed to make healthier choices and demand that companies make human and environmental health a top priority.
 

CHALLENGE

Want to know how to decode labels? EWG has you covered!

  • Brush up with EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
  • What are three key pieces of information that you learned from looking through this resource that will help you choose healthier cleaning products in the future?
  • Share two facts about conventional cleaning products that surprised you.
  • List four items that you use on a regular basis that you could switch for non-toxic products. List the conventional product and the conscious alternative.
  • Tell us in a few sentences why you cleaning green in your home matters.

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF Document with you responses.

Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
 
Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2016.pdf)
  • Do not include # in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • Link images if possible
  • You will get a confirmation that your submission uploaded correctly. If you did not get a confirmation, please try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2016.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greener

40 POINTS

THINK

More than 80,000 chemicals go unregulated by the federal government, including those in common household cleaning products. Chances are that your conventional cleaning products contain substances which, when inhaled or absorbed through the skin, can cause serious health problems.
 

CHALLENGE

  • Gather all of the cleaning and laundry products in your home, apartment or dorm.
  • Take a photo and caption it with the product names and brands.
  • Select one of these products and list ingredients and retail price.
  • Search the product on EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and use the “label decoder” to define the ingredients.
    • What is the product rating?
    • What are the top three ingredients and their individual ratings?
    • What are three adverse health impacts that you learned about the product ingredients?
  • Select a greener or DIY alternative to the product.
  • Take a photo or screenshot of your green alternative and caption it with ingredients and retail price.
  • Create a visual side-by-side comparison of your conventional product and it’s green alternative with all of the requested info.
  • Will you consider making the switch and would you recommend it to your friends? Why or why not?
  • Post your visual on Facebook. Caption the photo with one benefit of cleaning green. Tag @TurningGreen and @EWG and use the hashtags #PGC2016 and #GreenClean.

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF document with your responses and photos. Include a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.
 
Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2016.pdf)
  • Do not include # in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • Link images if possible
  • You will get a confirmation that your submission uploaded correctly. If you did not get a confirmation, please try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2016.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greenest

60 POINTS

THINK

Bathrooms get grimy quickly, especially when shared with roommates or even a whole dorm floor. Using safe cleaning products is especially important in spaces that need to be cleaned often.
 

CHALLENGE

Roll up your sleeves and find out just how easy and effective green cleaning can be. It’s time to make a simple DIY cleaning product – and actually use it.

  • Find a recipe online for a simple multipurpose cleaner, or a cleaner meant for toilets, sinks and showers. Check out Women’s Voices for the Earth or Lisa Bronner’s blog for ideas.
  • Purchase or borrow ingredients. It really should not cost much and you can even ask your roommates to chip in. It’s an easy way to split the cost and show see how easy and cheap green cleaning is. Don’t forget to reuse a spray bottle or other container, and find a zero waste option for scrubbing or application.
  • Make your new cleaner.
  • Use it to clean your bathroom or other space. How does it smell compared to the products you have used in the past?
  • Take before and after photos so we can all see how well it works.
  • Caption your photo with how the DIY cleaner worked and if you will continue to use it.
  • Post a photo of your DIY cleaning product to Instagram and caption it with one reason why cleaning green is important to human and environmental health. Tag @TurningGreenOrg and use the hashtags #PGC2016 and #GreenClean.

 

DELIVERABLES

Upload a PDF Document with your responses, photos, and a full report on how your DIY process went. Include a screenshot of your social media post.

Please include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.
 
Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2016.pdf)
  • Do not include # in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • Link images if possible
  • You will get a confirmation that your submission uploaded correctly. If you did not get a confirmation, please try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2016.
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.