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