Earth Day, Every Day: Greener Cleaners

This is a photo of most of my eco-friendly cleaning products (left to right): Method hand soap refill container,  Trader Joe’s laundry liquid, 7th Generation Chlorine-Free Bleach, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, Heinz Vinegar, Whole Foods non-toxic stain remover, and a veggie wash for produce. (On top of some of the containers are a new kind of tan scrub sponge that is supposedly eco-friendly, but since it is not recyclable, only biodegradable, I will search for one that is.)



Last year I reviewed a book I had purchased called The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maeier. (Link to my review: After experimenting with a few homemade cleansers, I realized that buying all the ingredients separately (ex. baking soda, vinegar, soap powder) and adding expensive essential oils was time-consuming and not necessarily much less in cost when I added in my time.


So I decided to return to buying eco-friendly products in the stores where I shop, purchasing different brands and experimenting. The prices may be a little higher, but I offset them with vinegar & water mixtures for glass, hydrogen peroxide for the toilet bowls, and baking soda for scrubbing. All are very low in price.  In the kitchen, I buy naturally brown wax paper & bags, recycle my plastic zip lock bags, use recycled aluminum foil on occasion, and use the biodegradable sponges in the photo above.


I must confess that my husband is not nearly as ecologically conscious as I am, so I try to do double duty to make up for the fact that he still uses chlorine bleach to clean his golf balls, a harsher spray for hard to get out stains on cabinets and floors, and a few of his other tried-and-true cleansers he won’t part with. Fortunately, I do most of the cleaning that involves commercial products, while he does the vacuuming (no chemicals involved), the plants, emptying newspapers into the recycling bin in the trash room, and fixing up the patio every spring and taking it apart in the fall.


These may all be tiny drops in the eco-bucket, but if we put all our eco-buckets together, we’d make a helluva green splash!

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