Going green is just as important inside your home as outside. Don’t think that just because you are inside your home you are safe from environmental toxins and pollutants that are commonly found outside. Unless you intend to live in a glass bubble, a variety of toxins will find their way inside in ways you’d never suspect. From merely opening the door to the flowers you bought at the store to the cleaning products you buy, harmful chemicals are entering your home every day.
One of the most dangerous ways to introduce harmful toxins into the home environment is through mass-produced cleaning products. Just pick up a few product bottles and read the label. What do you see? If the cleaning products you use are harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or mixed with other products, what must they be doing to you and your environment? If the cleaning products you use have to come with a warning label, do you really want to use them?
But what are your alternatives?
Until relatively recently, the cleaning products you bought were made with only two things in mind - cost and effectiveness. This meant that many products were manufactured with cheap and volatile chemicals because those were the ingredients likely to product the cleanest surfaces for the least amount of money. So, when it comes to indoor cleaning products, which ones are safe for people and the environment? A little research will help uncover what’s in the bottle.
One major manufacturer of cleaning products has initiated a campaign to let consumers know that they are focusing on producing non-toxic products that are safe for pets, people, and the planet. This same company has pledged to use recycled plastics in the manufacturing of their packaging and landfill refuse to fuel their facilities.
But, when you shop for green cleaning supplies, be sure to read the label. Just because it say’s non-toxic does not mean it is. Be sure that the packaging says that the product is eco-friendly. Eco-friendly means the product is non-toxic. Even better, use products manufactured by nature herself.
From the kitchen to the bathroom, white vinegar is a natural cleanser and disinfectant. It also helps remove stains when added to the laundry. Mix baking soda with a little water, forming a paste, for cleaning sinks and countertops. Baking soda is a non-toxic, mild abrasive, and cleans as good as brand-name cleansers for less money and without all the harmful chemicals. Fireplace ashes also make a good abrasive cleanser. Although it seems like an oxymoron to use ashes for cleaning, fireplace ashes do remove many minor surface stains and they rinse clean.
Many consumers swear by these inexpensive, easy, and natural cleaners. And each of these “home remedies” hails from the time when mass-produced cleansers were not yet an option for most people. These cleaners are non-toxic, solvent-free, and naturally hypoallergenic.
And, even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can go green in the garden. Rely only on nature to produce the tastiest, most eco-friendly and nutritional fruits and vegetables possible. Sunlight, water, and natural compost are all you need to grow safe, non-toxic food. And, practicing seed saving can guarantee that you have the best food year after year.
Organic gardens are self-sustaining, environmentally friendly, and economically sound. Composting is easy and keeps even more refuse from ending up in landfills. Simply collect all of your food and vegetable waste, let it rot, and blend it in with your garden soil. Your garden will benefit from this nitrogen and nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Other green gardening tips include using discarded yogurt (or other food) containers to start early-season seedlings, reduce water rates by keeping a barrel or large bucket outside to collect rainwater for watering the garden during a dry spell, and employing natural methods of insect control. But, don’t worry, if you’re just not the gardening type, take advantage of local farmers markets. They’ll do all the work, and you’ll get all the benefits.
So, let the bee’s come. They are responsible for 35% of the world’s pollination. Keep those fingers green. Recycle your waste. Keep things going full circle and, most important, keep it green!