Earth Friendly Spring Cleaning

April 10, 2012

So spring is here and you want to start your spring cleaning, but do it in an earth friendly manner.  Here is some information about what to do to reduce our impact on the planet and our own health.

You want to look for and avoid detergents with alkylphenolethoxylates (APEs), such as nonylphenolethoxylate (NPE), which have been found to cause human health problems such as endocrine disruption.

Use chlorine and phosphate-free products to wash dishes.  Also keep an eye out for products that contain phthalates and prevent their use.

The United States Geological Survey found breakdown products of laundry detergents in 70% of North American streams.  These chemicals can cause harm to fish, frogs, turtles and other aquatic life.  Studies have shown that even low-level exposure has reduced the number of fertilized trout eggs and caused reduced embryo survival and abnormal embryos in another fish, the Japanese Medaka.

If every household in the U.S. replaced one bottle of 25 oz. petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with a plant-derived product, we could save 5.3 million gallons of oil, which is equivalent to removing 9,000 cars from the road for one year.

Here are a few other ideas you can do to help make a difference:

  1. Create and use your own effective, non-toxic cleaning products using simple and inexpensive ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Buy only from companies that list all product ingredients on the package.
  3. Tell Congress to require companies to disclose all ingredients in household cleaners on product labels and to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.

Check out this link for some green cleaning recipes: