Why Does it Matter?
In our last edition of 365 Every Day Counts, we explained how to identify those items in your home that are considered household hazardous wastes by looking for words like “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” or “Poison” on the package. While it’s important to be able to properly identify hazardous materials in your home a better idea may be to eliminate these chemicals from your home altogether. Cleaning products make up most of the household hazardous materials that most of us have in our homes. If you make your own cleaners, you not only protect the planet (water, air and soil), but you can also save yourself a lot of money as well as the hassle of utilizing a future Tox-Away Day. It’s easier than you may think—and it works!
What Should You Do?
You know that good ol’ baking soda and vinegar that you have tucked away in the pantry? With those ingredients and a couple of other inexpensive materials, you will have everything you need to make your house sparkle, eliminate germs and protect your family and the Earth at the same time. Try this basic all-purpose cleaning recipe for starters:-1 teaspoon Borax-2 tablespoon vinegar-2 cups hot water-spray bottleMix the ingredients and dissolve with hot water. Spray, sponge or mop on area to be cleaned.
You can find recipes for green cleaners to suit just about any situation. Consider searching online resources or visiting your local library to learn more. One of our favorite resources is Clean and Green: The Complete Guide to Nontoxic and Environmentally Safe Housekeeping by Annie Berthold-Bond. Even if green cleaners aren’t your cup of tea, you should always know what you are using in your home. Safety and ingredient information for all in cleaners is available on Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) at www.householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov. Don’t have time to make your own green cleaners? You can often find green cleaners at your local natural foods stores. Or, if you prefer, hire a company that uses green cleaning solutions and techniques to do the work for you!