“Our parents and grandparents wouldn’t dream of using chemical cleaners 60 years ago. They’d use vinegar, baking soda, and a few other ingredients from around the home – plus some elbow grease – and would be healthier for it”
DIY: The Only Truly Green Way to Clean!
The word “Natural” has no agreed-upon definition when it comes to consumer products. The category is loosely controlled, with little regulation and even less oversight. Cleaning Essentials puts you in control of what you put into your cleaners, what you spray in your home, and what your family is exposed to. Conscious consumers have begun to demand clean food that uses fresh ingredients and eliminates preservatives and additives. Isn’t it time we did the same with our cleaning products?
Store-bought natural cleaners with ingredients you recognize are a step in the right direction. Still, they do little to reduce the waste and carbon footprint involved in household cleaning. By using ingredients you already have, and adding water from your tap, you can dramatically reduce the amount of resources used to clean your home.
Each time you refill a Cleaning Essentials container, you eliminate one container from the garbage system*. At the same time, by making your cleaners at home, you eliminate the need to transport a container — filled 80%-90% with water — through an energy intensive supply chain transportation system**.
But what about recycling?
Not everything placed into the recycle bin actually gets recycled. Did you know that you’re supposed to remove the sprayer or cap and rinse the plastic container before recycling? If you don’t, the container will most likely be rejected and end up in either a landfill, or at a waste-to-energy facility where it’s burned to generate power. A recent report found that only 6.5% of plastic containers discarded are successfully recycled. Even the materials that do get recycled require the use of additional resources to create usable items.
Next time you see a plastic cleaning bottle, imagine it’s filled halfway with oil. That’s about how much fossil fuel is needed to make, store, ship, heat/cool and otherwise transport one bottle of cleaner — even one with natural ingredients. Making your own homemade household cleaners helps the environment in more ways than one.
Homemade cleaners help the environment in other ways, too.
Our wastewater treatment systems are designed to break down and digest organic human waste, solids, and foods, using a bacterial process. When cleaning chemicals go down the drain, they don’t just disrupt the wastewater infrastructure; they pass right through it, ending up in our rivers, lakes, and streams, and eventually our food system. Our recipes for homemade household cleaners break down naturally without damaging water systems and the environment.
Lately, we’ve been using a lot of eucalyptus to clean. It’s a multipurpose oil with a clean, crisp scent, and it packs some great disinfectant and anti-microbial powers.
The Magic of Mint – Mint is a beautiful, powerful, hard working plant with wonderful properties. Beyond just adding a fragrance or flavor, Mint adds deodorizing properties and much more.
CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture shares are a great way to get fresh, healthy, affordable produce weekly from a local farm. CSAs help support farmers and the community. Food from CSAs are fresher and grown more sustainably than most super market produce, and helps support local agriculture.