I'll provide easy, effective recipes for all the products I talk about at the end of this post.
Every day companies are working hard to convince us that their new products are better and better than what was around before.
While so many new products advertise green ingredients, they're still dangerous for our families, our homes, and our world.
Here are some products I'm calling on the GREENWASH:
Premium prices for basic ingredients
Some products cost a lot of money yet offer very little. They're also easy to make at home, saving us money.
I'll show you how to make them at the bottom of this post.
- Ecover "environmentally friendly" rinse aid (in plastic packaging that will probably sit in landfill for 1000 years).
Is plastic packaging that will sit around in landfill for 1000 years eco-friendly?
What's in it that costs so much? Well - it's almost certainly vinegar, so I'm guessing you're paying for the extremely unsustainable packaging.
- Jif Cream cleanser cleans and shines without scratching - because it's mainly baking soda and water.
Baking soda and water - plus a fancy name and packaging - will probably clean quite well. But what other ingredients are in the bottle, and how toxic are they - and how much are you paying for the poisons?
- Those fancy green window cleaners that cost more than conventional cleaners? They're usually mainly vinegar and soap.
Very pretty packaging. If I didn't know better, I'd feel like I'd saved the earth just by buying this, wouldn't you?
Our brain power can beat clever marketing
You know, the truth is, most products on the market perform their tasks no better than similar products you can make yourself at home - for a fraction of the price. Some don't work nearly as well.
And the moment you buy a ready-made product, you're usually buying plastic packaging, a heavy add-on price, and often a whole stack of poisonous ingredients.
But if companies told you that - how would they make money? They wouldn't.
Did you know...?
- Having toxic chemicals in our homes can be a serious safety risk for young children and pets, who may gain access to them inadvertently.
- If you use your grey water in your garden, you may be poisoning your garden as well.
- We do not need poisons to clean effectively. We do not need expensive chemicals to clean effectively.
Sometimes just a little elbow grease does the best job of all.
- If you use poisons to clean your home, you are poisoning your home. That's not rocket science.
- Poisonous runoff from homes and gardens can contaminate our waterways, poisoning our fish and aquatic life.
By using safe cleaners and products, you are choosing not to contribute to this massive worldwide problem in a very real way.
Do it yourself!
New isn't necessarily better. Expensive isn't necessarily better.
Small, fancy jars and bottles don't mean a product is good or safe.
There is no brand that is truly trustworthy. There are recent cases of well-known brands with enough serious safety recalls (see Fisher Price recall here and Disney recall here) to make us realise that we cannot trust companies to ensure products are safe for us.
It is time we did the thinking for ourselves.
Making our own cleaners, our own cosmetics, and our own household products can save us lots of money, and save our waterways and ecosystems too.
Some green alternatives
- That Colgate toothpaste with peroxide? Make your own, safe version. Here's a recipe: Home made toothpaste.
- That Lysol toilet bowl cleaner? Instead, sprinkle baking soda (bicarb soda) into the bowl, then spray with white vinegar and scrub. Done - with nothing dangerous for our waterways!
- That Ecover rinse aid? Try white vinegar instead! As I said in an earlier post, you can add a bit of blue dye if you want it to look more like some of the rinse aid products on the market, but vinegar will do just as good a job!
- That Jif cream cleanser? Try bicarb and vinegar again. Sprinkle on the bicarb (baking soda), then spray down with white vinegar. Done!
- Those fancy window cleaners? Try mixing 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Put in a spray bottle and shake before use.
It is so important to detox our homes and create safe, healthy places to live. We can do it, being green is easy, and we can save so much money by doing so!
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