We all want to know that the cleaners we use are getting the job done, but far too often, we settle for the path of least resistance – or so we think.
Sure, it may be faster to simply grab a well-known brand’s bottle of cleaner and toss it in your shopping cart rather than going to the trouble of making your own green cleaners, but does ‘faster’ equate to ‘better?’ Not really, no; at least not when you break down the factors contributing to the entire picture.
For one thing, green cleaners are superior in far more categories than manufactured chemical cleaning solutions as they relate to the cleaning process. Take a gander at how green cleaners are:
- Cheaper: Your typical bottle of cleaner could easily run in the $4 range but DIY green cleaners can be had for less than a quarter.
- Versatile: When you realize that commercial cleaners are task-specific and you have to buy a different cleaner for different purposes (for example, you need different cleaners for glass, countertops, floors, bathrooms, tile, etc.) the bottles and the bucks add up really quickly, but with green cleaners, you have just a few basic ingredients for all different types of surfaces and tasks.
- Simple to make: And you have most, if not all, of those ingredients in your home already! The most common active ingredients in green cleaners are distilled white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and ammonia. For example, I make my own cleaner to wash down walls before I repaint them. The recipe is so simple: 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda all in a gallon of water. This cleaner really cuts through wall grime, and a single rinse is all that’s needed.
So when you take the big picture into account, it’s easy to see the benefits of going with green cleaners – and the best part is just how easy it is to get started. Here’s a simple green cleaning project to try out and see for yourself.
We all are trying to eat healthier these days, avoiding chemicals, hormones, and processed foods as much as possible, but what happens when the so called ‘health foods’ can also pose problems? While organic is really the way to go for most food options, there are a few you should probably just stay away from altogether.
Margarine and vegetable oils
Full of trans-fats and susceptible to heat, these products have been known to contribute to heart disease, infertility, hormonal imbalance, and cancer. This is due to free radicals and oxidized cholesterol produced from over heating the oil either during the production of margarine, or during the cooking of foods.
Good alternatives – If organic butter isn’t your thing, find a cold-pressed oil alternative such as olive oil or if cooking with it, coconut oil is the best. Canola, Corn, Soy and Palm oils are not good alternatives as they are quite environmentally damaging and degrade with heat.
Here at The Chic Ecologist, I like to highlight all types of businesses, products, arts and artists, but it’s rare to find an environmental poet! Here are three selections from Robert Lopez, an electrical engineer major focusing on sustainable energy at Cornell University. His full bio can be found at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!
Might we view nature
not just in the depth of a mountain,
not just in the rich canyon colors,
not just in the solitude of the scape,
but in the roots beneath out toes,
but in the decay of our bones,
but in all that lives and does not.
Might we view nature.
This glowing bulb burns,
igniting in a wasteful wash.
Flip – off
A living Tungsten
Flip – On
hot vapor, hot stupor.
Flip › Continue reading
There is nothing like fresh cut flowers to brighten up a room, and who doesn’t like getting flowers? Now there is a speedy and green flower delivery service in San Francisco bringing joy to those in the 7×7.
BloomThat is doing things a bit differently, and greening up an otherwise dirty industry. By sourcing local and in season flowers, they avoid the transportation costs and pollution from a typical Fed-Ex Flower. It also helps to support the local community and farmers, all while you get the fresh and longer lasting flowers. Delivered by bike messengers, you get lightning speed delivery with no additional fossil fuels burned.
› Continue reading
This has recently hit my radar, being a sushi lover and all, because of the very surprising ‘leakage accidents’ which are associated with a certain fish. Escolar (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum), or as it is commonly (and mistakenly) referred to as butterfish, super white tuna, or sometimes walu/waloo, can have a nasty side effect if too much is consumed. Besides that, I was also interested in the sustainability of this fish, since it is quite delicious and common in US sushi restaurants.
Escolar has been popping up on menus all over the country, but you find them primarily in sushi restaurants because of their reasonable price, low mercury content, and delicious texture and flavor. This type of fish cannot metabolize the gempylotoxin wax esters common to its diet of squid, crustaceans and other fish, leaving them to accumulate in the muscle tissue. These wax esters are left in the flesh of the escolar causing gastrointestinal problems when consumed in large amounts (more than a single serving size of 6 ounces for most people), or to put it bluntly, unexpected and uncontrollable oily orange rectal discharge. Because of this unexpected side effect, many › Continue reading
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials available today, but does that sustainability and eco-friendly label extend to bamboo clothes? The sad truth is, mostly no. The process to transform bamboo into clothing involves quite a bit of energy and produces chemical waste with environmental and health concerns.
Bamboo is turned into yarn by cooking the bamboo plant in strong chemical solvents to create a viscose solution. This solution is reconstructed into a cellulose fiber which is spun into yarn to create clothing, linens, and other fabrics and cloths.
Textiles derived from bamboo pulp are really just rayon fibers made through a harmful chemical process which definitely isn’t green. The viscose processing for bamboo pulp is similar to that of wood-pulp viscose and produces the same chemicals, one of the worst being carbon disulfide which, when exposed to high concentrations, can cause life threatening nervous system complications. › Continue reading
Greek yogurt is revolutionizing the dairy industry with it’s thick creamy texture and high protein, but it also comes at a price. Whey waste.
Due to the unexpected popularity and increase in production, a glut of whey is being produced with no process of disposal or recycling. True traditional style Greek yogurt is made by straining the liquid out until it reaches that nearly cheesecake density, 75% of it’s total weight is removed as whey. Some companies have tried to get around this by adding thickeners to achieve a similar texture. › Continue reading
Charity Water has come up with a concept I love, donations for your birthday! A pretty simple concept, but Charity Water allows you to create your own custom birthday donation page with goals to share with friends called the Birthday Donation Project. Wonderful!
What is this Charity Water you may be asking? Their mission is to bring clean water to the world, particularly developing countries where they need it the most. This can mean anything from drilling wells to water treatment.
90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old.
-World Health Organization
Keep up with us on Twitter and RSS!
You can find us at: