“The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain
Like most things in our life, we took (& are taking) baby steps in our non toxic journey. I get horrible headaches from artificial fragrances & conventional cleaning products, so scented sprays & harsh chemicals were kicked out. We wanted to cut down on things in our lives, then realized we didn’t need cleaning supplies for every room in the house. This has not happened overnight. It has also been a lot of trial & error.
Why should you switch to green cleaners?
Many ingredients in conventional cleaners can cause or exasperate medical conditions. They are also not filtered out of water once they go down the drain! A few examples are:
- Fragrance: suspected to contribute to asthma development; many of the chemicals are listed on the FDA’s site as carcinogens; can cause dermatitis when it comes into contact with the skin; impacts your central nervous system causing nausea & dizziness
- Chlorine: maybe a serious thyroid disruptor; it’s a respiratory irritant; can cause burns when it comes into contact with skin
- Ammonia: irritates the respiratory system, skin, & eyes; high concentrations causes burns; when ingested is corrosive to the GI tract
- Triclosan: impacts microbial balance & can cause “super bugs”; linked to endocrine toxicity, low sperm count, & cancer; toxic to aquatic life
These are just a few of the well known chemicals in many cleaners. But I could go on! And there are great alternatives to these that won’t make you feel sick and ventilating your house. But you also need to watch out for greenwashed products.
What is greenwashing?
Greenwashing can be harder to detect. Even I’ve fallen victim to green washing. “All Natural”, “Green”, “Non Toxic”, & “Biodegradable” are not regulated. Even funky, old school looking labels can give us a sense of eco-friendly. Unfortunately, unless you research these companies & products, you can’t really know. Some red flags I find are:
- Being shady: When a company won’t disclose information because “it’s part of their secret”, back out. I’ve also seen “made with essential oils” then I look on the back and see “artificial fragrance” listed.
- Being irrelevant: “CFC-free” isn’t putting anything new out there. These have been banned since about the ’70s.
- Being owned by a big company: Sorry, but most aren’t too concerned about people or the environment. They can reformulate things that even use to be eco friendly to make it cheaper for them to produce.
- Having ingredients you don’t know: Look up ingredients that are unknown to you. If you see an ingredient like Sodium Laureth Sulfate or anything synthetic, just put it back.