Green Cleaning for Every Budget

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Since World War Two, more than 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced to the market. Consumers come in contact with about 3,000 of these chemicals every day in the form of cleaning products, such as air fresheners, dishwashing detergent, and floor cleaners. These products can be accidentally ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through skin contact. Unfortunately, cleaning your home with harsh, chemical cleaning products often fills it with more toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than were there to begin with, making your home even less healthy than before you “cleaned” it.

Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that your home stays clean — the green and natural way. It can be difficult to comb through every ingredient on a product label, and it can be expensive to invest in a green-certified vacuum and other cleaning items. Hiring a cleaning service is sometimes the best route to take if pressed for time. Look for a cleaning service that offers an eco-friendly option, which means that they will clean your home with green-certified products and methods….

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This Borrowed Earth by Robert Emmet Hernan

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As the Gulf of Mexico continues to fill with oil due to BP’s negligence and our own government agencies’ lack of oversight, we are experiencing an environmental disaster of catastrophic proportions. Tragically, this isn’t the first human-caused environmental disaster — and given our track record as stewards of this planet, it’s futile to fool ourselves that it will be the last. In his book, This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the 15 Worst Environmental Disasters Around the World, Robert Emmet Hernan describes in detail 15 environmental disasters we must remember so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

In the book’s Introduction — penned merely months before BP’s so-called “spill,” Hernan wrote, “If we forget how and why these disasters happened and what horrible consequences emerged from them, we will not avert future disasters.” As a society, we seem to have done just what Hernan feared: We’ve forgotten. And so another disaster is upon us.

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, writes in the book’s Foreword, “In an age where we’re once again ideologically committed to ‘loosening the reins’ on private enterprise, it’s sobering to remember what has happened in the past. In an age when new technologies are barely tested before they’re put into widespread use—genetically engineered crops, for instance—it’s even more sobering to contemplate a seemingly iron-clad rule: every new machine or system seems to fail catastrophically at least once.” …

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Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services – by Adria Vasil

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You’ve heard of alcoholics, chocoholics, workaholics, and shopaholics, but you’ve probably never heard of an ecoholic unless you’ve had the good fortune to read Adria Vasil’s book or column by the same name. Vasil defines the word ecoholic right on the cover: (when you’re addicted to the planet). Officially titled Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services, the book is a vast compendium of knowledge Vasil acquired while writing her “Ecoholic” column for Canada’s NOW Magazine during the past five years.

I’m far from finished reading — it’s the kind of guide you “drop into” as need arises, but find yourself lingering over long after you’ve found your answer. But I can tell you truthfully that I love this book…

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Purple Fig – Austin’s Green Cleaning Company with a Heart

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“Purple Fig is a natural cleaning service in the greater Austin area — all the clean with none of the chemicals,” said owner Amanda May. “We make and use only green cleaning products, which we ship nationwide. We provide free recipes for everything we sell, and we’ll teach anyone how to make what we sell. Our goal is to create healthy, clean homes.”

A green cleaning company that gives away its trade secrets? When we heard about ecopreneur Amanda May and her Purple Fig Cleaning Cooperative, we were intrigued by both her green-cleaning methods and her business model. We wanted to know what drives a businessperson to be so generous with the information most companies would keep to themselves. We spoke with May by phone from her Austin, Texas, home.

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The “Green-Clean Challenge” Begins

December 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Cleaning Supplies, Front Page, Slideshow, Tips, VOCs

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According to the Washington Toxics Coalition, the most dangerous chemicals in the world are right under our sinks. They include corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet-bowl cleaners. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in oven, carpet, and other cleaners containing Toluene, Nitrobenzene, Chloride, Methylene, and Ethylene glycol have been shown to cause asthma, cancer, skin rashes, permanent eye damage, and serious long-term organ damage. I decided it was time for a change.

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