Our house cleaning clients in Ottawa, Etobicoke, and Milton often ask us what sort of products are best to use in their home. We like to recommend environmentally safe products. Yes, it's good for the health our planet - reducing pollution of the oceans and the atmosphere - but it's also good for the health of your family.
Most commercial household cleaning products contain a range of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which are known to irritate the lungs and lead to chronic illness. It's a very scary list. For those of us who grew up with these products, with all their lovely smells and catchy commercial jingles, it's easy to forget that it wasn't always this way. For generations, we cleaned our homes using non-toxic products sourced from the earth, which caused no damage to our health. Vinegar, baking soda, cornstarch, vegetable-based soaps, essential oils - these are all effective green house cleaning solutions. They can also cost less money than what you get at the big box stores. If you are worried about how effective these are, remember that what has been labelled "anti-bacterial" has been proven to be false.
There are many recipies and guides for making solutions yourself. Then you can be green when house cleaning, and customize the mix to meet the specific cleaning task at hand. If you prefer to shop, Ottawa has the wonderful Terra 20 store. They also ship anywhere in Canada. Wherever you choose to shop, here are some tips on how to go green with your house cleaning.
How to Be Green
Look for products labelled:
- EDTA Free
- BPA-free packaging
- Third-party certification such as Green Guard or Eco Logo
Avoid products which include:
- Butyl or 2-butoxyethanol
- Phthalates or Fragrance
Why Be Green
- Improved indoor air quality
- Reduced irritation for asthma and allergies
- Limit risk of chronic health problems from exposure to VOCs
- Reduce pollution of our water systems
- Reduce air pollution from the manufacturing process
- Reduce our use of petrochemicals