Welcome to day 25 of the zero waste challenge.
Today we are getting cheap and dirty.
It sounds like a bad XXX Movie, well, not quite. Have you heard the term green cleaning? Neither have I, but it turns out I was already doing it, kind of.
I am talking about my most unfavorite thing to do, cleaning. Unless you pay a cleaner to keep your house neat and tidy, you will have to do some of it yourself. But did you know that we don’t actually need 20 different products to clean your house!
It turns out the cleaning companies are BS’sing us, and advertisements tell us that we need one product to clean our toilet, a different one to clean the sink, and another one for your shower.
So what’s the problem here?
These products often contain harsh chemicals, and you need to wear rubber gloves and a mask not to inhale the fumes. But who actually wears a mask when cleaning the bathroom. I sure as hell haven’t.
- When I did further research as to what these products contain, it was quite terrifying. Often they were highly toxic and could lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, reproductive toxicity, nervous system damage, and organ toxicity, amongst other health issues, even cancer in some cases.
- Another one is that your cleaning products all come in plastic bottles which are hardly ever recycled.
Less than 9 % is being recycled worldwide.
The Zero Waste Cleaning Recipe
This is the one who beats it all. The green cleaning recipe for your home, car, or whatever it is you want to keep clean. Lauren Singer recommended, “3 ingredients to a non-toxic home cleaner” in her article. All you need is:
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Essential oil ( optional)
It’s a 50/50 ratio with your water and vinegar, and additionally, you can drop in a couple of drops of essential oil of your choice. We did clean our car with this mix, and while I needed to get used to the smell of vinegar a little bit, I really enjoyed the fact that I did not need to wear gloves that make my hands sweaty and wrinkly. Also, I could breathe in the fumes of vinegar since vinegar is a natural product.
Once I learned to add a couple more drops of essential oil to the mixture, I cleaned away.
Check the Hazardous symbols. Ensure you don’t flush any of these down the drain as they will contaminate the drinking water and cause corrosion of pipes.
Check what they are made of. Use them, or if you are too worried about the ingredients, see if you can dispose of it.
See your local laws and locate a drop-off facility.
In Canada, each province has instituted a household hazardous waste collection program to make it easy to dispose of these toxic items with minimal environmental impact.
That’s the zero waste challenge for today, green clean your home.