Posts Tagged ‘cleaner’

What is a Big Green Purse? I’ll give you one! (review and giveaway)

Win a copy of BIG GREEN PURSE by DIANE MACEACHERN, just leave a comment. ( Open October 14-28 2010)

So the basis for me starting this blog was to write about my One in a Million Challenge (recently I’ve fallen a little behind on this, updates are coming…)

The One in a Million Challenge is an idea that Diane MacEachern came up where she encourages women to shift $1000 of their existing budget to environmentally friendly products.  Since women control 0.85 cents of every dollar spent, this adds up to a lot, like  ONE BILLION DOLLARS we’re talking.  That is enough money to make any manufacturer take a second look at their product and ask “how can I make this a better environmental choice?”.

Skeptical about the importance of buying eco-friendly products?

In her book, Big Green Purse, Diane explains why it’s important to choose the greener options. Diane touches on many subjects in the book, in fact pretty much anything related to living, from beauty products to cars to food.

In her chapter “CLEAN AND GREEN: CLEANSERS SCRUBS, POLISHES AND FRESHENERS”  she points out the health hazards we are facing today . For example 6.1 million kids in the U.S. have asthma, making asthma the #3 reason kids are hospitalized. She points out pretty clear links between what you use in your house on a daily basis with these risks. She then goes on to explain how to make simple easy shifts to healthier options. She makes it pretty easy too, with a thumbs down list of things to avoid, go green cleaning tips and even a where to shop guide.

Diane also has some pretty smart thoughts like “When buying a new appliance, light or computer to remember:  it has 2 price tags- what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy it uses” This book is so handy because she then goes on to list the top 10 ways to save energy and money.

It’s pretty clear that I’m a fan of the book, and that it is totally required reading for every woman, no matter where she is at on the going green scale.

One thing I did miss from the book is more info on eco-travel, a follow-up book is in order perhaps?



Want your own copy of the book? Great, cause I’m giving one away! Leave a comment and your e-mail address. Also if you feel the need to tweet or facebook or like Big green purse on facebook about this contest let me know and you’ll get 2 extra entries!!  (Open to US and Canada residents, over 18 please)

Use your big green purse

Hey, if you don’t win you should still totally pick one up. I mentioned where in my Greenie Deals post.  I love having mine around for reference!  You should also check out her big green purse website which is packed with all kinds of great info! As is the big green purse facebook page.


Worth it? Why Tide is not cool

What’s so bad about laundry detergents anyway? Why bother buying a green detergent?

A few things that are  not cool about conventional detergents:

  • Companies are not legally required to disclose all ingredients, and most choose not to.
  • Synthetic Surfactants. These suds-makers biodegrade  slowly, and will stay in our water ways for a very long time. Did I mention they are made from petroleum? They  also have a very high biological toxicity, according to an English study they have been shown to increase growth of breast cancer cells and also make boy fish more like girl fish. So weird and wrong.
  • Artificial fragrances, these are bad always, again made from petroleum, toxic effects on animals are not clear yet…
  • Optical brightners,  maybe let’s work on getting our clothes brighter without being toxic to fish.

Good news:

  • Most detergents come in concentrated versions now, because really why would we want to pay money for a bottle that is 3/4 water anyway, try to buy the detergent with the least amount of packaging.
  • Plant based surfactants ( biodegradable and safe)  are being used by greener laundry options like Method.
  • Can’t beat local and cheap! Try Down East Liquid Laundry

To skip detergent every now and then try these tips

  • Soak whites in hot water with lemons for a few hours instead of bleach (discard lemons before putting them in the washing machine)
  • Use baking soda. While I use detergent with my cloth diapers, I always through in some baking soda for a little extra kick, my sister uses only baking soda.
  • Try a recipe to make home-made laundry detergent

Funny story, In the 1960s, when surfactants began to gain in popularity detergent manufacturers  battled over who had the longest lasting suds. This led to suds  appearing in streams, rivers, lakes, and 8 feet of  strangely  colored bubbles at the foot of Niagara Falls. Was this a hint that what we use in our homes goes directly back into the environment?

Check out the other Worth it? Apples to Apples and I can’t get these diapers out of my head

Oh and by the way Green Laundry detergents are WORTH IT! I like Method free and clear detergent, my favorite part is no measuring, you just squirt it in!!

Steam mop

With all my shifting of funds to more eco friendly products, I’m always thinking of ways to save money. I have been looking at steam mops for a while now, as my current product I use is a Swiffer. Swiffer creates so much  waste with it’s one time use mop heads.

Then there’s the actual cleaning sloution they put on the mop cloths. I reviewed the material safety data sheet and it actually looks to be  on the lower end of the hazard spectrum, but it’s still not biodegradable and does irritate the skin. Since my baby crawls on my floors and eats any scrap of food or non food that he comes across , maybe it’s time for a healthier option.

I pay $94.44 per year for Swiffer wet cloths refills.   Vinegar and water is one cheap option, but really I don’t want my house to smell like vinegar or take the time to get out a mop or sponge  and bucket. For around $100 I can get a steam mop with pads that are washable and resuable.
I know that steam mops have their own downfalls, such as power consumption. The power rating for Bissel Steam Mop is  1500 watts (to give an idea my small 4 cup coffee maker uses 710 watts). Plus this model only  weighs 9 lbs,  and I’ll be cleaning with cups of water instead of  gallons! I’ll give my swiffer to my kids with a facecloth on the bottom, and bonus for them they have a new toy!

Oh and P.S. You can buy this mop on Amazon for $99 with free shipping to Canada, or directly from the Bissell site if your in the U.S. for $79.

Method Cleaner & Cloth Diapers

Last  week  my product of choice to switch  was Method all purpose cleaner, I chose it for 3 reason 1) It smells so fantastic (french lavender) 2)It only cost $4 3) It’s biodegradable, no more toxic chemicals for MY multi purpose cleaner, CHECK. I bought this at my normal grocery store but you can also get it online! Oh and also it is a really great cleaner, I actually went a little crazy when I first got it and searched everywhere for grease spots to clean. Love it. I should also mention that I don’t work for this company I’m just really enjoying this cleaner!

Last week I also decided to finally take the leap to cloth diapers! My youngest is 8 months old, and I also have a 6 year old and a 2 1/2 year old who is still working on potty training.

You might be wondering why after not using cloth diapers for almost 7 years switch now? If you saw the amount of diapers that go into my garbage can EVERY day! If you consider that we change our babies about 5-7 times a day that’s about 2500 diapers a year for 1 baby! So even if I’m only saving 5000 diapers from ending up in a landfill that’s good enough for me!

Oh by the way it takes about 500 years for diapers to decompose according to and US EPA website.

Remember if your choosing cloth diapers it’s probably a good idea to switch to an eco-friendly laundry soap as well otherwise you’re not making garbage but you’re putting extra chemicals back into the environment. Laundry soap is on my list….

So I’ve been on cloth diapers for almost a week now and I love it!

I ordered my diapers from The Cloth Diaper Shop and they were fantastic, great customer service and even a little free sample of Rockin’ Green Detergent. That stuff is a little expensive so I’m currently on the hunt for something that will work a little better with my budget! So in combination with flushable liners, and inserts that I switch out (but keep the same diaper cover) cloth diapers have so far been a success!

Totals for last week/First week of one in a million challenge

  • $4 method cleaner
  • $150 cloth diapers
  • $154 towards O. I. M. C.
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