Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clean Home, Clean Planet

I consider myself an environmentalist. I'm not heavy handed about it, I don't belong to Greenpeace or PETA, but I recycle, am careful with water and electricty consumption, and I believe that we should care for the earth. I kinda fell into it by way of my studies and my work expereince.

My Bachelor's degree is in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Environmental Engineering. With my work experience I more or less migrated over toEnvironmental Management and in my last job I worked with hotels throughout the wider Caribbean, teaching them how to be more environmentally responsible, thus protecting their product base.

While working with the hotels one of the things I was fortunate to learn was the use of cleaning products that are not hazardous. Where I come from bleach is about the favourite cleaning agent, but that stuff just isn't good for you, or the environment. What's funny though is that the safer alternatives are all things that my grandparents and great grandparents probably used : white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

In 2004 I decided to finally put into practice what I'd been teaching my clients and we stopped buying cleaning products and I started making my own. I searched the internet for recipes and found a wealth of information. I replaced everything but washing detergent and dishwashing liquid with the safer alternatives. Not only are they effective and safe but they cost a lot less than all the chemicals. You do need to use a bit more elbow grease but that helps to burn calories. Here are links to some of my favourite mixtures.

Household Cleaner recipes
Natural Home Cleaning
Natural Homemade Cleaners and Chemical replacements
Natural Scents for your home
Non-toxic Cleaners
The 5 basics for non-toxic cleaning

Over the weekend we finally got an alternative for laundry and dish detergent: the Soap Nut . Lucas' best friend told him about this amazing thing that can be used as a detergent. On Friday when we went to Le Salon de Primevere (an expo on alternative living), one of the stalls happened to be selling it so we got some.

It's not actually a nut, but the fruit of the sapidinus tree and looks like this.

I tried it out already over the weekend and it works extremely well, there's no need for fabric softener, and since it's scentless you can add a few drops of essential oil to it.
And I know some of you are probably thinking "she's the one that's the nut" but I have to say it feels really good to be using even less chemicals now.


Barbie said...

How COOL. Love the links. I bookmarked so I can go back and check it out. It's awesome to practice what you believe and educate others as to the possibilities out there!

Tania said...

Wow thanks for the cool Links! Ill be looking into them for sure!

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

COOL links! Thanks!

Wendy Malichio said...

GREAT info.!! Thanks for the wonderful links!!!

Jade said...

Interesting stuff!

Renee said...

Great Links!