5 Ways to Green the Way You (Fall) Clean

Posted on September 24, 2016

Why is it better to clean green? Not only are you reducing the toxic (and often carcinogenic) chemicals in our homes, you are keeping those chemicals out of our waterways and potentially, our drinking water. That’s good for us, plant life and all the wildlife that depend on our wetlands. Here are 5 easy ways you can clean a little more green:

1.    Make your own Products: Make your own all-purpose cleaner from a recipe found on our online Green Cleaning tip sheet. Or you can purchase a recipe book from our EcoStore for just $5 (with recipes we've tried, tested and approved). Or make an all-purpose cleaner, tub-scrub and toilet bowl cleaner to take home at our Green Cleaning Workshop coming up on Oct. 6th.  And don’t forget, you can unplug a drain with just baking soda and vinegar!

2.    Purchase Natural Products: There are brands out there, such as Nature Clean, that make natural and healthy cleaning products. You should be able to find a few green brands at conventional grocery stores (but watch out for green washing!) and local stores such as Community Natural Foods & Sunnyside Natural Market have a great selection. It’s also good to avoid synthetic air fresheners. Look for pure essential oils instead, which will come in dark bottles (as they are light sensitive).

3.    Avoid Conventional Dryer Sheets: Use the sensory mode on your dryer instead of over drying with a timed dry (which creates static), line-dry synthetic fabrics, and choose non-toxic options like dryer balls and Static Eliminators.

4.    Use a Green Cleaning Service: If you have a cleaning service, you can ask them to use natural products. Looking for commercial green cleaning services? There are janitorial companies out there that are environmentally responsible, such as Anytime Janitorial and Vanguard Cleaning Systems.

5.    Research Labels: Did you know manufacturers of cleaning products aren't required by law to list all of a product’s ingredients on the label? You can see what’s in your cleaning supplies, and their effects on your health and the environment, from EWG’s database of over 2000 products. Or check out our Green Cleaning Workshop to help you figure out what to look for so you don't get bamboozled by pretty marketing!

And finally, if you need to dispose of toxic cleaners that you already have in your home, The City of Calgary has an online map of designated drop off locations. Please don't pour chemicals down the drain where they can end up in waterways, polluting our environment and potentially our drinking water.

The ingredients to make most green cleaning products may already be in your pantry and making your own can be more affordable and fun if you get your family involved on a weekend afternoon. Enjoy breathing the healthy air that comes from cleaning green, and stay tuned for our blog on natural personal care products coming up in October!