Monday With Whole Body
Our Whole Body Team Leader, Lindsay, is really excited about one of our new books – The Joy of Green Cleaning by Leslie Riechert. She spoke to the author and asked this question…
What is the big deal about greening your cleaning?
Here is what she had to say:
Did you know that on a typical cleaning day the levels of chemicals in your home can be hundreds and maybe even thousands of times higher that the most polluted air in a large city? The air quality in your home could be bad enough to warrant an inspection by the health authorities if you were a commercial location!
Many scientists seem to think that prolonged exposure to even small amounts of chemicals can be just as bad as a short, high dose. This would mean that the chemicals we use to clean can do damage to our heath. Combine this with the fact that our homes are so energy efficient- these chemicals can stay in the air for weeks. One chemist also points out that we never consider that these chemicals are combining with others that are “off gases” in our homes. We are creating what some call a chemical cocktail. Most scientists test the effects of one single chemical, but they are now realizing they have no idea of the potential harm a combination of these chemicals and gases can have.
The reality is that most of our regular cleaning can be done with out any toxic chemicals. Simple things that we find in our pantry can do a great job. Ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide can be used in place of the traditional cleaners. Or, if you don’t want to mix up your own recipe, there are green companies creating cleaning products that are made with simple, non-toxic ingredients. [like we sell at Whole Foods Market!]
One of the biggest questions I receive every day is “how do I disinfect my home?” It is actually doubtful whether we even need to disinfect at all. Recently, what we have done is attempt to kill all the bacteria in our homes. What we don’t realize is that there are good bacteria as well as bad and the antibacterial products we use always leave some of bad bacteria behind. These surviving bacteria create stronger forms of bacteria that become resistant to the antibacterial agents you using to try to kill them. Besides, you may be doing more damage to your body by using the anti-bacterial chemicals than the “bad” bacteria could have done to you.
Instead, I’m going to give you three recipes from my book: The Joy of Green Cleaning that you can mix up and try in your own home. All the ingredients are available at your local Whole Foods Market. If you’d like a “green cleaning” shopping list that you can use at Whole Foods, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put Whole Foods Shopping List in the subject line. I’m always trying to make cleaning fun, fast, green and totally clean! So make sure to follow me at www.facebook.com/lesliereichert or on twitter at www.twitter.com/greenyourclean
1 tsp borax
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp vinegar
½ tsp. liquid castile soap
2 c. very hot water
Non-toxic alternative- Mrs. Meyers all-purpose cleaner in different scents, Caldrea all-purpose cleaner, or micro-fiber cloths that are new technology that clean dirt, grease and dust without any chemicals.
Green Cleaning Scrub
1 cup borax
2 cups salt (sea salt for a more aggressive cleaner)
2 cups baking soda
8 drops essential oil for fragrance
Mix the ingredients thoroughly. After they are completely mixed together, add the essential oil for fragrance. Keep this mixture in a shaker container with a lid. Use if for cleaning your sinks and even your toilet bowl!
Fabric Softener Alternative
(test your dryer filter for invisible buildup by running it under water. If it holds water, place it in the dishwasher to remove build up and cut down on fabric softeners.)
Add ½ c. of white vinegar, baking soda or borax to the rinse cycle to soften water and reduce static cling.
What awesome advice! This book is for sale right now at Whole Foods Market Wayland in our Whole Body department.