At HYGEIA we believe in helping the environment any way we can. We are a firm believer in organic and chemical and preservative-free products. Canadian households use approximately 54 kilotons of general purpose cleaners per year, resulting in the contamination of our fresh water, soil and air resources, and may affect our health. Although cleaning products may be necessary for reasons of hygiene, we should take steps to reduce the use of cleaners, dangerous chemicals and choose products that are environmentally responsible – for our planet and our family’s health. Most of us have a limited understanding of chemistry and ecology, so it is difficult to know what products are the best to buy. Many cleaners make claims about their “environmental friendliness”, but these claims cannot always be trusted. Consumers should question manufacturers about the presence of any chemical constituents that can have far-reaching and devastating effects on our environment and health. Here are some of the chemicals to look out for: Phosphates, NTA & EDTA (ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid or ethylene dinitrilotetraacetic acid or any of its salts), APEO (alkophenol ethoxylates), NPEs, Halogenated organic solvents and Butoxyethanol – VOCs. look out for: Phosphates, NTA & EDTA (ethylene diaminetetraacetic acid or ethylene dinitrilotetraacetic acid or any of its salts), APEO (alkophenol ethoxylates), NPEs, Halogenated organic solvents and Butoxyethanol – VOCs.
Here is a list of Homemade Substitutions that are safe an easy:
There are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. Here is a list of common, environmentally safe products which can be used alone or in combination for a wealth of household applications.
- Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
- Soap – unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
- Lemon – one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
- Borax (sodium borate) – cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
- White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
- Washing Soda – or SAL soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans walls, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
- Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
- Citrus Solvent – cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains.
Is Borax Safe? Borax is considered a mild skin irritant similar to baking soda. The MSDS lists borax as a health hazard of 1, similar to salt and baking soda. Borax is a natural substance which is non-carcinogenic, does not accumulate in the body, or absorb through the skin. It is not harmful to the environment.
Environmentally Friendly Recipes: Create your own natural cleaning products. Above you’ll find some cleaning recipes from the Simply Clean Environmentally Responsible Cleaning Recipe book.
- Gentle Earth http://www.gentleearth.ca/
- Eco-Max http://www.eco-max.ca/
- Eco-Me http://www.eco-me.com/products/toilet-bowl-cleaner
- Ecover http://www.ecover.com/CA/EN/index.aspx
- Nature Clean http://www.naturecleanliving.com/
- Nellies http://www.nelliesallnatural.com/
- Simply Clean http://www.simplyclean.ca/