Day 17 of Daily Footprint Project. The memory of last week’s toxic attack, motivated me to take action before Esperanza’s visit today. Esperanza is our cleaning lady. I have been talking for a long time, about greening our household cleaning products. Talking, writing about, but no action. Last week, the air in the house after Esperanza came, got the best of my lungs. I had to open all the windows, to let in the fresh air, and give my burning throat and lungs a rest. For months now, I have been suffering from a chronic cough, and asthma like symptoms. Same with Catherine. Both she and I have been to several doctors, and tried inhalers and various medicines, with no results. Finally, I got motivated into action. Prad dismissed my concerns, and tried to dissuade me. ‘All these people using those products, and nobody has gotten sick. You are overreacting.‘ I did not listen to him. I was on a mission.
First, let me say this, it is not easy getting a straight answer on cleaning products. I had to go through quite a few dead venues, before I found the information I was looking for. First, I started with TreeHugger. Then made my way to the Household Products Database. Very thorough and scientific, but it failed to give me the straight answers I was looking for. How bad were the commercial products I was currently using? Which brands would they recommend as perfectly safe? Along the way, I came across several places advocating making my own cleaning products. I finally landed on an article from Organic Consumers that gave me the answers I was looking for.
Now I am a poster girl for Seventh Generation. I purchased the whole line at Whole Foods. Laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, dishwasher detergent, glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, shower cleaner, and kitchen cleaner. For furniture, I got the Earth Friendly Furniture Polish. But there are quite a few other brands out there that would do just as good of a job.
Above is a picture of all the stuff I had to get rid off. In good conscience, I could not throw it into the garbage. For now, it has been relegated to our garage, waiting for our next trip to the recycling center.
Esperanza left. And I am enjoying not smelling anything, for a change.
The household cleaning products industry is huge. I am imagining all the women, the children, the houses that keep being intoxicated, over and over again, by these everyday products. Lulled into the false reassurance of advertisements touting the benefit of a clean smelling house. What is clean smelling anyway?
Daily Footprint Project Daily Log Day #17 Water personal: flush toilet 3 wash face 2 brush teeth 2 wash hands 5 shower 1 mom: rinse dishes communal: run full load dishwasher Electricity/gas personal: electric toothbrush 2 microwave tea 2’ microwave oatmeal 4’ microwave soup 2’ microwave leftover pasta microwave milk 2’ laptop on all day mom: heat cream of wheat broil steak communal: lights cook bokchoy in wok boil water for pasta fry pasta in wok Food personal: oatmeal with organic milk organic apple sauce tea organic milk takeout bean soup from Whole Foods organic chocolate raspberries leftover pasta mom: cream of wheat with organic milk organic grapes communal: stir fried bokchoy organic pasta with Italian prosciutto and fresh mozarella Waste personal: toilet paper raspberries plastic box mom: most of cream of wheat (leftover from breakfast) communal: 3 newspaper plastic wrappers two hardened half bread loaves old household cleaning products (to wait for city collection of toxic products) soup carton Recycling personal: three sheets of paper mom: communal: 2 papers milk carton Transportation personal: mom: communal: drive to Whole Foods 5 miles Non food shopping personal: mom: communal: Seventh Generation cleaning products