Month: January 2013

Local Laundry Detergent

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 4.53.09 PMDid you know that one of the best non-toxic, chemical-free laundry detergents is made right here in Boulder, Colorado? Yup, the fine folks who started EcoProducts launched a fabulous cleaning product business a few years ago. They have all sorts of cleaning supplies, including a great laundry detergent. You can buy it at Costco at a discount or fill up your old bottle at the “filling station” at Alfalfa’s Market in downtown Boulder.

Here’s a link to their site:  http://boulderecocleaners.com/ 

I love that they also have big bulk sized containers of things like hand and dish soap. Check ’em out.

Homemade Window Cleaner

Even though Windex claims to have gotten “greener” here’s what’s still inside that iconic blue liquid: Isopropanol, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ethylene glycol n-hexyl ether, water, fragrance and blue dye. Bleh. You don’t need that in your home! Sure, you could go buy a greener, non-toxic window cleaner, but you could also just grab a spray bottle and fill it with some vinegar, water and teeny tiny bit of liquid soap (love the ultra green, super cool company: Dr. Bronner’s) and bada boom you’ve got yourself some window cleaner that’s cheap and not full of nasty chemicals. Plus, it works beautifully! What’s not to love?!

Window Cleaner

¼ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon natural liquid soap (optional; I use natural dish liquid or Dr. Bronner’s)
2 cups water

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend. To use it, spray onto the glass, covering as much as you can finish in a few minutes at a time, scrub as needed with the rough side of a kitchen sponge, and squeegee off. Use a cotton cleaning cloth to dry off the blade of the squeegee between swipes, and to wipe up any liquid that puddles at the bottom edges of the windowpanes.

Recipe courtesy of Rodale

Can washing your hands be harmful to your health?

With flu and cold season raging we are seeing an uptick in consumers who are purchasing instant hand sanitizer and increasing their hand washing. All of this is great, but not if your soaps contain triclosan. According to the Environmental Working Group AND the American Medical Association (AMA), antibacterial soaps containing triclosan should not be used. Why? The AMA has found that these soaps actually encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Triclosan has also been linked to liver toxicity, thyroid disfunction and inhalation toxicity. Where does it lurk? Unfortunately not just in your antibacterial soaps. It’s also found in your dish detergent, toothpaste, mattresses, shoes, carpets, etc.  For more information on triclosan and other harmful chemicals in our environment, check out the Environmental Working Group’s website: www.ewg.org or click on the image below:

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 11.40.13 AM

Houseplants help clean indoor air

Last summer I read this great article in the New York Times and thought I’d pass the info on because I think it’s really important and useful! I’ve summarized it below:

It is common knowledge that indoor air on Earth is typically far more polluted than the air outside. Back in the late 80’s, NASA was studying houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. In that research they found several plants to be highly effective in filtering out common volatile organic compounds. The most effective plants are also the most common: devil’s ivy, peace lilies, Pleomele, gebera daisies and snake plant, most often referred to as “mother-in-law-tongue.” Two other plants, the ficus and Japanese aralia, are also effective.  Dr. Clifford W Bassett, an allergist at New York University School of Medicine says that a good rule of thumb is to have one plant for roughly every 100 square feet of living space.

Great advice!

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