The Eco-Friendly Home
Ideas for creating a healthier, greener home.
Alfred E. Neuman, the red-haired, freckle-faced mascot and logo for MAD magazine otherwise known as the "What, me worry" kid and noted for being a one-time Presidential candidate, is credited with coining the phrase, "We live in a world where lemonade is made from artificial flavoring and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” For a fictitious character sporting a goofy smile and gap-toothed grin, this is heady stuff. Unfortunately, as profound (and amusing) as the line may be, it also happens to be true. Worse, the irony doesn't end there.
Today, we live in a world where our food is genetically modified and farmers have to worry about being sued for infringing on a chemical company's patent to such "Frankenfoods." More of what we eat comes from packaging than from the ground.
The majority of household products brought home from the grocery store are toxic time bombs. Laundry detergent, for example, is formulated with formaldehyde, pesticides and "optical brighteners" that, in reality, just reflect light -- and trigger allergic reactions and faciliate the mutation of certain bacteria. Other hazardous chemicals commonly found in laundry products include asthma-producing quaternary ammonium compounds and alkylbenzene sulfonate, a known liver carcinogen that is easily absorbed through the skin.
There are many more examples, but let's move on...
The Household Cleaning Products Right to Know Act of 2014 was introduced to the House of Representatives in April of 2014 (now identified as H.R. 4476) and was subsequently referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (where it remains as of the time of this writing). The bill would require manufacturers to disclose all ingredients in cleaning products. This is huge! It not only means that you’ll finally get to make informed decisions about the safety of cleaning products, but it will prevent manufacturers from masking certain ingredients by parading them on the label as a fragrance or preservative. You can read the bill in its entirety and track its progress by clicking here.
It's anyone's guess if the bill will eventually pass or if it be tabled, necessitating its re-introduction at a later date. In the meantime, you can promote self-sufficiency, environmental stewardship and practice living a healthier lifestyle by making your own household cleaners and other basic products. You'll also be able to brag to all your friends that your formulas are just as effective as the chemical-laden stuff but cost mere pennies to make.
Let's get started! Here are some resources and recipes to motivate and inspire your green journey.
Look here for DIY recipes for making your own dish soap, laundry soap and more.
Natural Products for Your Green Home
Earth-friendly products that are safe for you and the environment, from organic wine to eco-friendly furniture.
Browse titles dedicated to non-toxic cleaning, natural baby care, making natural cosmetics and more.