Friday, April 9, 2010

The Green Clean

You know, in the last few years we have begun to see more and more "green" products on our store shelves. Not that this is a bad thing, on the contrary, I have been very happy to be able to find some products that help me to live more lightly on the planet. However, I do think we have to be careful and not buy something just because it says it's green.

Recently I took a stroll down the cleaning aisle at a local store. I don't go down the cleaning aisle that much anymore because I have found other more natural products to use.  Out of curiosity I stopped to look at some of these so called "green" cleaning products to see if they meet the claim of being green and my own standards for a green product. Now, I expect that if I am going to use a product that is good for the environment that it will be safe for my children and pets. That is if someone happens to chew on a bottle, get some in their eyes, or in their mouth that I won't have to call Poison Control. Not surprisingly, these products all had the same warnings we are all familiar with. You know the ones, don't get in your eyes, avoid contact with skin, etc. So here is my question, what did they do to make these products green and if they are so green why are these warnings on the packages?

I have used some truly safe cleaning products that clean just as well as the commercial stuff if not better. These products are made from natural substances that pose no threat to myself, my family, or any pets that I may have. Not mention they are non-toxic so they are safe to use in a gray water system. Most of these products are available by mail order although some can be found at your local health food store.

So what are these companies doing when they are promoting "green" cleaning products? Yes, they are trying to take advantage of a growing demand for products that are good for the environment but how much of an effort are they really making? Personally, I think it's more green washing than actually trying to create a product that will work and not pollute our ground water. I think many of these companies are counting on the fact that most people will not explore beyond the flashy label whether or not these products are truly safe and good for us. So the next time you need to buy some glass cleaner or bathroom cleaner read your labels and consider if this product really meets the standards you want for yourself and your family. Hold these companies to a higher standard, yours.

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