11.12.2009

homemade cleaning products

i've always been a "tree-hugger" since i was a little kid. in fact, when my parents planted a baby tree in front of our home in san angelo, texas, i named it. i did hug it once, but there was a spider on it, so that didn't happen again. when i was five, a sesame street episode told me that when i wasted water, like letting it run while i brushed my teeth, i was taking water from the fish in the ocean who really needed it. and so i never let the water run when i brushed my teeth. i was excited to see this "green" movement start up a few years ago, because i've always cared about the earth, and even though it is a trend, it's a really great trend that is going to impact our world in a positive way.

i was going to write a green post here someday, but i was really inspired to write one tonight and not wait any longer. although i've cared about the earth and felt it was important to do little things like recycle and turn the water off when i brushed my teeth, just recently i feel my journey to understanding the impact our lifestyle has on the earth and actually doing something about it, has started.

it really began when john and i started researching homebirth. we chose homebirth because it was the most natural, safest way to go. i didn't want to have to labor in a bed lying on my back, i didn't want my tiny, vulnerable infant with no immune system to be exposed to drugs like pitocin and pain medication through my bloodstream, i didn't want him taken from me right away to be cleaned off, i didn't want him to sleep in a plastic box, i didn't want him shot with the hep B vaccine or synthetic vitamin k, and i didn't want someone accidentally feeding him formula. through our research, i became a firm believer in doing things as naturally as possible.

now, the more i research, the more it saddens me that our society doesn't know, or doesn't take seriously, the weight of our actions - everyone knows there are pollutants in the air from vehicles and factories, but it's so much more than that.

did you know: that the air inside our own homes is worse than the air outdoors? that most of the ingredients in our cleaning products and food items are not studied extensively, and are deemed safe by the FDA because they are shown to not cause immediate danger? that this could be dangerous because we are consistently exposed to these chemicals/ingredients, and the effects of what is in, on, and around our bodies is cumulative?

green up your cleanup, written by jill potvin schoff says:

"this is what scientists are now calling 'body burden.' americans, today, have hundreds of synthetic chemicals running through our bodies. they are stored in our cells... the EPA estimates that every american has more than 700 pollutants in his or her body. and we have no way of knowing how this kind of chronic, low-dose exposure will affect people over the course of their lives." 

she also points out that when we are cleaning and our throats get scratchy, our eyes water, this is our body telling us to get away quick - but ignore it. because we gotta clean.

it's easy to believe the above statement when you take into account how many of the cleaners you have under your sink right now read "TOXIC" on the bottle. in short, chemicals from our cleaning products permeate our skin, irritate in our lungs, influence the development of our children's immature and vulnerable bodies both neurologically and physically, pollute our air, flow down our sinks and pollute our water, and possibly get into irrigation systems that feed our livestock and water our produce - your food.

although cleaning products have such a negative impact us, and ultimately, the earth (more than i thought, that's for sure), changing our cleaning routine is one of the easiest steps you can take to "going green." when we take care of the earth, we are taking care of our bodies - paying ultimate respect and care to two of the most beautiful things God has gifted us with, and using the many valuable resources he gave us through the earth.

so here's an easy, cheap solution: make your own cleaning products using all natural, everyday ingredients. the only ingredients you'll need are baking soda, borax, vinegar, and maybe some essential oils. you can also use club soda, oxygen bleach (milder and not as toxic as chlorine bleach), kosher salt, and washing soda (like baking soda, but stronger, and not as easy to find). the first time i purchased ingredients for making our own cleaning products, it cost $25, and the most expensive purchase was lavender oil and teatree oil, which were $10 and $8 respectively. these ingredients will take care of every day cleaner, carpet powder, glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, disinfectant, soap scum remover, and way more than i could even list.

if you think that this sounds less, well, clean, think again. did you know that vinegar kills 99% of germs it comes in contact with? and that baking soda and club soda have strong stain and grime cleaning power? and that lavender and teatree oils also have disinfecting properties? people want quick and easy, and that's where commercial cleaning products come in. but not without harmful chemicals. making your own cleaners works just as well, if not better, and is safe for you and your children, and is a lot less expensive. consider making your own products. your body will thank you.

here are some sources to get you started. if you don't want to spend money, i can give you some recipes as well, but i'm not going to post them here because most of them came from the book. email/message me on facebook and i will give you some pointers and answer some questions if you have any. :)


a great forum where crunchy mamas talk about natural living.
many share their cleaning recipes and tips. this website is truly a lifesaver!


great book with facts, recipes, tips, and a solution for any household clean-up job.

1 comment:

  1. It was such a beautiful sweet baby shower, and you looked so very cute! :) congrats again!! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you!

    ReplyDelete

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