Swap chemicals with products found in your pantry
“Getting rid of all toxic cleaning products is the easiest way to get started,” says Lauren Mangion, founder of Conscious Home, a Calgary-based eco-coaching service. “There are affordable, natural alternatives for everything.” Begin by taking a look inside your pantry. Vinegar is 99% as effective as a disinfectant and has amazing cleaning properties when mixed with warm water. It can take the place of an all-purpose cleaner and does a fabulous job on floors. Mix baking soda with water to create a non-toxic paste, which can be used for cleaning kitchens, removing stains in the bathroom and even polishing silverware. Lemon juice is another common cleaning ingredient. It’s a good grease-cutter and had a nice, refreshing scent.
Mix your own cleaning solutions
To cut down on packaging and reduce waste, Lauren buys natural products in bulk and creates her own recipes for cleaning products. Her homemade laundry detergent works like a charm and will allow you to breathe easier in your freshly washed clothing. “Replace chlorine bleach with natural oxygen bleach,” she says. “It works just as well, but is biodegradable and non-toxic.”
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 liquid castile soap
Shake well or mix in a food processor to prevent clumps. Use 1/2 tablespoon per load.
Add 20 to 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load to eliminate dust mites.