Friday, May 6, 2011

From Clean to Green - Part I

We've been trying to green-ify our cleaning supplies over the last few years (yes, it's been that long of a process). I'm the type of person who doesn't like to waste things (have you caught on to that yet?), so in the past, I haven't wanted to get rid of my non-green cleaners before they were finished because I felt like wasting unused product would also be non-green. Does that make sense? Well it makes sense to me but I've recently changed my tune...a little bit. Here are a couple other choices you can make if you're trying to kick your old cleaning habits for something greener:

1) Check out your garbage pick-up services and see if they have any special hazardous waste pick-up days (or a location for drop-off). You can get rid of some of those harsh chemicals without feeling guilty about putting them in the garbage because they will be disposed of properly.

2) Return unused items. Not kidding. Take them back to the store, get a refund, and use that money to invest in something greener.

I haven't used option number 1 (yet) but I have used option 2. Remember my Costo trip from last weekend? Well, on that same trip I returned some non-green cleaning products. Let me introduce you to my former cleaning crutch:
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I've been using these things for years. I love(d) them. But I just couldn't do it anymore, I didn't feel good about it...the harsh chemicals, the waste...I couldn't justify it for myself anymore. So I took them back to Costco and got a refund, no problem. Now I'm just trying to figure out my next move. I'm not ready to give them (the wipes) up completely. I'm totally fine with using a reusable cloth for some things, but for other things (a nasty toilet basin for example), I'm just not ready to part with the wipes. So, here's my dilemma: I want something greener, but not at a price that's going to break the bank. I considered the Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes but I'm really not happy with the price tag or the small amount of wipes included in one container - I don't want to switch to a container that contains less wipes and end up wasting more containers (that's not green either!). And as far as I can tell, the Seventh Generation wipes aren't compostable (or are they?). So, my other choice is Clorox Green Works wipes. Still not happy with the small amount of wipes per container, but these wipes are for sure compostable which I'm totally on board with and the price tag is also a lot easier to swallow.

I'm still hoping for the day when I will walk into Costco and find even more greener cleaning options available (in addition to my laundry and dishwasher detergent). How great would it be to find a greener version of my beloved disinfecting wipes on the shelf, in bulk, and modestly priced? A girl can dream right!? Hopefully when that day comes, the hubby will be at home so he can be spared the embarrassment of my silly overreaction. Haha. In the meantime, I have a decision to make. What's it going to be:
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Or maybe something really cool that I don't even know about (10 points for you if you know that reference, well, maybe not, it's not a very nice movie). Seriously, though, does anyone have an attachment to disinfectant wipes like me and know of a brand that is compostable and affordable?

I'm happy to report that the disinfecting wipes are the last on our list of cleaning supplies that needed to make the switch from clean to green. I'll tell you more about how we made the switch with our other cleaners in Part II...and maybe Part III. It's hard to say how many posts this is going to take ;)

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