Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Green laundry products

One thing we all do, and do LOTS, over the course of our lives, is laundry. That's a lot of water, and a lot of chemicals, we use and re-use. It stands to reason, that this is one easy way to reclaim respect for the world around us, and a way to conserve our precious natural resources.

Most people think nothing about it. We've always bought Tide, Gain, whatever is on sale, and as long as it SMELLED good and cleaned those ketchup or grass stains reasonably well, it could be trusted, right? Think again. Most major brands don't list ingredients. Sure, it's a "trade secret", perhaps. That, and they don't want you to know what nasty chemicals are soaking into your skin every day. Nor what dangerous pollutants are being sent into our water supplies. Toxic, carcinogenic, you name it, it's often there. For more information on the actual ingredients in most laundry detergents, check this:

Laundry detergent ingredients info

If you're like me, it's enough to make you consider some healthier, more natural alternatives. There are already a steadily-growing number of brands marketing more "eco-conscious" products. I see Seventh Generation and Method products in mainstream stores, but they do seem quite pricey to my single-homeowner micro-budget. I also see Purex and Arm & Hammer nestling in on the "natural" bandwagon, and they are more affordable. The Purex (green bottle) is fine, and supposedly free of many of the petrochemicals of the bigger brands, but doesn't seem to do as well with the cleaning. I like Arm & Hammer's Essentials (also in the green bottle), which is touted as using "100% natural surfactants", no petroleum-derived ingredients, etc. The "mountain rain" scent is appealing to me, it uses real baking soda (one of the natural miracle household cleaners) and I feel like I'm helping, in whatever small way, to prevent nonrenewable petroleum products and harmful chemicals from leaching into our environment.

Anybody have anything pro or con to say about Arm & Hammer Essentials or any other "natural"-oriented brands?

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