No matter what you’re cleaning around the house— dishes, clothes, furniture, or even your pooch—you’re using potentially harmful chemicals. Conventional household cleaners often contain chemical cleaning agents that do not easily break down at sewage treatment plants after they are washed down the drain. And once they go down the drain, they end up in natural waterways where they can affect the reproductive systems of fish, birds and mammals.
Be sure to factor in water and energy use when you clean, too. Those stained pants will end up in a load of laundry that consumes energy to heat the water. The national laundry load amounts to 35 billion home laundering cycles per year, each draining approximately 40 gallons of water per load. And your dishes gulp 9 to 12 gallons if cleaned in a dishwasher, while hand-washing requires around 20 gallons.
You’re in luck, however, because most of our GY Housekeeping tips are simple habits or alternative products that will save the earth’s resources while saving you money. For example, make your own household cleaning supplies using inexpensive ingredients, such as baking soda, that you already have around the house. Or, instead of taking that silk blouse to the dry cleaners, trying wearing it a second time before you use home dry cleaning kits that avoid perc, the potentially dangerous chemical solvent. For more helpful tips that will green your house clean, visit these pages: