When the sun slants through my dirty windows just right to expose the overwintered cobwebs and accumulated dust, I know it’s time for a good spring cleaning! Fortunately, I have all the ingredients in my house to make my own green cleaners.
‘Green cleaning’, according to Wikipedia, is using products and procedures safe for the environment which don’t emit pollutants - as opposed to ‘green washing’, a marketing spin using green values to deceptively persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly. Green washing uses vague marketing terms like ‘eco-friendly and ‘natural’ even when the products include harmful chemicals.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) household cleaning products rank amongst the most toxic everyday substances to which people are exposed. In order to fully evaluate a cleaning product, you need to know all the ingredients and how they interact with each other. There aren’t federal regulations requiring ingredients to be listed on a product’s containers. Those looking for this kind of information can refer to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) database on cleaners.
Most of the brand name cleaners I grew up with (maybe you too remember the many bottles under the sink with synthetic smells and bright colours?) are rated as toxic. 95% of the chemicals found in those cleaning products are derived from petroleum and have been shown to alter hormones, weakened immune systems, and cause cancer, neurological disorders, learning disabilities, allergies, infertility and asthma. These chemicals persist in nature, remaining capable of harming nature and organisms for generations to come.
Once upon a time, people cleaned their homes without using Nitrilotriacetic acid, Propylparaben, and Butyl benzyl phthalates, and you can, too. In fact, you can clean your house with ingredients you cook with! Most DIY cleaners are made from a combination of lemon, baking soda, corn starch, vinegar, essential oils, salt and olive oil.
I found so many recipes for home-made cleaners that it was hard to choose which ones to share. Here are some basics.
All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
2 L water
Mix in a labelled spray bottle and use where needed. You can add some essential oils if you want a deodorizing effect.
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 rubbing alcohol (optional)
Few drops of essential oil (optional)
Again, label your bottle and keep it out of reach of children. Also for cleaning windows, don’t do it on a hot sunny day as the solution dries quickly and will leave streaks.
A comprehensive list of DIY cleaning ideas can be found at:
Cleaning your home this spring doesn’t have to mean dirtying the planet!
From Waste Manager Mark: Reminder that the depot is now open from Friday 10am-4pm.
Trash Removal System: May 12th, the second Wednesday of the month,10 am until the barge is full is the regular trash removal day at the False Bay barge ramp. Any changes due to weather will be posted on the email list, FB Lasqueti Hotwire, and the Lasqueti website. No construction materials, renovation or demolition waste, prohibited waste, organics, recyclable material or stewardship materials. $5 per bag, $25 per average truckload. Mattresses and boxsprings $15 each. Please call Mark is you have any questions about what constitutes acceptable garbage.
Recycling Depot: Spring/Summer Hours April 1- October 31st
Mondays 10 am - 2 pm, Thursdays 1 - 5 pm, Friday 10 am - 4 pm
Closed on Statutory holidays. All recycling is monitored. Please bring it CLEAN and DRY.
Free Store: Spring/Summer Hours April 1- October 31st
Monday 10 am – 2 pm and Thursday 1 - 5 pm
Please respect the signs. Practice social distancing. Go in the front door and leave through the back. Drop donations during open hours so they can be quarantined.
Ginja requests you drop off outstanding items only i.e. clean, usable clothing and household items. Please, NO food, garbage, recycling, TV’s, soft foam, batteries, electrical devices, mattresses or hazardous materials ie: chemicals, fluorescent light tubes, prescription/non-prescription drugs, or pills in general.
Recycle BC Website:
Return-It Beverage Depot open 24/7 Front left of Free Store. Accepts refundable beverage containers: beer, cider, pop, coconut water cans, boxed wine cartons (leave them intact), water jugs and tetra juice packs. No, milk containers and any kind of glass - please take these to the recycling depot.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions for me and the Let’s Talk Trash team please get in touch! or 8601