Green Up Your Cleanup
Choose eco-friendly disinfectants, Deirdre Imus advises, and youll hit the trifecta: help the earth, spruce up your house and yes! save money
Deirdre Imus experienced a wake-up call when she glanced at the labels of the cleaning products used in the hospital center she founded for kids with cancer, the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology in Hackensack, N.J. Many contained ingredients suspected of causing illnesses including cancer!
I knew my first step was to green such an important place of healing and then bring those same tactics into my own home, recalls the wife of former radio personality Don Imus and mother of 8-year-old Wyatt. Her next step was writing the book Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning, which tells the rest of us how to detoxify our cleaning routines. Here, her strategy:
1. Simplify Your SuppliesLook under your kitchen sink, or wherever it is you store your cleaning products. You probably own a bunch of different things that tackle a myriad of specific tasks. In reality, you dont need a separate cleaner for every job. Streamlining your supplies will help you keep track of what you are using in your home and will also save you cash.
2. Go SlowYou dont have to toss out every product and start from zero, says Deirdre. Start by swapping just one household cleaning product for a natural one, which will seriously reduce the level of toxins in your home. Then gradually switch to other ecologically sound cleaners over time. In addition to her own Imus GTC product line, Deirdre says that Bi-O-Kleen, Ecover, Seventh Generation, Earth Friendly, Sun & Earth and Planet are all reliable cleaners with low levels of toxicity.
3. Check the FridgeCleaning green doesnt mean you have to invest in pricey organic cleaners. Your home is already full of earth-friendly cleaning products you might just not know it yet! See our list on the next page of products you can take right from the pantry or fridge to your cleaning caddy. If a substance is safe to eat, its safe to clean with.
4. Waste Not!Avoid purchasing premoistened cleaning wipes and mops that have disposable cloths, since they are incredibly wasteful products. Instead, reuse old rags, towels or yellowed T-shirts for cleaning. Another great option is the microfiber cloths that clean any surface and are available at most grocery stores.
Next page: Your all-natural cleaning crew