Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Day One: Green Living column goes national! July 17, 2009

You already know about my Parenting column in the L.A. Edition of Well, I’m so proud to announce today that I am officially writing a Green Living column for’s National edition! It’s easy to subscribe: I’ll be offering tips on living greener, more affordably—and sensibly chic!

You can read it here! Excerpts from my inaugural column are posted below. Be sure to check out my Top Picks for Natural Beauties. In the coming week, I’ll be writing about revolutionizing your approach to beauty, with your health, your radiance, and the environment in mind!

6 Biodegradable Cleansers Go for a Test-run

A simple change in cleaning product is a painless way to help the environment while safe-guarding your family’s health; Across the board, prices compare to leading brands. Best of all, your home will be clean and smell wonderful.

Here is a short-list of popular natural cleaning brands, including company info and consumer reviews. If your favorite is missing, please comment with your suggestions (including specific product type—window cleaner, all-purpose spray, detergent, etc.)

This company boasts a wide range of hard-working products, each with a spa-inspired scent, including cucumber, lavender, grapefruit, green tea, magnolia and almond. Co-founded by Adam Lowry, a chemical engineer from Stanford and environmental scientist, Method products are biodegradable, made from recyclable packaging and are not tested on animals. The cleaners are made with naturally derived surfactants (the active cleaning agents in a product) and work by absorbing dirt rather than chemically degrading it.

Ecos Earth Friendly Products
Founded in 1993, Ecos’ Earth Friendly Products offers 60 household products, an industrial/bulk Pro-Line, and a Natural Pet Care line. Earth Friendly Products promises a “power-packed clean” without toxins, petrochemicals, bleach, ammonia, phosphates or other harmful ingredients. The products are plant-based, have pH in the neutral range, are biodegradable and septic safe. If you demand a clean home, Ecos products may be just the ticket. While not all alternative cleansers are created equal, Earth Friendly Products truly deliver.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds 
An Escondido, Calif. company in business over 50 years, Dr. Emanuel Bronner created his liquid and bar soaps organically with essential oils. A third-generation master soap-maker from Heilbron, Germany, Bronner was heir to the family’s soap factory and business, but rebelled and came to the U.S. in the late 1920s.

The company’s only household cleanser—Sal Suds—is one extremely multi-purpose product. Sal Suds is a balanced formulation, certified organic, never tested on animals, biodegrades rapidly and is packaged with 100% post-consumer recycled material. It is probably the most cost-effective choice available, as it is highly concentrated and works on virtually every surface in every room of the house, including dishes, floors, laundry and even heavy-duty grease-cutting jobs. One product, many uses; the convenience and cost-effectiveness alone make it worth a try.

Made from plant-based surfactants with natural spruce and fir-needle oils, Sal Suds is a powerful cleaning solution, yet is mild and gentle on the skin and is equally effective in hard or soft water, rinsing freely, hot or cold. Sal Suds is not soap-based and is formulated especially for all-purpose hard-surface cleaning.

Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation offers a large and diverse range of household products, including Free and Clear allergen-free products and baby, pet and paper products. Against animal testing, Seventh Generation designed its line of cleansers based on a commitment to both the environment and the necessity to protect ourselves from cancer-causing toxins. Seventh Generation’s vegetable-based cleaners are made from a renewable resources and therefore save petroleum, do not contain fluorescent chemicals or phosphates which don’t readily biodegrade and are often toxic to aquatic life. They are also are chlorine-free. Chlorine bleach creates dangerous toxins such as dioxin, furans and other organochlorines. Countless studies show a direct link between dioxin exposure and cancer, birth defects and developmental and reproductive disorders.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day aroma-therapeutic household cleansers offer a breath of fresh air. Or rather, a breath of your choice of lavender, lemon verbena or geranium. The scents are so appealing, I actually feel pretty while I’m cleaning, an unexpected reaction to a cleanser. The geranium scent is very rose-y to my nose, and it evokes images of vacationing in some lovely cottage in the south of France while I’m wiping down the bathroom sink—not too shabby “aroma-therapy.”

Attractive packaging and luscious scents highlight these hard-working, biodegradable cleaning supplies free of solvents, phosphates, ammonia, chlorine and artificial colors. In addition, most Clean Day products have a near neutral pH, making them safe for skin contact. Made with essential oils, Mrs. Meyer never tests on animals.

Ecover offers household and laundry products including dish and dishwasher detergent, multi-surface and toilet cleaners, and a full range of laundry products. Over and over, I hear that is impossible to find a dishwasher detergent that is comparable to, say, Cascade. Well, Ecover is the answer to that conundrum. Both the powder and tablets are unsurpassed. The box holding the product is made of 95% recycled cardboard and the little plastic wrappers are made from polypropylene and are 100% recyclable.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Keep up with my Green Living column, or follow me on Twitter! @RebeccaLacko

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