May 30, 2008

ele:STAFF PICKS – Eco Cleaning Products

U R WHAT YOU CLEAN WITH > via Heather Mueller


Seventh Gen is the sweet hippie of cleaning products—animal-loving (no testing), devoted to recycling (all packaging is made from at least 25% post-consumer content), with no guilty secrets to hide (unlike other “eco” brands, they disclose their full ingredient list.) While their dish soaps, detergent and all-purpose cleaners smell nothing like the pine-scented, chlorine-infused variety (in fact, the Free & Clear brand smells like nothing at all!), they’re just as effective, though sometimes require a bit more elbow grease. I often let my dishes soak in a squirt of soap and hot water before scrubbing, and pour an extra helping of detergent onto tough stains before throwing clothes into the wash. 

KITCHENSINK WISDOM > via Katya Slivinskaya

Ironically, the products we’ve been using to wipe our countertops have left a lasting, fluorescent footprint in our landfills. But when a good friend graciously tossed me a (plastic-free, biodegradable) pack of Twist’s Loofah Sponge #50, I was reminded that a green revolution could be an opportunity to redesign our stuff aesthetically as well as ethically. Best of all, Twist makes sure that 99.97% of their waste is reused in production, and their raw materials are sourced from renewable tree farms. To a global community that’s been sweeping our trash under the rug for too long, excitement over doing the dishes is an unexpected, welcome step toward growing up a little.


I hate to be the bearer of green-lite tidings, but according to cosmeticdatabase.com and treehugger.com, Method is better than conventional cleaners (and certainly cooler, design-wise) but may use some toxic chemicals. So, out of 10 on the I’M-OKAY-WITH-THIS-STUFF-ON-MY-SKIN-and-IN-OUR-WATERSHED ecometer, I’ll give it an eight. Great for office/restaurant bathrooms—but when it comes to family and pets,
I’ll personally stick with 7th Gen, Pangea, Weleda, Ecover, Aubrey and Dr. Bronner’s until Method comes clean—and lists their ingredients on the side of each product. That’s right, that’s a challenge—from David (ele) to Goliath (Method).


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