As the environmental crisis becomes an increasing threat to the well-being of all living things, we the concerned citizens of this planet Earth have taken it upon ourselves to find and implement sustainable ways of living.
Some may call us conscious consumers; others have deemed us victims of green-washing.
Regardless of labels, we the people are taking these actions in the name of prevention. Our actions come from a place of love and good intention, and I applaud each and every one of us who finds the time to take those extra little precautions in making this world a safer place for us all to live.
North American culture has adopted the green mantra, reduce, reuse, recycle, in cultivating a collective effort toward repurposing what already exists. Hence, cutting back on production of what the hip kids call, “dat new-new.”
For the skeptics, the haters, the people who dodge Green Peace warriors at the downtown mall and those among us who don’t worship Rachel Carson (yet), you can’t deny the truth that lies in warmer winters, extreme storms and dwindling species. The aftermath of the industrial revolution. The negative impacts humans have on Mother Nature.
If you’re like me (i.e. you cry when you see people litter and pick up trash for fun), you respect that the mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle has instilled a sense of mindful awareness in a larger audience than the yogic community. In direct relation to our carbon footprint, mindfulness keeps our thoughts present when we participate as consumers in our economy.
What we put into our bodies, what we put on our bodies (the environment that our bodies function in day to day) and the waste that our active bodies produce should all be considered in the name of sustainable and cyclical consumerism.
What we eat, the topical products we use, the clothes we wear, our homes and automobiles, and the general waste that we produce as we go through our daily routine all matter.
The one thing that almost all of these facets have in common is cleaning products. We wash our food. We wash the dishes and surfaces from which we eat our food. We often wash ourselves, and the clothes that we wear. We clean our homes and our automobiles, and the entirety of the cleaning products we use becomes waste in our land, rivers and oceans, once the scum is gone.
A major concern for us as consumers should be the ingredients in our cleaning products, and the effects those ingredients have on our bodies and the environment. Do a little reading, use the natural stuff, and get clean the groovy way, ya dig?!
Below I have included a few basic recipes for cleaning products. They are simply rad and super effective.
Herbal Dishwashing Blend—an earthy fresh fragrance:
Liquid Castile soap
10 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops rosemary essential oil
4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Fill a clean 22-ounce plastic squirt bottle with Castile soap. Add the essential oils. Shake the bottle before each use. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the liquid to dishwater and wash as usual.
2 cups water
2 teaspoons borax
8 drops pine essential oil
4 drops cedar essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Shake before each use. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge. (Don’t be silly and use paper towels! A cloth, rag, t-shirt or sponge will do the job better and can be reused.)
For a full read on the topic, snag yourself a copy of The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier; it’s a staple in my personal library that I reference often.
Side note: If saving the whales was not your first goal in changing your cleaning choices, then I invite you to consider the benefits to you and your community that these choices influence. If you are here out of concern for yourself, a new baby or your family as a whole, you have taken the first step.
Your immediate surroundings are always a priority; thinking of the environment on a global scale oftentimes comes as a later concern, so be mindful.
I would also like to acknowledge that extreme measures need to be taken on an industrial level in genuinely advocating for change and action, but tweaking your individual cleaning habits has a major impact, so kudos to you all!
Author: Jaide Stover
Volunteer Editor: Keeley Milne // Editor: Toby Israel