"All natural." Wonderful. This one goes into the shopping cart.
But wait...is that such a good idea? Trusting a phrase like "all natural" could actually be deadly. After all, arsenic is all natural
! And natural doesn't necessarily mean eco-friendly either. As I keep saying, label-reading is a necessity these days, but first you have to know what key terms/words/phrases to look for. Here are just a few terms to look for that are a bit more specific than "all natural:"
- plant-based (I know, plants are always safe, either)
- readily biodegradable
- free of dyes
Another thing you can look for on a label is this symbol on the right. When something is marked DfE, it means the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has given it a thumbs up as a safer, greener cleaner.
Of course, if you've been following the blog for very long, you know I'm a huge proponent of developing your own natural cleaning products (just check out a few Vinegar Fridays' posts)! I mean, why choose "lemon-scented" when you can use real lemons? And did you ever wonder exactly what it was that created the "lemon scent?" In most cases, scents in traditional cleaning products, whether they're lemon, pine or that ever popular "fresh" scent, are derived from toxic chemicals. Did you really think there was a pine forest in that bottle?! Of course, you didn't. Fragrance-free is generally the better option.
Same goes for all the stuff that makes your house smell fresher. They're toxic, folks. Whether you opt for aerosol sprays (no comment) or energy-sucking plug-in or battery operated fresheners, the bottom line is they're just not healthy! Sprinkling baking soda on your carpet or upholstery before vacuuming can freshen your home the natural and safe way.
I hope these suggestions can help to guide you to a greener and healthier home. A little bit at a time....