Living Green in Skokie
If you are like most families you probably have an assortment of cleaning products, scrubbers and sprays. But according to Seventh Generation, the nation's leading brand of non-toxic and environmentally safe household products, the average household contains anywhere from 3 to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are cleaners.
No law requires cleaning product manufacturers to list ingredients on their labels or to safety test their products. But with a little time, organization and attention to product labels, you can have a healthy, complete and efficient collection of cleaning products that will not only help keep your house clean but help reduce indoor air pollution. Working to eliminate these ingredients from your household cleaning products will help decrease air pollution, increase air quality and promote a better environment and ecosystem.
To rid your house of toxic cleaning products, begin by reading each cleaning product and looking for labels which say 'warning', 'danger', or 'poison.' Do not dispose of these products by pouring them down your drain or by placing in your garbage bin. Rather, take them to a chemical waste collection event, such as those provided by the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC). For more information, visit the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County page.
When re-stocking cleaning products, try to buy products that list natural ingredients on the label and purchase cleaners containing non-petroleum based surfactants that are chlorine and phosphate free and that are 'non-toxic' and biodegradable. Additionally, there are many household ingredients that make cleaning both healthy and environmentally safe.
For example, mixing one teaspoon of lemon juice in one pint of vegetable oil makes a great alternative to furniture polish. Baking soda also makes a great deodorizer and cleaner. Combined with water, baking soda is an oven cleaner, sink and drain deodorizer and carpet freshener!
For more information on the Village of Skokie Environmental Practices Committee, visit the Skokie website and for more green tips and chemical waste disposal information, visit Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County.