Sunday, May 24, 2009

Not going green any time soon.

In an effort to sanitize out my new (old) husband's bachelor pad and turn it Our Home again, I've been buying a ton of cleaning supplies for our house-cleaner to use (notice, I did not say I would be cleaning it myself. That's because I won't be). We're talking a full range here, hardwood floor cleanser, dusting spray, toilet bowl cleanser, tile and tub cleanser, glass cleaner, oven cleaner, all-surface cleaner, etc. I've noticed that all the major brands now have a "green" alternative. That is, and please correct me if I get this wrong, a cleanser that is friendlier and safer for the environment. Right.

I noticed right off that green cleansers are consistently more expensive than their non-green counterparts. Interesting. To me, "green" means not being wasteful.

I was curious. I bought two...a green glass cleaner and a green hardwood floor cleaner. We have a dog who spends a lot of time on the floor, so it seemed like a good area to test out. I noticed that neither cleanser worked very well at all. As a matter of fact, they just didn't work. The green glass cleaner didn't contain ammonia, so it left most of the dirt behind in a streaky mess, and the floor cleaner, well, just didn't work at all, and smelled funky.

So does going green mean sacrificing efficiency and utility for the sake of Mother Earth? I ended up returning the glass cleaner and throwing out the floor cleaner (so much for reducing waste). Until they make green versions that work and are cost-effective, I'm not on board. To me, going green means passing on something for which you no longer have any use to someone else who will (see my post on gemachs and freecycle), re-using something when it's still old but still functional, and not spending money on stupid things. I do believe in respecting our environment, i.e. don't throw trash on the street, and don't destroy things that don't need to be destroyed.

The rest, frankly, is all a lot of hype.

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