It’s Not Easy Staying Green

By: Julie Day

With a move on the horizon, I’ve been doing a lot of work lately to “get back to basics,” getting rid of anything I don’t want to lug around in a box, and man, is there plenty of that! When I first moved into this house, I resolved to bring only healthy, eco-friendly products into my home.

For three years, I lived without paper towels, plastic wrap, window cleaner, or a microwave, and to be honest I felt pretty smug about it! Between my organic natural soap, my vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda, I had a satisfying, sweet-smelling little existence, with plenty of room in the cabinets.

Then – without even realizing it – convenience snuck up on me, and the decision to sell the house has brought a whole new meaning to the word “housekeeping.” Repeated dusting and polishing for prospective buyers led to the purchase of furniture cleaner. Next came hardwood floor polish, then window cleaner, bathroom scrubbers, and air freshener. That was followed by fertilizer and weed killers. Before you know it, my supply cabinet looked like this:

And that’s not even the basement stash – those big jugs of bug spray, industrial cleaners, bleaches, and all those things we add to our collection one greasy bottle at a time. As I look at all this junk, I wonder – what happened?

So, as I pare down my belongings for the move, I’m eager to reacquaint myself with things I understand. Trying to be a conscientious citizen in the modern world of consumer products will drive you nuts, and the so-called “green” products only add a new dimension of bafflement. What IS that stuff, anyway?

Despite the convenience of the spritzes and sprays, I’d like to turn over a new leaf. My natural supplies will have a special box in the moving truck, as will my scrub brush and elbow grease. And the chemicals – with their mysterious ingredients, fumes, and confusing labels – will go on the curb in a box labeled “Free to a Good Home” (that’s how we get rid of things in my neighborhood).

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