What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Yikes! We've been greenwashed!

We've finally been doing some research into the supposedly "Green" soaps we've been using in our laundry and kitchen sink. We are very disappointed in ourselves that we waited this long to do the research, but most of all in the corporations that have duped us into thinking we were making a better choice with their products. Perhaps they are better than Tide or Palmolive but they are still not good enough! With every day I grow more and more distrustful of corporations, but in this case I really should have known better than to trust in the first place.

The Seventh Generation products contain biocides and neurotoxins as preservatives as well as boric acid, and the ECOS product we just bought contains anionic surfactants that are negatively implicated in immune system response and allergies.  This of course begs the question, are these chemicals being removed at the sewage treatment plant, or are they being dumped into the lake to be returned to us in our drinking water?

Looks like we will be making our own cleaning products once we have used up this toxic stuff and will certainly no longer be putting the gray water from the laundry or kitchen on our landscape until it is gone. We will also try using Dr. Bronners for more of our household cleaning jobs as we are comfortable, at this point, with putting that on the garden until we can get the research done. As far as the drinking water goes we will have to wait until the rainwater harvesting system goes in and has been tested. We hope that this will prove the cleanest and cheapest source of water available.


JillGee said...


Really like your blog. My permaculture friends have highly recommended Oasis soap products for grey water systems. Here's a link:



C Robb said...

Yes that soap and dr Bronners seem to be the most commonly mentioned options. Thanks for the recomendation.

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justdorkin said...

you talk about making your own cleaning products is there a place to get a recipe for the natural cleaing products that you would make?

C Robb said...

There are loads of sites you can go to for recipes. Vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda seem to make up the bulk of them.
Try this one:
Thanks for stopping by.

JLBNewton said...

I had no idea. I thought Seventh Generation was the good stuff. I've made my own laudry detergent before and it works great. Thank goodness for Dr. Bronner's soaps.

C Robb said...

Would you care to share your recipe for laundry detergent with us? It is always good to hear from someone who did it and found it successful.
Thanks for the comment.

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Anonymous said...

Hey Robb, now you have your rainwater system installed, have you made any decisions regarding soaps? I'd be interested to know what you've settled on. Love from sunny Cornwall. Dave

C Robb said...

Yes Dave, sort of. We use Dr Bronners Castille soap for body, and we make our own dish and laundry soaps by the batch. Recipes abound online, much cleaner, no neurotoxins, but we still don't feel comfortable using it on the garden without live filtration, yet to be enacted.