Photo: Keep toxins out of the water...and us!

Keep toxins out of nature...and us! (Credit: Peter Dutton via Flickr)

What goes down the drain, goes into the water!

Whether it goes down the kitchen sink, the laundry and bathroom drains, gets flushed down the toilet, or goes down the storm sewer on your street, it all ends up in our lakes, rivers and oceans. And because everything is connected, eventually, it evaporates, comes down as rain, and gets taken up by plants and other living things — including you and your family.

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Why the grade five science class refresher? It's all about cleaning!

Some of the most common and most concerning ingredients in household cleaners are reported to be "persistent in the environment" — with devastating effect.

Fragrance (a.k.a. parfum), for example, refers to some combination of 3,000 chemical ingredients. Among the most common:

  • Diethyl phthalate, a substance that makes scent linger — linked to early puberty in girls, reduced sperm count in men and reproductive defects in the developing male fetus, and listed as a priority toxic pollutant under the U.S. Clean Water Act.

Protecting our oceans and invaluable marine habitat is a daunting task that requires a comprehensive strategy. Luckily, Canadians are up to the challenge! More than three-quarters (78 per cent) recently indicated they would support all levels of government in "investing more to meet the goal of protecting 10 per cent of Canada's marine areas by 2020."

That's great news. And with the good work being done on initiatives like the Marine Protection Plan, we could see that goal realized sooner rather than later.

But we don't have to invest more — or wait for government or policy — to do the right thing for 100 per cent of our water right now.
It's as simple as cleaning with vinegar!

By choosing to make effective non-toxic cleaners, or buy products without chemicals of concern, you can take important steps in keeping toxins out of the water...and out of us!

Share your favorite green cleaning tip for a chance to win an all natural bubble bath courtesy of Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Because after you #GreenSpringClean, you deserve a soak!

Tovah Paglaro, Queen of Green

April 16, 2013

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Mar 24, 2016
10:40 AM

Please everyone. Go back to cleaning with vinigar lemon juice . This madness must stop.

Jul 14, 2013
8:11 AM

Great article..on that subject, a little known fact about cleaning product choices, are ENZYME based solutions soneffective, its what medical labs use to clean instruments. ENZYME solutions are actually quite natural, ph neutral, safe yet extremely powerful.

It can be made at home also

Apr 18, 2013
10:09 AM

My tip is to clean with vinegar that has been mixed with orange peels and left on the counter for 2 weeks. Smells better than vinegar alone :)

Apr 18, 2013
9:49 AM

“And because everything is connected, eventually, it evaporates, comes down as rain, and gets taken up by plants and other living things — including you and your family.”

That’s simply factually incorrect. Chemistry doesn’t care if “everything is connected”, many things do not evaporate (eg: mercury), and once in the air, many things do not come down as rain (eg: CFCs).

And since it seems to be the basis for you argument, it makes the whole piece look off base. Please try harder to get your facts right.

Apr 17, 2013
7:51 PM

Bluewonder cloths truly are a wonder… we use them to clean all the glass, metal, tile and lacquer surfaces at home. No chemicals, just hot water and that wonderous blue cloth!

Apr 17, 2013
3:16 PM

I use vinegar

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