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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Ask EPPC: Which cleaning products are safe for human health and the environment?

Editor’s note: The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) is an ASUCD commission that works to create a more environmentally sustainable campus.

Which cleaning products are safe for human health and the environment?

Before you start your spring-cleaning, take a closer look at thecleaning products that you are using. Your household products maycontribute to nonpoint source pollution of our local waters. Some cleaners contain phosphate, for example, which can contribute to eutrophication of rivers and lakes, depleting them of life sustaining oxygen.

The most sustainable and inexpensive cleaning products are ones that you can make at home.

All-purpose cleaner: Buy a spray bottle and fill it with one partwater to one part vinegar. This can be used to wash windows andmirrors. Simply crumple some newspaper (an old issue of The Aggie!) from your recycling bin to wipe surfaces.

Bathroom Cleaner: One and two-thirds cups of water, one-fourth cup of liquid soap, one-fourth cup baking soda, two tablespoons vinegar and add an optional few drops of essential oil to make it smell nice. Add soap to water. Once dissolved, stir in baking soda and add vinegar. This can also be stored in a bought spray bottle; just shake and use!

Drain Cleaner: Gather one-half cup baking soda, one cup white vinegar, one gallon boiling water and one tablespoon of lemon juice. If you have slow drains, use this green cleaner once a week to keep them unclogged. Simply pour the baking soda down the drain or disposal and follow with vinegar. Allow the mixture to foam for several minutes before flushing with boiling water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved some manufacturers to put the official Design for the Environment logo on their products if they meet stringent criteria for human andenvironmental health.

Design for the Environment products can be found on the EPA’s website: epa.gov/dfe/index.htm

Send your questions for EPPC to margaret.link@gmail.com.

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