Clear Tip of the Week
maidThe STUFF-ication series sponsored by Multnomah County was a great success. People from St. John's to Woodstock and from 18 to 80, showed up to learn how to get unstuffed! I'll be featuring some of the popular guestions and answers from those seminars in Clear Tips. Starting today with this one:
Q: How do I know which cleaning products are safe to use and which are toxic? 
A: Choose your cleaning products just as you choose your food: check the label and stay close to source. Look for biodegradable, eco-friendly, organic and made with renewable energy. Don't be fooled by the word "natural" which isn't always accurate as it's not regulated or "unscented" which can contain chemicals that mask odors. Look for phosphate, chlorine, petrochemical free. Believe it or not, there are lots of earth friendly choices out there and at reasonable prices.
For Homemade Cleaners (always on my shelf): baking soda, vinegar, lavender essential oil and flower buds, orange essential oil. Simple and effective staples for household cleaning and useful in lots of ways. Baking soda is great for cleaning everything from teapots to tile grout. Put some on a toothbrush for hard to reach corners or tiny spaces. Mix with lavender buds and sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming.  Orange oil works wonders on wood surfaces. Find more suggestions and recipes for non-toxic cleaners, as well as as a list of what to use when, at Eartheasy.
soap If you prefer Store Bought Products, here are a few that I like: Sunflower Suds foaming hand/body soap. You can get the refill liquid in bulk and save over 50% ($4.99 lb. vs. $12 lb.) I like the Clary Sage & Fir scent but there are lots to choose from. Produced locally by Oregon Soap Company. OSC also makes some great bath bars like Lavender & Rosemary. Find their products in most healthy choice grocer aisles and in bulk at New Seasons. You can also view/order on line at Oregon Soap Company.
biokleenLaundry soaps and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products found in homes today. Here are just a few of the chemicals found in dryer sheets: * Benzyl Acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer * Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant * Ethanol: On the EPA Hazardous Waste list and capable of causing central nervous system disorders * A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage * Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list. If you have these at home - get rid of them! There are friendly alternatives including lavender dryer sheets by True Green. For washing clothes, I like biokleen's liquid concentrate with grapefruit seed and orange peel. You can also find it in bulk.
Keeping your home clean and toxic free is the first step in creating a clear place. Be mindful of what you are using and how it effects the earth. As always, thank you for your efforts!
The present is more powerful and precious than the past can ever be.

 - from the teachings of Eckhart Tolle

lightsWhere's Ms. Green?
Wrapping up phase one of the hoarding clean-out;
working on a townhome redesign;
and helping a single mom find her space.
Watch for Before & After coming soon!
back garden     Did you miss last week's Clear Tip?
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 Portland, Oregon and beyond