Apologies for Cross-Postings
13 Jun 2008 11:25:22 -0700
From: "Kevin I Dick" <email@example.com>
Subject: [P2] Green cleaning parties
This looks like an
interesting public outreach and education approach?.
Green cleaning parties
make do-it-yourself easy
parties make doing the right thing easy and
Kerlin, Reno News and Review, June 12, 2008
Hands reach across a table
for vinegar, borax and lemon essential oil in a Northwest Reno
backyard. Parmesan-like flakes of soap are grated into a measuring cup,
and baking soda bubbles over in vinegar. Mason jars are given name tag
labels: Hello! My Name Is All-Purpose Cleaner.
?What?s the olive oil for??
asks Christi Cakiroglu, gesturing to the industrial-sized tub on the
?That?s for the furniture
polish,? replies Sonya Hem, host of this unconventional cooking
Everything on the table cost a
total of about $100, and it?s enough for 10 people to each make a batch
of laundry detergent, creamy soft scrub, furniture polish, all-purpose
cleaner and drain opener. Party-goers throw in $5 or $10 for
Hem discovered the Green
Cleaning Party kit online and decided to hold a party in her home. The
kit, offered through Women?s Voices for the Earth, comes with a video,
recipes, labels and an informational booklet about throwing your own
party. The simplicity of homemade cleaners and reduced chemicals appeals
to Hem, who works for the Nevada Land Conservancy.
?A lot of these things are
things our grandmothers used,? Hem says.
According to the Green
Cleaning Party booklet, conventional laundry detergent costs about 48
cents per load, whereas the homemade version is 13 cents per load. The
homemade creamy soft scrub, which is used like Comet cleaner, costs 78
cents compared to $3.69 for the same amount of the conventional
The group piles into Hem?s
house for the 5-10 minute video. It explains how popular, store-bought
cleaners have been linked to asthma in cleaning employees and lower sperm
counts, reduced fertility and lower birth weight in mice.
?And that?s why I?m here,?
says Alison Gaulden, vice president of public affairs for Planned
Parenthood. She?s concerned about reports that link problems with women?s
reproductive health and widespread chemical use.
?It?s kind of telling that all
of the cleaning products are considered hazardous waste,? says Cakiroglu,
who works for Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.
Ingredients are not listed on
conventional store-bought products. The only way to know what?s really in
your cleaner is to make it yourself. So it?s outside to the table full of
cleaning ingredients, and the group gets to it. In less than an hour,
eight people have made five different cleaners.
Julie Rexwinkel works for the
state Department of Corrections, which has been discussing ways to cut
the budget. She wonders if the cheaper, homemade cleaners could save them
money if made available to its cleaning staff. Before this party, she
says, ?I hadn?t even thought about the cleaning product thing.?
Becky Stock, also of the
Nevada Land Conservancy, says she?d been buying ready-made, all-natural
cleaning products but was discouraged by their prices, which were higher
than conventional products. She?d had recipes for natural cleaners for
years but never got around to making them until this party.
?I had the information but
never made the effort,? she says. ?She [Hem] made it so easy.?
Hem had made her own glass cleaner a couple years ago and was impressed
that it was so cheap. ?Often, when you want to do something
environmental, it costs more,? she says. ?Here, you can do the right
thing, and it costs less.?
For information on hosting your own Green Cleaning party, visit
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