Title: [GreenYes] Re: Fwd: [P2] Green cleaning parties
Although I have no connection with anyone in this article, I
am very glad to see more activities like this getting public
attention. However, I might wish to inform that borax, boric
acid, sodium metaborate, and other similar boron compounds are
toxic to plants when discharged. Sensitivity varies depending
on the plant species, but borate concentration in surface
water should be well below 100ppm (0.1g per liter). Borax is a
pretty simple compound that is not decomposed by bacteria used
to treat water by the sewer treatment plant. While borax is an
excellent alkaline agent to incorporate in detergent
formulation, with relatively low toxicity to mammals, I also
believe that other compounds such as sodium carbonate be
considered whenever possible. When sodium carbonate (washing
soda) is too strong for the particular application, it can be
mixed with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) at varying
proportions to adjust the strength of alkalinity (pH).
I may also wish to add that modern laundry detergents use pretty
sophisticated formulation. They may contain compounds with
very long names, some of them are relatively harmless and
provide very useful functions, which I believe helps reduce
overall resource consumption.
One class of agents are called antiredepositioning
agents. These are often cellulose derivatives or water soluble
synthetic polymers. These agents prevent stain that is once
dissolved to the washing water from going back on to the
fabric again. Significant improvement in this area allowed
modern detergents to clean clothes very effectively, using
smaller amount of detergents, and in smaller volume of water,
compared to decades ago. Some of these compounds are also very
effective in protecting the color (dyes used in the fabric)
from fading. Considering that most of the antiredepositioning
agents are harmless and biodegradable, I believe that home
made laundry detergent advocates may want to investigate these
and incorporate them into their formulation.
From: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [GreenYes] Fwd: [P2] Green cleaning parties
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 12:55:07 -0700
> Apologies for Cross-Postings
> >Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:25:22 -0700
> >From: "Kevin I Dick" <email@example.com>
> >To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Subject: [P2] Green cleaning parties
> >This looks like an interesting public outreach and education approach….
> >Green cleaning parties make do-it-yourself easy
> >Green cleaning parties make doing the right thing easy and fun
> >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 table.
> >“That’s for the furniture polish,” replies Sonya
> >Hem, host of this unconventional cooking party.
> >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 supplies.
> >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 stuff.
> >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
> >Kevin Dick
> >Business Environmental Program
> >(775) 689-6677
> >WRPPN is a proud member of P2Rx (<http://www.P2Rx.org>www.P2Rx.org).
> >"Whatever can be counted doesn't always count,
> >and what counts can't always be counted. . ."
> >P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
> Gary Liss
> Fax: 916-652-0485