Clean Air From The Inside Out

BY ON March 28, 2012

Grass growing in a water bottle

I’m not much of a product person, but I spend a lot of time answering questions from people who want advice on what eco-products to buy. Environmentalists are fond of saying that we cannot shop our way out of our current problems. And I agree. But I also know that if we created an army of conscious consumers making better choices if and when they do shop, we’d be in better shape. What you buy isn’t only some materialistic thing; it has the capacity to change the world—especially when it comes to everyday purchases.

Think about it this way. You may have heard that using a so-called green cleaning product can drastically reduce your indoor air pollution. But air doesn’t miraculously stop at your doors or your windows; it flows up, out, and around. So your green all-purpose spray is better for you and yours, absolutely. But it’s also better for your neighbors and their neighbors and so on.

Here’s a quote from Planet Home (which I co-wrote with Seventh Generation co-founder, Jeffrey Hollender) that I think about often:

“What we do inside affects outside air too. Tests show that in cities including Los Angeles, Denver, and Baltimore, household cleaning products, personal care products, paints, and stains are the largest sources of VOCs after cars. The California Air Resources Board estimates that cleaning products are the No. 2 source of VOCS in Los Angeles; in Baltimore they’re No. 4; and in Denver, they’re No. 5.”

Impressive, right?

So if you haven’t switched your cleaners to green versions yet, why not give it a try. There’s no time like the present to join the ripple. For tips on how to read cleaning product labels, click here. Or you can make your own It’s easy, I swear.


Main Photo: Econesting

TOPICS: Pollution, Science