|Good green laundry aids are the exception, not the rule.|
- Phthalates ("fragrance") are a family of chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system, the system that produces our hormones and controls our reproductive systems. Phthalates can cause a laundry list-- pardon the pun-- of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cancer, and reduced sperm count. (More info.)
- Phenols are neurotoxins used to cover smells, including the gross smells of the other chemicals that are in cleaning products. They attack the central nervous system, heart, blood vessels, lungs, and kidneys. Guess what: They're in lots of "unscented" cleaning products too! (More info.)
To say this is funked up, would be an understatement. That's why it's so important to decide to not to be powerless. Here are a few things you can do:
- Limit your exposure to toxic chemicals by choosing natural products as often as possible. SafeMama has a lovely cheat sheet that can make it easier to make healthier consumer choices in the laundry aisle.
- If green detergent is too pricey, still invest in green detergent but do laundry less frequently. If you shower, use a good deodorant (I like vodka), and air your clothes out between wears, you'd be surprised how long you can go without washing, especially skirts.
- If you need to save more money, powdered detergent is usually less expensive. Bonus: it comes in eco-friendlier cardboard packaging! I also hear great things about soap nuts.
- Spread the word. Share this blog post using the buttons below. Be a helpful, smart eco-fairy at the laundromat and in the supermarket. Don't feel like an ass. You're helping people!
- Reach out to the folks in government who represent you. Plastic Albatross has lots of helpful links to assist you in asking for policy reform.
Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.