Friday, August 28, 2009

Living Naturally - The Power of Green!

Sorting through the confusion of green cleaning products?

Many companies are re-evaluating their product lines to better fit "green" standards.

Watkins didn't know it at the time, but the products that we have been committed to developing and bringing to your family for 140 years are getting a lot of attention and actively sought after by consumers.

Today we have many choices for natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products. How do we weed out the truly natural products from impostors? Lets find out!

What makes a green cleaning product "green?"

At Watkins we have defined green cleaning products as items that use renewable, non-toxic, phosphate-free and biodegradable ingredients. Products that work, but don't create fumes or leave behind residue that may affect the health of your family or impact the environment.

How do "green" cleaners work?

Green cleaners break down dirt and grease using surfactants from natural renewable resources. For example, instead of using ammonia as the active ingredient, Watkins uses natural plant extracts. These active ingredients act like magnets pulling dirt up and away from the surface.

What should we be looking for when we are looking for "green" cleaning products?

Watkins of course! Your first indication that a cleaning product isn't as natural as it could be is the use of colorants or dyes. A neon pink or purple cleaner should send up a red flag. Pay close attention to ingredient decks. These might be an indication that the product isn't as natural as it could be.

How do we know a "green" cleaner is truly not going to harm our environment?

The Clean Water Fund, a non-profit organization, estimates that the average American uses forty pounds of environmentally harmful household cleaners each year. Multiply that number by 245 million Americans and the effects are significant! The important claims to look for with regard to environment are biodegradable and phosphate free. Also steer clear of aerosol cleaners that can deplete the ozone.

What ingredients should we steer clear of?

Watkins has established a freedom code for our Natural Home Care line complete with all the ingredients we steer clear of:

Ammonia Free
Animal Ingredient Free
Benzene Free
Bleach Free
Boron Free
Butyl/Ethyl Cellosolve Free
Diethylene Ether Free
Dye Free
Formaldehyde Free
Isopropanol Free
Kerosene Free
Mineral Spirit Free
Never Tested on Animals
Paraben Free
Petrochemical Free
Phosphate Free
Phosphoric Acid Free
Phthalate Free
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
Sulfuric Acid Free

Environmentally friendly cleaning tips:

  • Cut down on skin irritations by using natural cleaning products on surfaces that will come in direct contact with your skin, upholstery, carpets, and kitchen counter tops.

  • Use a dishwasher detergent that is phosphate-free. Phosphates cannot be removed from water sources with current waste water treatments and end up in fresh water areas.

  • Invest in a quality set of microfiber cloths. Use these instead of paper towels when cleaning to lessen your impact on the environment. Every little effort helps!

  • Dispose of old, toxic cleaners properly. Contact your local recycling center.

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