Friday, August 12, 2011

Let's Go Clean Green

My Joey cat is practically purrfect in every way. When I get up
in the morning he greets me with the ardor of a pre teen at a Justin
Bieber concert. At night he sits on my lap while I knit. And any
moment in between he's there for me.
Sometimes,though, Joey takes it into his head to destroy a piece
of furniture by clawing. Once when a sofa was under siege the hubby
brought home an aerosol can of something designed to keep pets off
stuff. I tried it once. Joey responded with the full bodied growl/
hiss usually reserved for hypodermic wielding vets. From then on just
the sight of the can elicited this response.
I was puzzled. The can shows a healthy looking cat and dog.
But when I read the cautions more can't even throw the
can away if it contains some product...and I was using it in my home!
I kept the cat, banned the can.
If you've had a similar dilemma or are just concerned about your
home environment you'll find The Complete Guide to Eco-Friendly House
Cleaning by Anne B. Kocsis to be a truly valuable reference book.
Kocsis had me from hello, starting her book with my favorite Erma
Bombeck quote: "Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.".
Sadly, there's more than a grain of truth in that. A lot of products
that unclog our drains, remove Fido's fleas, and get rid of that pesky
static cling contain carcinogens and other nasty stuff and can do harm
to us and our animal companions.
Ironically, even those of us who are aware of environmental
dangers of corporate practices in the big world can vary in our
enlightenment when it comes to products we use in our homes. Drain
cleaner and toilet bowl drop ins scared me out of my wits. But I
still put fabric softener sheets on the shopping list. And companies
can make creating a safe home environment really confusing. Sensing
our desire for green products, some have engaged in deceptive
practices--making products that are anything but appear to be
environmentally friendly.
Fortunately some firms are coming out with truly green
products. And there are basic substances and objects in your home
that can save money as well as being safer. But there are so many
things we use daily to clean our homes, clothes, and pets--locating
and replacing the bad stuff can seem overwhelming.
Now this is where the book comes in. Kocsis began her research
because her family got sick too often. The information she gleaned
made marked improvements in their health. And she dispenses it in
highly readable, well-organized sections.
Chapters one and two give the low down on some pretty nasty chemicals
that may be lurking in your home.
Chapters three to five give you safer options.
Chapters six and seven give manageable starting points for changing
your home cleaning system.
Chapters eight through twelve, my favorites, give you room by room
And the rest of the book covers special situations like pet care and
laundry stain removal.
If you want your home to be a less hazardous place buy the
book. Even if you don't decide to follow the program, it's an
invaluable resource for those inevitable household predicaments...
like keeping a cat from shredding a piece of furniture.
On a personal note: Joey is a radiantly healthy eight-year-old
cat who will celebrate his adoption day next month.
Coming attractions: Fiction. I promise.
A big shout out goes to Joey and all the other wonderful animal
companions who do so much to enrich our lives. I think it is totally
cool that a portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to
the Humane Society. :-)
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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