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Scott BennettAs published by the Brooklin Town Crier - April 9, 2010

by Scott Bennett

Are you ready for spring cleaning? If not, you may be inspired after reading this article. I sat down with Lori Williams recently to talk to her about green cleaning. Lori works from home and, with a busy lifestyle, decided she needed some help cleaning her home. Last summer, Lori hired a friend's daughter to do some cleaning around the house. She requested that Lori provide her with green cleaning supplies. Lori agreed, and in the process, replaced the toxic mix of cleaners under her sink with green cleaning products.

Lori WilliamsWhile Lori was happy with having her home cleaned using green products, by the end of the summer, her friend's daughter was headed back to school. What was next? The Brooklin Town Crier had an advertisement for We're Cleaning Green, a Brooklin-based business owned and operated by Diane Howson. Lori called them up, and after some discussion, hired We're Cleaning Green to clean her home.

"The house smells fresh when they're finished, not like chemicals" described Lori. "You can't even smell it after a while." The most touching part of this story is that Lori had a friend who had been in an accident that left her immobile for several months in her home. Her friend is "very earth sensitive", so Lori recommended We're Cleaning Green to her. Her friend checked them out and decided to use them too. "She didn't have to compromise her beliefs to have someone clean her house," Lori explains.

I had a chance to talk with Diane Howson about her business and to find out more about the green cleaning supplies they use. Diane explained that they tried about a dozen green cleaners, from home-made solutions with vinegar, to commercial green cleaning products. She needed to find cleaners that her employees would be happy with, the customers would be happy with, and that got the job done. In the end, Diane chose the Natura cleaners from Home Hardware. The products work well, and they're made in Burford, so it not only supports our local Home Hardware store, it also supports the Ontario economy.

Green cleaning products have become popular as people start to understand that conventional cleaners can trigger health problems such as asthma. In the case of bathroom cleaners, residue from cleaners with ammonia or glycol ethers can dissolve in shower steam, causing harmful vapours. When cleaners go down the drain, they are treated at a wastewater treatment plant which ultimately can't remove all the chemicals before releasing the treated water into lakes and streams. Green cleaners that are biodegradable will benefit your health and the environment too.

I hope this inspires you to take a step towards a cleaner environment. Follow these links for more information about these green cleaning products or to get recipes for homemade green cleaners. Happy spring cleaning!

For more ideas on how to go green, see our green tips for products and services.