Monday, February 16, 2015
How can a product like chlorine bleach be an earth-friendly choice? Bleach is admittedly bad for the health of our waterways and aquatic life. However, a little bit of bleach can go a long way, and if using a small amount of bleach helps me to preserve an item and keep it out of the landfill, then I consider that a significant argument for using it.
For example, I have had the same plastic shower curtain liner for 5+ years. I believe most people replace theirs far more often, but I've been able to keep mine looking new by occasionally spritzing it with a solution of one part chlorine bleach and five parts water, which immediately eliminates any mildew. Likewise, I occasionally bleach my cutting boards to combat hard-to-remove stains. Using this small amount of bleach to reduce my consumption of plastic is worthwhile.
I also keep a stash of specialty cleaners and home care products that I use a few times a year, and will continue to use. Metal polish, wood polish/conditioner and leather conditioner are not always gentle, chemical-free formulations, but when I use them, they are helping to preserve the life of objects I hope to own for decades to come. So, from now on, I won't feel guilty about the jug of bleach lurking amongst all my more virtuous cleansers; it has its place in my sustainable lifestyle.
What about you? Are there a few non-eco products you won't give up? I'd love to hear what products you have decided are worth their negative environmental impact.