Saturday, September 12, 2009

Part two…of Hmmm…I don’t think so.

Company X is trying to convince consumers to buy their new "green" product while at the same time continuing to produce, advertise, and sell their bleach. I doubt the authenticity of XXXXX XXXXX. They are running an ad that addresses only one factor which suggests "greenness"--made with plant-based cleaners. Are all the ingredients plant-based? Is the product biodegradable? Phosphate-free? Is it in concentrate form to minimize packaging? Using a 1- 24 ratio may be somewhat better than some other cleaners, but that is still a full 1 oz of product to only 24 ounces of water. Not terribly concentrated. The cleaner I use makes 48 GALLONS of general cleaning solution from only 1 16 oz. bottle. For general cleaning the ratio is ¼ tsp to 16 oz.

They seem to feel that we should believe that the product is eco-friendly because they call the product "Green," ,that it is colored green and uses nature images. By the way, why IS the product green??? It isn’t needed to do the job.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, their claim of only 1% of unnatural ingredients are ingredients derived from petrochemicals. Namely, the preservative Kathon, and the Milliken Liquitint Blue HP dye and Bright Yellow dye X. The dyes give several of the products a light green color. I imagine a brief look-over of a XXXXX XXXXX label in the store would turn off any serious green-aware consumer.

Saying something is "Natural" does not necessarily mean what most people think it does. "Natural" ingredients, even in food, means anything DERIVED from a natural source, regardless of chemical manipulation later. Because of this reason, chemicals can be marketed as "all natural". Some of these ingredients can still be harmful to the consumer and the environment.

The MSDS for the Milliken Liquitint Blue that is in the product has these warnings:

Do not allow material to enter soil or surface water. (Where do they think the product will go when it is washed down the drain? Many areas do not have ultra sophisticated treatment plants and the ingredients may or may not be filtered out before the water is released either to the ocean or to a land mass.)

If it gets on the skin...Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water for several minutes. Immediately remove contaminated clothing. Get medical attention if any discomfort continues.

If ingested...Give one or two glasses or water if patient is alert and able to swallow. Seek immediate medical attention. Do not induce vomiting.

Eye Protection... Wear necessary protective equipment. Avoid contact with eyes and prolonged skin contact. Where contact with this material is likely, chemical goggles are recommended.

Skin protection...Wash promptly with soap and water if skin becomes contaminated. Wear protective gloves to minimize skin contamination. When prolonged or frequently repeated contact could occur, use protective clothing impervious to this material.

While this is only part of the 1% claimed not to be natural, why would a company who says they are green and really safe even consider using this chemical.

Company X also claims that the preservative, Kathon, will bio-degrade within 28 days.

According to the MSDS for Kathon, the substance by itself carries the following risks: “irritating to skin, risk of serious damage to eyes, may cause sensitization by skin contact, harmful to aquatic organisms, may cause long term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.” This doesn’t square with my idea of an ingredient in a green cleaning product. Also, real clean doesn’t have a smell!

To me, this is a prime example of “GreenWashing Some examples of tactics used by companies include: seducing with images in ads, using environmental organizations to promote products, distracting from destructive products, claiming to seek solutions while lobbying against regulation, using charitable endeavors to gain support, and the misuse of the word “sustainable.”

Jeffrey Hollender, said “Green” is not something a company becomes because of a new product line, a marketing campaign, a decision to be carbon neutral or even the selection an enlightened new CEO. Green” is about the inside, not the outside of a company. It’s about its DNA, its culture, and its very reason for being.” Is Company X’s XXXXX XXXXX really green?

How irresponsible for Company X to promote disinfecting products to parents of small children, invoking their fears of “germs.” Disinfectants should only be used for the occasional time when colds or flu are actually present except for use in the toilet. Over use of disinfectants and disinfectant soaps etc are leading to the same kinds of problems that he over use of anti-biotics caused and so many bacteria mutated to be resistant. It sickens me whenever I see the commercials with a very self satisfied mom wiping the baby’s highchair tray with a Company X disinfecting wipe while baby sits smiling and patting the tray, because I know those little baby hands go right to the mouth. The chemicals in the disinfectant are far more dangerous to a baby than the normal germs that help us to build our immune systems.

I believe that cleaner shouldn't leave behind more toxins than the toxins you are trying to clean!

When I am shopping for cleaning products, here is what I insist upon: That the company can prove their claims of:

* Biodegradable
* Formulated without dye
* Nonflammable
* Contain no ammonia, acids,
, solvents, phosphates,
chlorine, nitrates, borates,
volatile organic compounds.
* Leaves no carbon foot print on the
* Bottle contains only the
concentrated product…I can add
the water myself.
* All products in the cleaning line
as well as any other products that
the company makes
meet these

Company X’s XXXXX XXXXX line of primarily ready-to-use cleaners leave a heavier carbon footprint on the planet than I want to do. They do not meet my standards. For most of my cleaning I use fragrance-free household cleaner, which is a superconcentrate. You can make a whole bottle of cleaner for most applications with somewhere between 2 drops and ¼ teaspoon of the concentrate.

Since this reduces the number of plastic bottles that need to be manufactured, shipped, and recycled, it greatly decreases the environmental impact of using the product. The cost per use is also a lot lower than almost any other product, just 25 cents makes four 32 ounce bottles (one gallon) of all purpose cleaner. Even vinegar in comparison, can cost 10 to 20 times as much per gallon, depending on what size is purchased and where.

To see the truly green products that I use and recommend please go to:

I'd love your feedback and comments.

'Till next time: Expect something wonderful to happen for you every day!

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