Can a company be half green?

March 16th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about that Green Works post I did at the end of February. And about the Clorox buying Burt’s Bees post.

The problem I have, and that a lot of people who write about the environment have, is what to think of Clorox and similar companies that are suddenly going green. And are they really going green?

The environment aside, chlorine bleach is bad for you. Of course it will kill you if ingested, but it can also irritate your lungs just from breathing it. People with chronic heart disease and asthma are advised to avoid it. Does this sound like something that should be used to clean laundry or bathrooms or anything?

And Clorox is proud of their bleach. But, now they own Burt’s Bees. And they got Sierra Club to endorse their new Green Works line of cleaners. So, is Green Works greener than cleaning with bleach or with some of the chemical-laden cleaners out there? Yes, it is. Does that mean you should support Clorox?

That’s the trouble. If they think this Green Works is so great, then why still make the other stuff? My really smart husband told me that he thinks a company can’t be half green. They should be environmentally responsible in every way if they claim to be green. And I have to agree. There are lots of all-green companies that sell green cleaners. Here’s a list of some recommended brands of cleaners:



Seventh Generation

Bon Ami

If you can’t find these products in your store, ask your grocer or other store manager to order the products. Don’t want to hunt down the manager? When they ask you at the checkout, “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” say no. That’s when most stores call the manager for you. Or do it by phone, or use the Internet. Many companies now have surveys you can fill out online.

Over at Big Green Purse, you can find recipes to make your own green cleaners. These are simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and salt.

My co-blogger Jennifer over at Tree Hugging Family did a great post about natural green cleaners — 25 Safe, Non-toxic Homemade Cleaning Supplies. Speaking of natural cleaners, ammonia for cleaning bathroom mirrors really is overkill. I actually get the same results with just water! End of rant.

So, do you agree that a company can’t be half green, or do you think all us green hippies should just shut up and praise Clorox for trying to turn a new leaf?

Green Works

February 28th, 2008

So, I tried out Green Works natural all-purpose cleaner, made by Clorox.

Here’s what I like:

Mostly Natural ingredients (99 percent). Directly from the label:

coconut-based cleaning agent, corn-based ethanol, essential lemon oil, filtered water and biodegradable preservative. Contains no phosphorus. Contains no bleach.

It’s safe on multiple surfaces.

gw.jpgThe container is highly recyclable, a number 1.

It smells good and cleans well. Actually, it does smell natural.

It is mainstream. In some parts of the country, those specialty natural cleaners sold in natural food markets are not available. Lots of people just shop at Wal-Mart, partly because there aren’t many other choices where they live. Clorox is bringing a green product to everyone, and it’s affordable.

It’s approved by the Sierra Club. This is the first time they’ve approved a household cleaner. Yeah, they are getting some sales-based cash for this from Clorox, but they still think this is a good product.

Here’s what I don’t like:

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