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I am at the beginning of many of my green adventures
(Well, perhaps not the total beginning- we recycle, compost, and consume very little in the way of animal products. But I haven't really done much thinking/research about what we buy in the first place.)

We have so much plastic in our house- toys, food containers, water bottles...you name it. I understand that recycling is a poor substitute for reducing the amount used in the first place. I have no idea where to start buying less.
What do I do with the stuff that's already in my house? Especially toys. I know that #3 PVC is a health hazard. I'd like to get rid of some plastic toys and containers, so I can start us off with that mindset. But just throwing them out (if they aren't recycleable) doesn't seem like the best option.

Also, what is the deal with dish soap? I'm trying to look it up, but between ds wanting my attention, and not knowing exactly what terms to search for, I'm not finding the info I need. Are more natural brands worth the cost? healthwise, and environmentally?
Are the issues the same with laundry detergent?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Deva33mommy View Post
Also, what is the deal with dish soap?
Hand or machine?

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I'm trying to look it up, but between ds wanting my attention, and not knowing exactly what terms to search for, I'm not finding the info I need. Are more natural brands worth the cost? healthwise, and environmentally?
The short answer: hand, no; machine, maybe. The products for hand use are so fundamentally similar there's not likely to be a difference in those terms. However, there have been a lot of different kinds of machine dish detergents, so there it might make a difference.

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Are the issues the same with laundry detergent?
About intermediate. They've varied a little more than the hand dish detergents, but less than machine dish detergents.

Robert
 

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First for laundry detergent, I use and really like eco-products "Boulder Laundry Detergent" scroll down to see here
http://www.ecoproducts.com/Home/home...x_cleaning.htm
It has a nice citrus scent and doesn't give any of us rashes like Tide, etc. I've also used Mountain Green detergent and it was fine but I can get the above at costco 100 loads of liquid for aprox $10. I've yet to find a good machine dishwasher soap but plan to try the one in the above link when I run out of my nasty electrosol! For hand dishsoap I really like earth friendly products http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Friendly.../dp/B000068BPP I like the grapefruit scnet but they have almond, pear and a few others. I have horribly sensitive skin and would get a rash from many commercial dish soaps and this one is great. I can even wash my hands in it and not have a rash or dryness.

I think the main issue/difference with automatic dish soap will be that commercial brands generally contain chlorine bleach where the natural ones won't. It is also my understanding that the natural hand dish soaps and laundry det. use veggie-based surfactants as opposed to petrochemicals. There is definitely some variance and the term "natural" is left wide open for interpretation, as I'm sure you know, so you'll have to read labels for sure. I definitely believe that there is a huge difference between commercial and more natural products, though. Until the govt requires such household items to be labeled in the same way drugs or cosmetics are we will never know for SURE what is in them (they can be generic and simply state, "water, fragrance, vegetable surfactant and chelating agent" - as Mrs Meyers labels do
: ) but I know I don't get itchy, rashy skin or burning eyes/lungs/nose when I use natural products. Also, just walk down the cleaning/laundry aisle at your local grocer/Target, etc and inhale deeply (if you CAN!) then so the same at Whole foods. Nuf said, IMO!

ETA: for plastic purging, what about donating the stuff? I've been slow to purge, just trying to avoid bring new plastic in where I can help it, so I've got no good advice there...
 

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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
Hand or machine?
Hand. We don't have a dishwasher- hey, at least that's one thing I don't need to think about!

Hmmm...it seems that there are varying opinions! lol. Thanks for the responses! I'm looking forward to reading more...

Also, as far as plastics- what items are we better off getting rid of, vs. just not buying more. For example, I'm guessing we're better off getting rid of plastic water bottles? Food containers?
 

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Originally Posted by Deva33mommy View Post
Hand. We don't have a dishwasher- hey, at least that's one thing I don't need to think about!
Then you can simplify things by washing dishes with the same soap or "soap" you wash your hands with, liquid or cake.

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Also, as far as plastics- what items are we better off getting rid of, vs. just not buying more. For example, I'm guessing we're better off getting rid of plastic water bottles? Food containers?
High density and low density polyethylene (HDPE & LDPE, respectively) are about as inert as they get. They're made from natural gas, and they don't need plasticizer. They're frequently used in lab applications where even minute amounts of contamination would be a bother. And they're sure safer around kids than glass. They incinerate clean, or they can be used for landfill like anything else, as well as being meltable to make new plastic materials (though not very economically). However, they tend to hold on to grease, so they need lots of soap.

Robert
 
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