This blog post was originally written and shared by Our Van Quest. Click the link above to visit their blog and website.
When it comes to cleaning our bus, we look for products that do not contain dangerous chemicals and ingredients. Many people do not know that the ingredients in their cleaning products are hazardous to their health. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer or hormone disruption.
These chemicals enter our waterways and act as a fertilizer, causing an overgrowth of algae. The overabundance of aquatic plants depletes the water oxygen supply, killing off fish and other organisms. The plastic bottles used to house these cleaners pose an environmental problem contributing to the mounds of solid waste collecting in landfills and making its way into our oceans. Another concern with cleaning products is that many use chemicals that are petroleum-based, contributing to the depletion of the non-renewable resource and increasing our country’s dependence on imported oil.
The risks of using traditional household cleaning products greatly outweigh the benefits and luckily, there are alternatives to this issue at hand. By choosing healthier cleaning products for your home, you could help our planet and protect your health and the health of those around you.
We have always used vinegar diluted with water to clean our home, however the smell of vinegar that lingers after cleaning drives us a little crazy. We felt like it was just the as the price we had to pay for having non-tox and sustainable cleaning products in our home that won’t hurt our family so for many years that’s what we used.
Recently, we discovered a company called Black and Berry Living and had to try their products. To our surprise they had a wide variety of reusable, refillable and non-tox solutions for your home, body and even pets! Their products are plant-based and organic! They use raw organic apple cider vinegar in their products which has been used for thousands of years as a cleaner and disinfectant. They are actually the ONLY company that uses all organic apple cider vinegar! To combat the lingering smell that comes with using vinegar, they have blended each product with its own unique mixture of essential oils so when the products dry you are left with an amazing scent.
Apple cider vinegar is safe and effective and much less expensive to conventional cleaning products. Scientific studies have found that the antibacterial activity of vinegar against four of the five microorganisms was found to be superior to chlorhexidine, which is actually considered as one of the most effective antimicrobial agents.
Their reusable aluminum bottles they use for packaging can be infinitely recycled which is much different than plastic bottles which is recycled and only 20% of it can be reused. About 75% of all aluminum that has ever been used is still in circulation today!
We use their All-Purpose Cleaner and Bug Repellant in our home and on our bodies. The all-purpose cleaner is truly all purpose. It is amazing on glass, mirrors, getting little fingerprints off of stainless-steel appliances, as a degreaser, bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner, refreshing fabrics, soaking toys in to disinfect, as a laundry booster and even to clean your car. There are two scents available (Citrus and Eucalyptus Mint). We like to use the citrus in our kitchen and our floors and the Eucalyptus Mint in our bathroom to freshen up the smell and give it an aromatic feel.
The Bug Juice was especially exciting to us with little ones that we don’t want to expose to the toxins found in traditional bug repellent. It is packed with 6 different organic essential oils to help combat various critters. It is safe to use on your body, on your pets, in your home, etc. We spray the bug juice on our windowsills and doorways which help keep the spiders out (we do NOT like spiders!). We also always spray this on our clothes before going on a hike to keep the ticks and mosquitos at bay.
We have fallen in love with this brand and recommend it to our families and friends so they can replace their toxic, harmful cleaners in their homes. We also love supporting small family businesses that have a purpose in alignment with how we live our lives. This company is owned by sisters who created these products and are contributing to the growing movement for returning to natural, simple alternatives.
You can make simple changes in your home that will keep you and your family safe from the environmental toxins bombarding us on a daily basis by making safer choices. Reading ingredients on the products you use and ensuring what goes into your body (by eating or absorption into the skin) does matter and can affect your health in the long term.
Luckily, there are companies like Black and Berry Living that are determined to offer safe and healthy alternatives so worrying about your cleaning products is the last thing you have to worry about. Ditch your traditional cleaning products and choose Black and Berry
Happy (and safe) Cleaning Friends!