The Organic Center and Green Living Expert Sara Snow Make Spring Cleaning Safe and Sustainable

Easy-to-follow tips offer natural and affordable alternatives to common household cleaning products

Boulder, Colo., (May 3, 2011) –The Organic Center, the leading research and education institute focused on the science of organic food and farming, partnered with green lifestyle expert, TV host, journalist and author Sara Snow to develop a list of green spring cleaning tips, which are safer for the home and more sustainable for the environment.

Choosing to go green for spring cleaning is important for many reasons. Foremost, by using these alternative choices in place of other conventional cleaning products, people can reduce their exposure to toxic chemical ingredients. According to the American Association of Poison Control Center’s 2010 report cleaning products are among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home.  In fact, they’re responsible for roughly 7 percent of all toxic exposures reported to the U.S. Poison Control Centers each year. In contrast, The Organic Center and Sara Snow’s top green spring cleaning tips utilize natural and organic cleaning agents that are easy to use, affordable and safe for the home, children and even pets.

Secondarily, using natural and organic solutions for cleaning also helps protect the environment. Natural products are biodegradable, non-toxic and they don’t require any extra packaging since most of them can be found in your home.  Plus, by using natural products, you’re ensuring that no additional toxins are released into the air, our water supply or our planet’s precious soils. This is especially important given that according to The Environmental Protection Agency, each person in the United States produces an average of four pounds of household hazardous waste (HHW) each year for a total of about 530,000 tons/year.

“Now that I’m a mom, using cleaning products that are safe for my family and the environment is more important than ever,” said Sara Snow. “However, aside from being safe, these simple solutions also clean just as effectively and you don’t need to purchase anything new since they’re likely already in your home.”

Top Green Spring Cleaning Tips:

  1. Basic liquid soap – Don’t take your soap for granted. In addition to washing your hands or dishes, simple soaps can be used to clean almost anything, including countertops, sinks and even wood floors. Just be sure to choose soaps that are free of dyes and are not petroleum-based. Organic castile and other plant-based soaps are the best choices.
  2. Baking soda – Baking soda is best used as a scouring agent and odor neutralizer. By mixing a small amount of baking soda with liquid castile soap, you can easily get countertops, sinks and tubs super shiny.  For a “fresh smell,” you can even addin a few drops of organic essential oils.
  3. Vinegar – Vinegar is another versatile natural household cleaner, as it helps inhibit mold and bacteria growth, and can cut through grease and soap scrum in kitchens and bathrooms. Just be sure to use distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider, which will help avoid staining surfaces.
  4. Organic Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is the ultimate miracle worker, especially in the kitchen. It cuts through grease naturally, making it the perfect choice for cleaning pots, pans and casserole dishes when mixed with natural soap. Lemon juice can also be used to brighten whites in the wash, or to sanitize a cutting board. Lemon peels can even be used to freshen up and deodorize garbage disposals.
  5. Organic Olive Oil – Not surprisingly, olive oil is great for moisturizing and conditioning. It can be used as a furniture polish for wood or leather, and it can help remove streaks and prints on stainless steel surfaces.
  6. Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and germicide. It’s best used to treat household mold and mildew like shower doors and tile. Just mix the tea tree oil with water, rub on the area, let it sit, and then wipe clean.
  7. Essential Oils – While they can be used as natural fragrances, essential oils also serve a host of other functions.  A favorite, eucalyptus oil, can be used to de-fog mirrors or treat stained surfaces.  Pour a little oil on a rag and glide over stains or sticky surfaces.  Be careful to avoid high concentrations directly on your skin.
  8. Spices – Dried organic spices can not only make rooms smell fresh and clean, but they also deter rodents as well.  Mix together dried cloves, rosemary and thyme into tea bags, and then just let them hang in closets or within folded clothes.

“Spring is a natural time of renewal, encouraging many people to want to refresh their homes and their lives, and these tips enable them to do that safely and effectively,” said Joan Boykin, executive director of The Organic Center.  “We are delighted to have been able to develop this list in conjunction with Sara Snow, especially given her commitment to helping people make positive changes that benefit both their health and the environment.”

A video of Sara demonstrating how to easily implement these tips can be found on The Organic Center and Sara Snow websites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YanjXUBxTJg&list=UUwFTCKrCBqi5GX9WiP0JgRg&index=1&feature=plcp

For more information about how to clean your home this spring, visit TOC’s Seven Sustainable Swaps to Detox your home: http://www.generationsoforganic.org/seven-sustainable-swaps-to-detox-your-home/

About The Organic Center
The Organic Center's unique mission is to conduct credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming and communicate them to the public. As an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education organization, we envision improved health for the earth and its inhabitants through organic food, farming and products. All of The Organic Center's research reports, publications, consumer guides and videos are available free of charge: www.organic-center.org or www.generationsoforganic.org.

About Sara Snow
Sara Snow is a green lifestyle expert, TV host, journalist and author.  As creator and host of GET FRESH WITH SARA SNOW and LIVING FRESH for the Discovery Networks, host of BIG GREEN LIES for the Fine Living Channel, as well as through her book, SARA SNOW'S FRESH LIVING, Sara shares a message of simple, attainable green living.  Sara is also a frequent public speaker and media contributor, having been seen on CNN, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Lucky Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens, among others. For more information about Sara Snow, please visit her website at http://www.sarasnow.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.