Green This! Greening Your Cleaning by Deidre Imus is volume one in her trilogy of books aimed at teaching us the dangers of chemicals in our everyday products and how to avoid them. Volume one focuses on cleaning, where volume two, Green Baby!, focuses on baby products, and volume three, Green You!, focuses on personal beauty. Imus runs Imus Ranch, a working cattle ranch for kids with cancer. She has years of practical experience with the topics in this book since her ranch is maintained with green cleaning. I recommend this book to anyone interested in creating a healthier home environment. It is an excellent reference to keep on your bookshelf. It explains why go green, how to begin to clean green, and which green cleaning products to choose.
Dangers of Harmful Chemicals in Cleaning Products
Section one of Green This! teaches us what ingredients in our household products are dangerous and why. Chemicals discussed include chlorine, sodium laurel sulfate, and flame retardants. She explains how these chemicals escape into our environment and we breathe them in or absorb them through our skin. Her book focuses on the dangers these harmful chemicals present to the development of children as well as to our natural environment. She addresses chemicals not only in cleaning products but in other common household items such as the vinyl used with shower curtains, bleached paper towels, and your kitchen cookware.
How To Clean Green
In section two Imus takes us through the home one room at a time to discuss the various factors that contribute to “indoor air pollution.” This includes hidden toxins in fabrics an surfaces as well as instruction on how to clean the room. The book offers so many green tips that one can choose what fits her lifestyle, budget, and schedule constraints. Some people like to make dramatic changes and others choose to convert to “living green” one step at a time. There are many shades of green.
Although this book is truly more than just about cleaning, the easiest and most immediate change one can make is to change cleaning products. After all, it is surely less expensive than replacing the shower curtain or sofa. In the big picture, this book is a lifelong reference on how to continually choose the more green options for your home. Do you need a new door mat? Choose bamboo. Is it time for some new cookware? Review her suggestions. Are you unhappy with your wool sweater detergent? See what she mentions on the topic of clothing care. But, to quote Imus start right now with “greening your cleaning.”
Essential oil fans will like her recommendations for adding a few drops to the laundry or various cleaning products. DIY instructions are included as well, such as how to make your own starch for ironing.
Green Cleaning Resources
Section three includes tips on recommended product lines, how to read product labels, a list of valuable website resources, and a glossary of chemicals. A product line has to be tried thoroughly at her ranch to make it in her book, and she lets you know which product lines she loves. This is a section I refer to often. I purchased this book at the recommendation of a friend who teaches sustainable living. I took my friend’s “green kitchen” workshop and this was the one and only book she recommended on the topic. I think it may well be the only book I need.