Do you want to clean green?
It's not my intention with this blog to delve too deeply into the hazards of standard commercial cleansers. Suffice to say, most of them are made from non-renewable petrochemicals, and are toxic in their manufacture, use or disposal. There's a lot of reliable information out there for those who are interested, and I encourage you to explore the links I've listed in the sidebar to the right.
As consumers, you should beware of products which are labelled "natural." There are many cleansers on the market now (such as Method products) which claim to contain natural ingredients, but also contain scents, colours or other ingredients from petrochemical sources. (For a more in-depth discussion of Method products, see this blog post by consumer advocate Debra Lynn Dadd.) They may be preferable to traditional commercial products, but certainly don't go far enough in their attempts to be truly "green."
Read your labels well. True eco-friendly companies readily list all ingredients of their products, and often indicate sources for each ingredient. Look for ingredients that are vegetable-based whenever possible. Avoid artificial perfumes and colours.
Why go eco-friendly? It may be better for your health, and the health of your family and pets. Children and small animals with their lower body weights can harbour greater concentrations of toxic chemicals in their bodies. They also spend a lot of time on the ground, putting all sorts of objects in their mouths.
If you or someone you love suffers from allergies or chemical sensitivities, switching to eco-friendlier products may alleviate some of the symptoms.
Finally, using non-toxic products that are natural and renewable is better for our environment.