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One of the things I love so much about the Sustainability movement is the sense of empowerment. It’s such a subversive act, to deny corporations and “the norm” and choose to do something on your own, with your own hands and know-how. One of my good friends was telling me that her craft store was booming these days, that people are starving for engagement. People are more and more interested in hands-on, DIY stuff because it means they get to be closer to nature, closer to their families; doing things out of love and dedication instead of feeling forced.

Here are some easy, cheap and non-toxic cleaning alternatives from Eartheasy:

All-Purpose Cleaner:
Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Other alternatives:
Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
Soap – unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
Lemon – one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.

Borax – (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
Washing Soda – or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
Isopropyl Alcohol – is an excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body. See http://drclark.ch/g)
Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Citrus Solvent – cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) – a mixture of soda ash and phosphoric acid. TSP is toxic if swallowed, but it can be used on many jobs, such as cleaning drains or removing old paint, that would normally require much more caustic and poisonous chemicals, and it does not create any fumes.

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