EcoStilleto for the modern woman!

What does say about green cleaning?

June 26 2008

We think a lot about greener cleaning, mainly because it seems like a no-brainer that if you’re going to take baby steps to make your life more environmentally friendly, the best place to start is in your home. Conventional cleaners contain chemicals that make the indoor air of the typical American home on a typical cleaning day more polluted than the outdoor air of our most polluted cities. And this is according to the EPA, which, we might remind you, is not the most alarmist organization on the planet.

And though there’s fabulous laundry soap and dishwashing detergent and general home cleaners and even waterless, chem-free car wash, there’s not one company that’s been doing the whole kit and kaboodle so well, and for so long, as Shaklee.

They’ve been making sustainably produced, organic, biodegradeable household cleaners since 1960, and have sold them door-to-door as part of a vaguely hippie Tupperware cleaning revolution ever since.

Today, although there still is a slightly cultish vibe to the people who use and sell their products (probably because they just work so darn well), you can get Shaklee online. And though “membership” these days means you type in your info rather than commit to inviting a Shaklee representative in to your living room for yerba mate, it’s still incentivized with a pretty hefty discount.

With that said, their bestselling Get Clean Starter Kit (Oprah loves it; hence the “bestselling”) is $167 for non-members. This investment in home cleaning products seems like a lot until you break it down and realize that the kit includes 27 pieces which average out to just over $6 per. That includes things you use a lot of, like Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate, Dish Wash soap, Fresh Laundry HE Concentrate (which comes in fragrance-free for truly sensitive souls), as well as things you might not go through so fast, like Scour Off Heavy-Duty Paste (tile, kitchen sinks, really grubby pans) and spray bottles (a one-time buy). Plus, the Shaklee folks say their products are so super concentrated and effective, you’d have to spend $3,400 to get the equivalent, and they’ve got studies to prove it. And (drum-roll here) they offer a money back guarantee.

Cost-comparisons aside, here’s what you’re paying to not get: 108 additional pounds of landfill waste (every bottle is recyclable), 248 pounds of greenhouse gases (no chemicals, natch), VOCs, kerosene, hydrochloric acid, petroleum distillates, ammonia, formaldehyde, and a host of other icky chemicals that despite what some billion-dollar commercial will tell you really don’t clean anything any better than their natural counterparts, which had been used for generations until the chemical industry realized the goldmine they had in the dirt-phobic American consumer.   ”

“What saves 248 pounds of greenhouse gases and cleans your house better than Alice?”