Hi everyone! Last Saturday I had my work session for Project Ventura along with several other girls. Everything is running pretty smoothly (we started painting the inside–white makes the entire Airstream look so much better) and a lot of the furniture is done. It feels like just yesterday our engineering class was outside in the heat looking at the project from last year. I know we were all wondering how in the world we’ll be able to complete an entire commons area by May. But here we are, building away. Unfortunately there was a thunderstorm during our class period, so we couldn’t work outside on the trailer (though it miraculously cleared up just as class ended) but all of us worked like busy bees inside the portable. My group and I had the pleasure of sanding down some cedar wood donated by a teacher, which was fun except we all got a bunch of sawdust in our throats. Anyways, that’s just a small update about everything going on.
On Saturday we also had to finish cleaning off all the dirt and grease inside the Airstream and since this entire project is surrounded around being eco-friendly it was important that we used environmentally friendly substances. I have decided to extend my knowledge in what it means to be a “green material” and things to use/not use. All of the information comes from TreeHugger.
For starters, many common house cleaning products are petroleum-based and can have health and environmental hazards. There are lots of different cleaning substances that are eco-friendly and natural that some people are not aware of. While shopping at the store, keep an eye out for brands that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and made from renewable resources. However I know that sometimes these eco-friendly products can be more expensive, so if that isn’t the route you would like to take, then there’s always the option of making your own. You can mix vinegar or baking soda with water and it will practically clean anything (and for a much cheaper price).
Something that I’ve learned in biology is that overusing antibacterial products can create “super germs,” meaning bacteria that can survive strong chemicals (a.k.a not a good thing). To prevent this from happening, it is best to avoid antibacterial soaps and other products (studies show that regular sanitizers work just as well).
When it comes to dumping toxic cleaners, you must be careful. As I mentioned before, they are not good for your home so obviously they are not good for landfills or our streams. Check to see if your neighborhood has a toxic recycling day where you can safely dispose of harmful chemicals.
One thing I am guilty of doing is using Febreeze to make my room smell better (especially since I have a pet bunny). However, I have learned through my research that it is better to use things such as boiled cinnamon or other herbs which are much more environmentally friendly.
Hopefully now we can all be a little bit more greener cleaners.