Green Your Clean this Spring: Do it for the Bunnies! As the season changes, many of us are planning to do a big spring clean. We’re talking windows, walls, and the works. But did you know that what you clean with is just as important as what you clean? Our cleaning product choices affect the lives of thousands of animals. Sadly, though not required by law, most conventional cleaning products and/or their ingredients are tested on rats, mice, beagles, and bunnies.
Two kinds of animal toxicity tests are the Draize test and the LC50 test. For the Draize test, a substance is dripped or similarly applied to an animal’s eyes or skin then any subsequent damage or irritation is assessed. The LD50 test (“lethal dose test” or the “fifty percent test”) examines the toxicity of a chemical or other substance by assessing the dosage needed to kill half of the animal test subjects.
The most frustrating thing is that these tests aren’t performed to keep harmful products off the market. They’re done to update safety and toxicity data so that corporations can protect themselves from lawsuits. Many companies test a product or its ingredients whenever a formula is changed. This means even minor changes to a “classic” product can result in the caging, poisoning, and euthanizing of about 5,000 animals. All so that they can slap the same “Poision”, “Warning,” or “Danger” label in fine print on the back of the product.
Please be a friend to animals by choosing cruelty-free cleaning products this spring. The Leaping Bunny seal makes it easy to identify cruelty-free personal care and household products. The seal certifies that a product meets the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ ethical standards. According to their website, The Leaping Bunny Program provides the best assurance that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.
Since you’re an animal too, be kind to yourself by choosing safe cleaners. Many cruelty-free products are all natural and green, but some contain synthetic chemicals like “fragrance” that can be harmful to your health. Reference EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to see safety ratings for more than 2,000 products.
Making your own cleaning products is another way to be sure what you’re using is healthy, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free.
Here’s a super simple recipe for an all-purpose spray: Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. That’s it! This is safe for cleaning grime and funk from any surface (except marble or stone). Bonus: If you let it sit on a surface for a 10 minutes it will kill germs too.
via Olivia Lane, who is a former professional apartment cleaner who has been hailed as a “Wizard of cleanliness.” She shares her enthusiasm for all things creative and domestic at OliviaCleansGreen.com. Visit her there for more green cleaning tips and tricks!
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