Personally? I am a Seventh Generation junkie. They are a good company constantly trying to do better. They treat their staff well, care about where and how their materials are sourced (check out their new palm oil initiative), want their consumers to be informed and, most importantly, have products that work. Who wants to clean twice as hard to get half the results just to win a green star on behalf of the planet? Not many.
Seventh Generation paid me to moderate their chemical body burden and palm oil panels, but I would never accept money to endorse their products. I've used them for much longer than I've been in the public eye, and I am sharing their name here because I think the information is useful. I celebrate the companies that think about all aspects of their business. Seventh Generation embodies that for me. But they are not perfect. The last time I saw the CEO, I went on a mini-tirade about the chlorine-free feminine hygiene products that they mysteriously shroud in plastic!
Look at what you're buying. Look at what your dollars are supporting. For me, it's a disconnect to buy slightly cheaper green products from a company that makes most of its money making toxic ones. No one I know, except my mother and sister, cleans as well as I do. I hope one day to become one of those über-eco angels who whips up her own cleaning products out of baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar—because they are so much cheaper than anything on the market and really do make the whole house feel so much healthier.
I'll make brewing my own cleaning products my resolution for 2011. In the interim, find my clean, green musings on Twitter—@simransethi—and check out incredibly comprehensive information on household cleaning products in the book Home Safe Home by Debra Lynn Dadd.
Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For more information on Sethi, visit SimranSethi.com.