'Green Cleaning Parties' to promote understanding of environmentally friendly (and inexpensive) ways to clean your home set for January 28 and 30


Did you know that white distilled vinegar and water make for a great all-purpose cleaner? Need to unclog a drain? Pour baking soda down it followed with vinegar.

These and other environmentally friendly recipes are on tap for Fairfield University's first-ever 'Green Cleaning Parties,' tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 28, at 7 p.m. and Friday, January 30, at noon. Eco-minded students, faculty and staff have planned the events, citing concerns among environmentalists and reports that many commercial household cleaners contain toxic chemicals linked to health problems. The gatherings will be a place to make non-toxic cleaners, educate others about the toxins in commercial cleaners, and share green-cleaning recipes, such as green laundry detergent, green all-purpose spray cleaner, and green Creamy Soft Scrub for tough jobs.

Stacy Davis, a senior and vice president of the Student Environmental Association (SEA), said the ingredients for the green cleaning recipes are from ordinary, household substances, such as vinegar, olive oil, baking soda, and other common household products. The scents for these homemade cleaners do not include dangerous phthalates, but essential oils. "We will be making our own environmentally friendly cleaning supplies using simple ingredients. The purpose is to educate people about the dangerous chemicals associated with commonly used commercial cleaning products."

According to Mariann S. Regan, Ph., D., also known as the University's 'Reluctant Environmentalist' blogger and retired professor of English, the idea for the green cleaning parties came from Women's Voices for the Earth (WVE), a national organization established in 1995. It strives to reduce and ultimately eliminate environmental pollutants that cause health problems for women, their families and communities, and is a strong proponent of green cleaning awareness, among other issues.

Dr. Regan noted, "They suggest sponsoring green cleaning parties, where folks make their own household cleaners from pretty safe old-style ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Castille soap, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils for harmless good smells."

The party for faculty and staff, sponsored by The Environmental Studies Program, the Environmental Steering Committee, Women's Voices for the Earth, and "The Reluctant Environmentalist" blog, will be held Friday, January 30, from 12 to 1 p.m., in the third-floor Bannow Lounge, Bannow 319. Please contact Mariann Regan at msregan@mail.fairfield.edu if you plan to come, so organizers can prepare sufficiently.

The party for students, sponsored by SEA, will be held Wednesday, January 28, from 7 to 8 p.m., in the Apartment Lounge. For more information contact Stacy Davis '09 at 09_sdavis@stagweb.fairfield.edu.

For more information on Women's Voices for the Earth and the Safe Cleaning Products Initiative, a national effort intended to reduce women's exposure to toxic chemicals in cleaning products, visit http://www.womenandenvironment.org/

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 20, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 184