Clean Conscience


Keeping a house spotless takes its toll on the environment. Cleaning products contain chemicals that cause air pollution and, when rinsed down the drain, they contaminate streams and rivers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air-pollution levels in the average home are two to five times higher than outdoors in part because of the toxins in cleaning products . The good news: Green cleaning products are just as effective as their toxic counterparts but have no ill effects on the environment. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner
Essential oils have replaced harsh chemicals in Seventh Generation’s newest multisurface cleaner. The disinfectant kills germs (including H1N1) while ingredients like lemongrass and thyme keep the house smelling fresh. $3 to $4 , www.seventhgeneration.com

2. Method Lil’ Bowl Blu
Made from biodegradable ingredients, this toilet-bowl cleaner uses lactic acid instead of bleach to clean and remove stains and essential oils like mint to help deodorize. Added bonus: The packaging is made from recycled plastic. $6, www.methodhome.com

3. Aubrey Organics Liquid
Sparkle Natural Spray Cleanser Liquid Sparkle glass cleaner is just as effective as its chemical counterparts but contains natural ingredients like grain alcohol, coconut and herbal oils. All of the ingredients — from the aloe vera to the sweet orange oil — are certified organic. $5 , www.aubreyorganics.com