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Book: How To Save The Planet On A Student Budget, Keeping Your University Clean

I'm a student of various institutions and hadn't really found a green guide to simple living when at home and out. Kate Aydin, autho...

eco university cleaning biodegradable ecover budget student chemical
I'm a student of various institutions and hadn't really found a green guide to simple living when at home and out. Kate Aydin, author of How To Save the Planet On A Student Budget, created an excellent pocket book for cutting back the price tags on life.

The book covers everything eco from fair trade clothing to budget partying. I found great tips on cleaning my living quarters without the need for a bajillion disinfectants and chemical sprays.

How Clean Is Your Home And University?

As cleaning products can be both toxic and a source of environmental pollution, you need to know how to reduce your reliance on them at home and in university.

Most seemingly harmless cleaning products contain chemicals that are gradually building up in the environment, polluting our drinking water and affecting our health and the marine environment.

How To Save The Planet lists alternatives to cleaning warfare: eco-friendly products, made from renewable plant and mineral ingredients, rather than petrochemicals. Eco-friendly products biodegrade completely, so they don't persist in the environment.

Genuine eco-friendly detergents don't contain boosters, which are damaging to the environment; phosphastes, which starve rivers of oxygen and suffocate wildlife; or artificial scents made from petrochemicals, which are increasingly found in the body tissue of many species of fish - including fish we eat - due to chemical build up in out water systems and seas.

So, Kate Aydin says to ditch the toxins. All the products you'll ever need to keep your house clean and toxin free are:
  • Bucket for water to clean the floor/toilet (keep searate from a washing-up bowl!)
  • Two clothes - one for the floor, one for surfaces
  • Two scouring clothes - one for floor again, another for surfaces
  • A dustpan and brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Multi-purpose cleaner (Ecover or Bio-D are good)
  • White vinegar (dilute 50/50 with water and use with newspaper for cleaning windows)
  • Fresh lemon/orange juice or peel for surfaces (and inside fridges)
  • Toilet cleaner (Ecover toilet cleaner or similar ecobrand)
Ecover eco-friendly detergents are widely sold in supermarkets and shops. The range covers shower gel, hand soap, washing-up liquid, toilet cleaner, surface cleaner and more. Other online suppliers have a large range including car washing detergents, limescale remover and air fresheners.

Supplies of Ecover include Ecotopia and Ecoretail Online. Other brands of eco-detergent to look out for include the Bio-D range and Earth friendly products. You can but them online at Ethicalsuperstore.com and from some Oxfam shops and health food shops in England.

The E-cloth is a cloth that doesn't need detergent to wash. I've yet to buy one of these. It's made feom microfibre and cleans surfaces without scratching. To get surfaces sparkly clean, you only need to use water.

Top Cleaning Tips For Home & Uni

If you have bottles of old cleaning products in the cupboard that you no longer use, don't pour them down the sink or toilet, as that defeats the object of trying to save the environment by using eco-friendly products. Bleach is particularly nasty and you should avoid using it at all.

Screw the lids on tightly, put the containers in a plastic bag and chase up your council or university to see if they can dispose of them responsibly. Your university's Safety Office may be able to give you advice on chemical disposal.

It's easy to buy too many cleaning products when you share a house; everyone does their own shopping and no one really checks what's under the sink. To save money and time, write a list of the cleaning products you already have and pin it on the wall. When a product runs out make sure whoever buys the replacement buys Ecover or a similar eco-friendly brand. Cool beans.

+ Ecover
+ Ecotopia
+ E-cloth

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