When it comes to cleaning our houses we want the best products to cut through all that grease, mould and grime. Unfortunately a vast majority of these cleaners contain dangerous chemicals and toxins which then get flushed down our drains and into our waterways. There's been growing concern in recent times that these chemicals are not only harming our environment but probably aren't too healthy to be using around our homes and family as well.
How sewage works in a nutshell is everything that goes down our sinks, showers, drains and toilets travels through underground pipes to treatment plants before being released into the environment or recycled. Despite treatment a large amount of harmful chemicals such as alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) and phosphates make their way into our oceans and rivers. APEs are are found in many laundry detergents and stain removers, disinfectants and citrus cleaners and breakdown into toxic chemicals that can be harmful to fish life and particularly their reproduction by impacting estrogen levels. Phosphates, a water-softening mineral additive that can be found in laundry detergents and other cleaners, can spur the growth of algae which depletes the water's oxygen supply killing off fish and other organisms.
Some natural alternatives to these harsh chemicals include baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, pure soap and table salt. These ingredients act to clean dirt and grease, remove stains and deodorise just as effectively and can be a lot cheaper!
Whilst the drain may seem like an easy disposal system there's plenty of dangerous liquids you should never pour down the sink: cooking oils, petrol, motor lubricants, bleach, paints, polishes, paint thinners, fertilisers and pesticides, antifreeze and coolants and medications just to name a few. As a simple rule if you wouldn't drink it don't put it into our waterways!