A Tale of Two Toothpastes

As a VIP member of Grove Collaborative, I get a free item or special deal every month or two.  Recently, we’ve tried two new natural toothpastes.  Based on our 20 years’ experience trying natural and Earth-friendly hygiene products and cleaning products, here’s our evaluation of these two minty mouth-cleaning options.  This is an honest review.  We received no compensation other than a discount on these products.

Click here to get $10 off your first Grove Collaborative order and earn a credit for me!  Click here to learn more about how Grove works and whether it’s right for you.

JASON Powersmile Antiplaque & Whitening Toothpaste (Powerful Peppermint flavor) is indeed powerful.  It’s aggressively minty, similar to Altoids candy.  It will clear your sinuses!  But we don’t actually like the taste, which also prominently features stevia.  I’m very sensitive to fake sugar, and while stevia is not actually an artificial sweetener, the fact that it tastes super-sweet but has no calories can trigger a metabolic reaction that makes me feel nervous and queasy.  That’s a reason to avoid stevia-sweetened foods, but since I’m not swallowing toothpaste, my reaction is only psychosomatic and fades within a few minutes after rinsing my mouth.  Still, who wants to feel icky even for a moment after brushing teeth?  Not me! Read more of this post

Go Green in 2017: How to Clean

Photographs by Nicholas Efran.

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions!  There are many ways you could change your habits to reduce your environmental impact.  One change you could make is replacing cleansers that harm the environment with cleaning products or cleaning methods that are safer for your family as well as the wider world.

rubbing alcohol, peroxide, baking soda, vinegarWhat’s wrong with conventional cleaning products?

These health risks don’t affect only people who are in direct contact with the cleanser; many cleansers leave a residue on the surface or in the air that can be absorbed through our skin and/or lungs, and some of these chemicals are bioaccumulative–our bodies can’t get rid of them, so over time our repeated exposures can build up to toxic levels.

p1040148Here’s our complete guide to cleaning a typical Earth dwelling.  We’ve tried many environmentally-friendly products over the past 20 years and have found more good ones than duds.  Here, we recommend some brand-name products that work especially well and some inexpensive basic materials that are great for various cleaning projects. Yes, it is possible to make more homemade cleaning products than we do.  We’ve struck a balance between purchased and homemade products that works well with our cleaning habits and the amount of spare time we have.  If you use an awesome homemade cleanser, feel free to share details or a link in the comments!

For basic home cleaning, you will need:

  • dish detergent
  • laundry detergent
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • all-purpose cleaner

Other items we use regularly that you may or may not need, depending on your home furnishings and cleaning standards, are:

  • dishwasher detergent
  • hardwood floor cleaner
  • furniture polish
  • antibacterial spray
  • rubbing alcohol

Look for these items in your local stores where you shop regularly. If you can’t find them there, encourage your stores to make them available; meanwhile, order online. Many of the brand-name products are available from Grove Collaborative–click here for a $10 discount on your first order!  Here is more information about Grove (formerly known as ePantry).

Here are the details on how to use each type of cleanser. Read more of this post