Ever use a store-bought cleaning product, wrinkle your nose, and wonder what the hell it is that you're inhaling? I stopped using toxic cleaning products with impossible-to-pronounce ingredients years ago in favor of all-natural, environmentally friendly products. Although I knew I could save a bundle of cash by making my own products, I lacked the motivation -- and a recipe book.
Then I discovered Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home by Renée Loux. Although it's already 2 years old, it's still my go-to source for non-toxic cleaning, personal care and beauty information, reviews and recipes.
Renée reviews natural products covering a variety of areas including cleaning supplies, beauty and personal products (including make up, shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, etc), linens, and ecological home furnishings and materials. She patiently defines each and every synthetic and natural ingredient and also reviews product lines from a variety of companies. Since I do some work as a science writer, I tend to be skeptical about authors making claims with absolutely no information to back them up. So I was pleasantly surprised to see how well referenced this book is. Renée doesn't just make assertions; she cites facts and includes 30+ pages of solid references.
I rely on this book mainly for cleaning and beauty recipes. This morning, I just whipped up a batch of her "All Purpose Citrus Spray" cleaner. Not only is making your own cleaning products frugal, but you can also customize the scents to your own liking. I scented my cleaning spray with lavender and cedar oils – a lovely combination. [Sure beats that industrial strength orange smell!] I've also made Clean and Clear Glass Spray, Homemade Veggie Wash, Homemade Rose Water and Peppermint Sea Salt Foot Scrub [It's sandal season!
Some of you may know Renée Loux as a cookbook author. Indeed, she is a talented and creative chef. Check out Living Cuisine: The Art and Spirit of Raw Foods (Avery Health Guides) and The Balanced Plate: The Essential Elements of Whole Foods and Good Health.