This article first appeared in our spring ’18 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Conscious Revolution, distributed with the Guardian on 04 May 2018. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Waste plastic and harmful chemicals are as unwanted in our homes as they are dangerous to the planet; they clog up our biological systems as much as they pollute our streets, air and oceans. Non-toxic, plant-based, natural and biodegradable cleaning products are the obvious solution – but do they really work?
Sussex-based Joni Graham King tried various natural DIY cleaning recipes with different degrees of success before she created Green Goddess, her own brand of green cleaning products.
‘Green is the new black and we are bringing sexy back to green cleaning!’
JONI GRAHAM KING
Founder of Green Goddess
The switch to green cleaning was part of Joni’s wider goal to achieve a toxic-free lifestyle. ‘It started in 2013 following a bout of ill health’, she tells us. ‘I wanted to heal myself naturally and became aware of all the carcinogens and endocrine disrupters in personal and household products.’
Out went the harmful household products – and ‘green’ alternatives containing synthetic solvents and fragrances were also given the boot. ‘I wanted to find a truly effective, easy to use and nice-smelling eco cleaning product’, Joni tells us, ‘but I couldn’t find anything on the market that was both effective and truly free from synthetic ingredients.’
Does speed trump health?
For Joni, natural products can be just as effective as mainstream products – but she acknowledges the need for ‘a certain amount of relearning’ in the way we use them. Equally important is the need for greater awareness of what’s in the everyday cleaning products we use in our homes.
‘I feel we’re sold fast and effective action at the peril of our health’, she says. ‘All-purpose cleaners can contain a synthetic solvent and grease cutter called Butyl Cellosolve, a petroleum-based chemical that can irritate the skin and eyes and, over time, cause liver and kidney damage. Bleach can irritate or burn the skin and respiratory tract – and if it’s combined with acidic toilet bowl cleansers or ammonia it will create toxic fumes.’
As well as helping others to lead less toxic lifestyles, Joni is driven by the urge to add a good dash of luxury to the green cleaning market. ‘I think that cleaning products are generally bland’, she says. ‘They either smell synthetic and artificial or they smell of nothing. To me, luxury is associated with a feeling: of contentment, elation, ease and that all is well. Green Goddess products smell lovely and are a joy to use; they make cleaning easy and lift your mood. If that’s not luxurious for cleaning, I don’t know what is!’