Archive for November, 2012

Green cleaning

My bathroom drain is getting a bit slow, and I was wondering whether I could avoid using caustic chemical cleaners such as Drano to unclog it.  My first thought was to wonder whether Seventh Generation or some such “green” brand has a drain cleaner.  And then it occurred to me to wonder just how eco-friendly brands such as Seventh Generation really are.

I’ve been told by friends and cleaning sites alike that one can use baking soda and vinegar for almost all household cleaning, with additional help from kosher salt, lemons, club soda, and other non-harsh products. (NB:  these household cleaners are not as effective as ethanol or some commercial cleaners in tests of rapid disinfectants — so don’t go trying to get rid of polio virus using baking soda and vinegar.)

So far, I’ve preferred to buy an off-the-shelf cleaning product like Seventh Generation (though this is purely a matter of laziness rather than principle).  One of these days, I’ll probably make the switch to using these household items for my cleaning — in the meantime, am I doing harm to the environment, or are allegedly green commercial cleaning products actually eco-friendly?

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Occupy Wall Street: unexpected effects

Just over a year ago, I covered the Occupy movement.  At the time, my assessment was that the movement was garnering a lot of attention initially, but didn’t seem to have very coherent goals.  I was a bit skeptical, but interested to see what happened next.

Initially, there were camps, protests, port shutdowns, and confrontations between the protesters and city officials & police.  But eventually, most of the Occupiers stopped inhabiting physical spaces like Zuccotti Park (in many cases because they were forced out).  However, the community built by OWS has remained strong, and has focused on many other ventures.  For instance, many Occupiers have shown solidarity with various unions during strikes, which is the kind of action I was imagining would happen, based on the movement’s roots.

Less expectedly, » Continue reading “Occupy Wall Street: unexpected effects”

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