It's no secret that white vinegar (acetic acid) is an all-powerful dirt busting powerhouse of awesome. It is commonly used for many different purposes, from eating to removing the finish off a car. And the best part is that it's 100% natural, biodegradable, vegan, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic. But when assessing the environmental impact of vinegar, there is more to consider than its green cleaning value.
If you've been in the vinegar section of your local grocery store, chances are you've looked at the myriad of options and opted for the cheapest because vinegar is vinegar...right? Unfortunately, not so.
Cheap vinegar is almost always processed synthetically using petrochemicals. This means that although you think you are cleaning with an environmentally friendly product, you are in fact contributing to the environmental degradation of the planet by purchasing a product made with petrochemicals. So what's so terrible about petrochemicals? Plenty:
- Oil spills at sea cause major environmental damage to our ecosystem.
- Burning petrochemicals significantly contributes to smog and air pollution.
- Burning petrochemicals creates large amounts of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
- Transporting and digging for petrochemicals harm local eco-systems.
Pretty much everything about petrochemicals is damaging to the planet. For a brief introduction to the harmful effects of petrochemicals, check out this ehow page. If you are interested in more in-depth information, many scholarly articles are available for purchase online.
Thankfully, you don't need to give up on vinegar entirely if you want to clean green because companies still produce vinegar made from grains. It is more expensive than the alternative, but when you weigh the cost of environmental degradation, the extra cost becomes worth it.
Clear Cause Cleaners uses vinegar made exclusively from grain. We are the socially responsible cleaners that don't mind springing for the earth friendly option because the earth is our home and we aim to keep it clean and beautiful.
Stay tuned for our next installment about natural cleaning for the community.