In Memoriam: my brother Michael

In memory of my brother Michael, who passed away one year ago today (October 31, 2010) after having lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 51. I am writing this post, in his memory. I hope my brother is in a better place, watching over his kids, chatting it up with both sets of Nonni, my Aunt Pat, and many many other relatives who have since passed on.


Just when I thought I had seen, heard or read every cruel thing that some humans do TO animals on a daily basis for human consumption or use…

I stumbled upon this very disturbing, heart-wrenching, video:

If you’ve got the stomach for it, watch this video.  If you’re not a vegan before watching this, you will be by the time you are done.

“The earth is in crisis, and there is only one mammal to blame.”   Truer words were never spoken!

Swiffer, the clogger of landfills…

“Ma’am, have you been cleaning your floors with Swiffer?” 

          “Guilty as charged, your Honor.”


I am one of the many, out of God only knows how many… thousand, maybe even millions of people using Swiffer to clean my hardwood and tile floors.  Shame on me!  After becoming a disciple of Broke-Ass Grouch, I knew using Swiffer was wrong. But in fairness to me, I had a huge container of them so what’s an eco-challenged girl to do?  I wanted to stop using them. I knew it was wrong to continue using them, but what was I supposed to do, dump the unused container in the trash?… Rationalizing my behavior, I figured, heck, might as well use up the remaining pre-moistened pads and once the container is empty, vow to never, ever, purchase another Swiffer product again.  There, I’ve said it.

Ever wonder what chemicals are used to make Swiffer? I mean seriously, what is in that stuff? Judging by how long the chemical smell lingers in my home, it cannot be good for me, my six cats or the environment.  A couple of months ago, I purchased a mop and a bucket and attempted to clean my hardwood floors with diluted vinegar and water solution. Turns out, that solution leaves yucky water mark streaks all over the hardwood. No issues with the tiles though, so this is strictly a hardwood floor dilemma.  Prior to my Swiffer days, I used Murphy’s Oil Soap.  Although, now that I’m more eco-conscience, I cannot imagine Murphy’s Oil Soap is an eco-friendly product either. What do you suppose the base product is petroleum? I’m too tired to look it up.  [Sigh.] Why so tired you might ask? It would seem, my work hours have been kicking the shit out of me, and this doesn’t include my commute to/from the city 5 days a week.  I’m not complaining. I am grateful to have a job and I work with a great group of people but some weeks are more exhausting than others. 

What to do. What to do?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 


Well GE Followers, any suggestion(s) on what I should use to clean my hardwood floors that is eco-friendly and CHEAP? It has to be cheap. Thanks to Broke-Ass, I’ve been cleaning just about every surface or item in my household with baking soda and vinegar.  My stainless steel kitchen sink has never looked better…and what a great way to remove soap residue from the shower without noxious chemicals that will alter my DNA structure. [Heavy Sigh] I wish my grandmothers were alive, seeing as both hailed from the old country (Italy) and were poor, I’m quite certain they would have the answer(s) to my dilemma. 

Ok. Ok.  I know what you’re thinking, Swiffer is so convenient.  It’s true, it is, but at what cost? First off, from a financial standpoint, Swiffer isn’t cheap. Secondly, it produces so much waste.  Please don’t tell me those pads are biodegradable. C’mon? After how many years are we talking?  Shit, I would bet that if archeologists were to dig us up, they wouldn’t find “a series of small walls” rather, they’d find all kinds of crap we used to make our lives more convenient all the while being bamboozled into believing were “biodegradable”.  Pishaw!  If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 44 snarky years on this planet is that that big business doesn’t give a rat’s fuzzy about me, you, animals or the environment. All they care about is the bottom line. 

After I resurrect some energy, I will research this dilemma further and then share what I have discovered. 


Until then GE Followers…


© 2011 GiRRL_Earth




Ummm, actually, before I sign off, I keep promising to post about water bottles and about how the bottle caps cannot be recycled the same way the bottles are due to the fact it is a different plastic.  If you’d like to learn more about plastic recycling, mainly: bottles, caps, jars etc., check in with    Quite frankly, with all that we know about our environment and plastic, you’d think people would stop buying bottled water.  As for me, I stopped buying bottled water two years ago. Instead, I use a Zero Water pitcher and I love it. It comes with a digital reader and a chart that allows you to test your water to see where it is at in terms of pollutants.  I also use re-usable, BPA-free water bottles.   Here is the link from regarding recycling plastic caps.   Enjoy!