Clean Green

And other random rhymes…..

Yes it’s random Advisory Activity time again – Monday’s focus?  Empirical Reasoning – hand on the environment (sounds disturbing, yet trendy)…

IMG_0482One student’s product design for Green Cleaner

Our cleaning is killing us.

Well, thats a bit alarmist, but you get the point.  Many of our cleaning products affect our health in negative ways either directly (they are a dangerous poison near us) or indirectly, they alter our environment on a large scale, or both. Internationally, there has been an increasing movement to supplement (and in many cases, return to) healthier alternative than chemical cleaners which many suspect worsen out indoor air quality and could trigger asthma.

Recently, a summer program at RISD (Room + Room) taught students green cleaning recipes – concoctions that do not irritate the body (more than vinegar can) and manage to clean and disinfect well.  They took this learning a next step and created packaging and advertising around it.  I mean to steal it her and present it to you for a great pair or group activity.


  • Have students go through and take an inventory of the cleaning products in their homes. They should look at the labels for names of chemicals (As one site says, “Take out all of your cleaning products and line them up. If they have ammonia, chlorine, phosphates, petrochemicals, or just a strong chemical odor, then get them out of your house!”)
  • Have students (individually or in groups) use one of the recipes on this page (link) then find a container to put it in (spray bottles from Home Depot/Lowe’s work well).
  • Once they’ve created a recipe, they should think about what to name and market a cleaning supply like this.  What brand name would work? What tagline? Why? Who is the audience? What do they want to see in design and explanation on the label? (Have examples to show students of current packaging for products) Design and print a label (with provided art supplies) and sketch a 30 second audio or video commercial for your product.
  • For an extension, have students research more deeply into one or more of the chemicals in current cleaning supplies to unearth why it is, well anti- earth or flat out dangerous to humans.  This info could be used well in an add campaign. For this type of info, students can start at the ecology center.



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