By John DeFore
Among the indulgent goods and fashion accessories in this year’s popular Oprah’s Favorite Things gift guide is one humble item of interest to the talk-host’s environmentally minded viewers. The “Get Clean” starter kit from Shaklee is both an alternative to sending out the annual gift-basket of snack food and a discounted way to sample one of the industry’s most extensive lines of Green cleaning products. Shaklee started in 1915 as a manufacturer of nutritional supplements, but has been in the household cleaning business for decades; its web site boasts that “as early as 1960, we made one of the first biodegradable household cleaners ever.”
Since then, they’ve developed products with an impressive list of omitted no-no’s: no phosphates or chlorine, for instance, and no animal testing. Their cleansers are concentrated, requiring customers to add their own water before using, which saves tremendously on shipping and storage costs (and the pollutants that go with trucking extra mass from factory to supermarket). CEO Roger Barnett claims that, just since last April, the company has sold enough concentrated cleaner to keep over a billion unnecessary plastic bottles out of landfills. One can only guess how many billions will result from the kind of exposure Oprah can lend a product that merges household practicality with eco-friendly zeal.