Green Chi: A Floor is a Floor, is a Floor?

I have had a visceral and negative reaction to seeds that are bred to tolerate just one specific herbicide that is the only one that can be used in the growing of the seeds if herbicides are used. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean and cotton seeds, etc., are the example. The circle of farmer dependency seems expensive and burdensome for them, and the company’s plan seems simply a scheme to make more money and sell more herbicides. (Not to speak of the lack of biodiversity in the Monsanto seeds to begin with.)

I realized the other day that we are in a similar circular bind with many consumer products, but I had just never really seen it clearly. I was returning home after being in NYC for a Martha Stewart Whole Living radio show at the Sirius studios, reflecting on one of the call-in questions I received. A woman had a floor cleaning question and I realized that there wasn’t any commonsense cleaning answer anymore about floors because almost all modern flooring materials have become specialized to require specialized cleaners. Because the caller was semi-required to clean her floor in the exact way prescribed by the company, or heaven-help-her who knew what would happen, I fielded her question by referring her to an article about
floor cleaning written by Care2′s senior editor Melissa Breyer.

I wrote an article with a similar purpose, including a workaround, about how to clean stainless steel appliances which require expensive specialty cleaning products.

It no longer requires simple cleaning sense to figure out how to clean your floor or appliance. Or for farmers to use educated integrated pest management. Worse, the marketing of the cleaning products prescribed scares you out of your wits if you use anything else, and the required products are expensive. Let’s be wary, consumer, about buying any product that binds us to future products required for the original product’s maintenance. It does seem ridiculous that cleaning the floor or fridge requires expensive and specialized products that you need so as not to cause damage. I for one don’t want to be that dependent on any corporation, and much prefer the comfort and simplicity of knowing how to clean a floor, any floor, or an appliance, any appliance. Me, I like a rose to be a rose.

Annie Bond is the author of a number of books, including Home Enlightenment (Rodale, 2005).


J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

good reminders

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Diane Lewis
Diane Lewis8 years ago

thanks for the floor cleaner suggestions. i just had vinyl flooring installed and they call for special cleaners made by the manufacturers. i will get it once and try the natural cleaners on scraps to make sure they are ok.
i know vinyl is evil. it just is the best choice for me in my situation right now. i did get the best and it should never have to be replaced. it also does not require any type of floor finish.

Tina R.
Tina R.8 years ago

I have owned my own cleaning business for 20 yrs now. I never like being forced to do anything, with that said, I can tell you there are perfectly cheaper methods of cleaning those stainless steel appliances and the floors without having to pay exuberant prices for products. You can use diluted dish detergent to clean the floors (depending on the flooring surface) (I prefer all natural ones) and if you have read their labels most stainless steel cleaners are made of mineral oil. I have used and make my own stainless steel cleaner out of pure olive oil. Has always worked fine for me. I decided to put my experience and schooling to work so I started a new business making all natural cleaning products, body care products and pet care products. I can be reached at for those that might like a brochure.

Naa R.
Naa R9 years ago

Monsanto has seeds where they commit "suicide" once the product is grown so you HAVE to go back to them to purchase more seed instead of saving the seed from product to replant. Monsanto has been trying to do this with every single seed and plant out there.
I heard from friend in Indiana Monsanto is trying to force the dairy to put a stupid FDA disclaimer on thier milk that does NOT contain RGB haromnes that reads something on lines of RGB is not been shown to be a problem according to FDA. Why change the label if the harmone isn't in it? Because that way Monsanto can force the natural dairy farmers by pressure to have to give thier cows this dangerous health harming chemical & none in Indiana and nation will know. SIGN the petition if in Indiana telling Monsanto to back off NO new labelings for Indiana milks! Hoosiers said NO by poll that they prefer harmone FREE milk and like label reading exactly what's in thier milk. I too agree. MONSANTO BACK OFF! You helped bring about the holicaust so admit that all you are in it for is $$$$!

Heidi T.
Heidi T9 years ago

I forgot to mention that Monsanto also produces seeds that will not produce offspring. In this way farmers are completely dependent on Monsanto- the monoculture is sustained/patent is persistent, and farmers have to buy new seeds each year.

Heidi T.
Heidi T9 years ago

Why do people buy into marketing? sigh. I hadn't heard of the cleaner-product dependency but I have definitely heard about Monsanto's practices (from one of my former internationally reknowned professors who specializes in plant biology)- the breeding of monocultures, patents on seeds (life), fertilizer specific seeds, etc. = corporate monopoly. I feel very bad for the farmers and I am pissed off that our governments allow such things to happen.

carol a.
carol R9 years ago

—from the article “New Movie Damns Monsanto’s Criminal Behavior”
After viewing the film "The World According to Monsanto" I became an activist against this company.

Alicia P.
Alicia P9 years ago

I have to tell you that I just use a steam cleaner and rarely add a bit of vinegar to it to do my tile floors. And my whole house is tiled. I agree wholeheartedly and would dislike being held hostage by any company because I bought their product. Be it seed, appliance, flooring, etc.

Robert R.
Robert R9 years ago