For as long as I can remember, I have been an advocate of personal development. I’m a strong believer in finding ways to better yourself, always, in all ways, and my library of self-help books could rival any Chapters or Barnes and Noble.

Seven and a half years ago I made the decision to put my aspirations into action and prioritize my mental and physical health. This meant investing in things that made me happy, discovering new skills and passions, developing better eating habits, incorporating physical activity into my everyday routine, and ridding myself of anything that wasn’t serving my personal development goals. In light of my journey to becoming the best possible version of myself, I also decided to remove alcohol from my life.

So why is it that, if you came to my house, you would find a bottle of vodka underneath my kitchen sink? You would find it there because that is my secret weapon for keeping my home clean.

Part of my journey toward becoming the person I wanted to be was about eliminating toxicity from my life. Toxic work. Toxic people. Toxic food. Toxic chemicals – many of which are found in items we use everyday such as cleaning products.

It was easy to make a clean break (no pun intended) and dispose of my hazardous household cleaners (thanks Eco Centre!), but in doing this I had to come up with an alternative. Research led me to the holy grail: Vodka!

I soon discovered that this little miracle worker could replace all of the toxic chemicals in my home. As an anti-bacterial agent, I could use it to clean and disinfect my kitchen, bathroom, floors, windows, mirrors, grease and jewelry (husband, if you’re reading this, I have lots of vodka to clean with but not enough jewelry to use it on).

Now this is my kind of party!

Introducing this one item into my life has given me so many benefits. Instead of buying a cleaning product for every part of my home I can use one single item that cleans my whole home and saves me time and storage space; by not purchasing a kazillion cleaning products I have saved an incredible amount of money (allowing me to buy more self-help books); and, perhaps most importantly, I have eliminated unnecessary toxic chemicals from entering our water supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found trace amounts of all types of chemicals in our lakes and streams and, while they come from several sources, the most common is from people flushing them down the toilet. Try as we might, treatment plants can’t always filter out and completely break down harsher chemicals (such as bleach) during treatment, meaning these chemicals can unfortunately end up in our water supply.

Once there, they can poison plants and wildlife, contaminate the soil, and harm children and adults who come in contact with it.

The path I have chosen is not the right path for everyone and I fully support people making choices that work for them. But if you do choose to use products that are laden with chemicals, I urge you to consider our environment and dispose of them properly at the Eco Centre.

Remember folks, only the 4 P’s should be flushed: Pee, Poo, Paper (toilet) and Puke.