What’s hiding in all of these bottles and tubes under your kitchen sink? Did you know that the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, lurking invisibly in our cleaning products? OK, maybe not invisibly, they’re right there on the label, but not everyone reads them. Also, it’s sometimes hard to decipher how harmful the ingredients are, but disregarding them by saying “If you can’t pronounce it, it’s bad” also doesn’t work. So what’s the solution? It’s no surprise so many people turn to the world of green cleaning and try to create a world where the sparkling of your counters doesn’t come at the expense of your health (or that of the environment). Yet, you need to know the setbacks too. Let’s start with…
4 Reasons Why Green Cleaning Makes Your Home Better
Looks like it’s time to ditch the toxic chemicals and go green, because by “home”, we mean both your living space and Earth! Double win for our health and that of the planet’s. But enough conviction, see the facts for yourself.
Reason 1. Reduced exposure to irritating chemicals
Most store-bought cleaning products often contain chemicals that can cause skin irritation and breathing issues. Some people’s asthma, allergies, or other health conditions can get triggered by continual exposure. By switching to green products made from natural, non-toxic ingredients, you can reduce the possibility of such triggers. For example, for people with eczema, just switching the laundry detergent and maybe skipping the fabric softener, is a game changer.
Reason 2. Impact on the environment
Natural cleaning products are easy to break down and have no negative impact on the environment. They are like a superhero in a bottle, fighting against pollution and protecting all living things. Some brands even donate to specific organisations or participate in sustainable practices like having zero carbon footprint. So, let’s switch to sustainable cleaning methods to protect our planet for future generations and for our own sake. Chemical warfare is not needed when we have these eco-friendly options.
Reason 3. Cost-effective
If you turn green and start using eco-friendly cleaning products, you can save money in the long term. Yes, of course, if you go down the rabbit hole of buying “exclusive” vegan products with all the right seals of approval from your local health store… Well, then you might be paying just for the packaging. Just read the ingredients. And! You can make these products at home using common household items like all-time, multi-purpose heroes vinegar and baking soda. This also means you won’t have to buy as many different cleaning products, making the cleaning process simpler and cheaper. Like we mentioned above about the fabric softener, you can just swap it with vinegar. It softens the water like a miracle, and it’s probably already in your cupboard. We call that a win!
Reason 4. Sustainable lifestyle
Green cleaning encourages a more conscientious lifestyle and responsible approach to consumption. It promotes the use of reusable, durable cleaning tools over disposable ones, further mitigating waste and environmental impact. You can have a couple of glass spray bottles in which you can mix the cleaning solutions, whether they’re DIY or store-bought.
What to Avoid When You Want to Be Green
Did you know some eco-friendly cleaning products may not be as effective as they seem? Not all ‘green’ cleaning practices are truly sustainable. Let’s explore the myths and pitfalls of these products and practices to ensure our efforts for a cleaner planet are truly green.
Stay Away from Feather Dusters
Those fluffy dusters, often featured in commercials, may not be your optimal cleaning companions.
They tend to capture dust only partially, with a significant portion redistributing in the air or resettling on already cleaned surfaces. Instead, go with something sure, like a moistened microfiber cloth. It not only captures dust adeptly but also thwarts its dispersion into the atmosphere. Interestingly, nearly 70% of dust comprises deceased skin cells.
Allow More Time When Using Green Cleaning Products
When using cleaning products with a high percentage (or entirely made of) natural ingredients, give them time to sit and do their magic. And even if we really wish they did work like magic and remove stains and grime instantly, the reality is we need to be patient. A good rule of thumb is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions about the application process.
Don’t Clean Carpets And Rugs Excessively
Carpets and rugs give your home warmth and character, and it’s normal for people to want to keep them clean. After all, what could go wrong with cleaning? Well… there are some unwanted outcomes. For example, if you treat your rugs and carpeted areas with chemical solutions often (let’s say every month), you guessed it—it shortens their lifespan, meaning you need to buy a new one sooner than it was needed. You can avoid that by just finding a balance between keeping your carpet clean and protecting its quality.
Take Off Your Shoes When Coming Inside
Even though we all know that the streets of the cities and the floors of public spaces are ground (literally) for bacteria, some people still don’t get their shoes off when they enter their homes. We don’t need to list everything you might have stepped in, and you’re now spreading all around your home. We’ll just say that if you do try to keep your home clean, yet you’re still wearing your outside shoes inside… you’re undoing all your hard work. So it’s best to just choose a designated space to leave your shoes when you come inside. Somewhere in the hallway. This simple habit will keep your indoor space cleaner and healthier.
Choosing Between Commercial Green Cleaning Products and DIY Green Cleansers
When faced with the decision, you may come across two main alternatives: commercially sold environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions and homemade green detergents. Each route offers its own distinct benefits and factors to take into account.
Commercial Green Cleaning Products
Commercial green cleaning products are readily accessible in the market, accompanied by certifications attesting to their environmental friendliness. They undergo rigorous scrutiny to ensure they meet specified eco-friendly standards. Here are some merits:
- Convenience. Green cleaning products readily grace the shelves of physical stores and the digital realm, rendering them a convenient choice for bustling households.
- Certified formulations. These products frequently bear certifications such as “biodegradable,” “non-toxic,” and “eco-friendly,” instilling confidence in their sustainability.
- Effectiveness. Many green cleaning products rival their conventional counterparts in terms of efficacy, ensuring the maintenance of a clean and secure home.
DIY Green Cleansers
DIY green cleansers encompass the creation of cleaning solutions employing common household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Here’s why they garner popularity:
- Cost-effective. DIY cleansers prove budget-friendly, as their ingredients usually reside within your pantry.
- Tailored solutions. You retain the capacity to customise DIY cleansers to align with your precise cleaning requisites, adapting ingredients and concentrations as needed.
- Reduction in packaging. By repurposing containers for your homemade solutions, you curtail packaging waste, contributing to a greener lifestyle.
You can say that we’ve unearthed (heh) a treasure trove of eco-friendly practices and cautionary tales. Remember, embracing do’s like using biodegradable materials, harnessing the power of natural cleaners (whether you’ve mixed them yourself or you bought), and adopting reusable tools are not just good habits—they’re investments in our planet’s future. Equally important is to avoid products that masquerade as ‘green’. Be mindful not to overuse resources, even when they’re eco-friendly, and resist single-use conveniences that promise ease but harm our environment. As you stand at the crossroads between old habits and new possibilities, consider how small shifts in your daily routine can lead to profound changes for both your home and the Earth. And remember that you can’t buy “ eco”, it’s a way of life.
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Deepak is a lover of nature and all things sporty. He loves to spend time outdoors, surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. Whether he's hiking, biking, or camping, Deepak enjoys being active and in touch with nature. He also loves to compete and push himself to his limits. Deepak is an avid cyclist, runner, and swimmer. He has competed in several triathlons and marathons, and is always looking for new challenges to take on.