How to green your cleaning routine
Cleaning might get your surfaces spotless, but what about the environment, wildlife and your health?
Your cleaning routine might be contributing considerably to your carbon footprint and could be adversely effecting your health.
According to the EPA, indoor air pollution may be 5 times higher than outdoor and your choice of cleaning products has a part to play in this.
Conventional cleaning products rely on petroleum, a non-renewable resource and with a product designed for every cleaning job, your home might be full of toxic chemicals.
Fortunately there are ways to clean your home without the adverse side effects.
If you use toxic products, you need to use lots of water to rinse them away. Switch to plant-based, organic products to reduce your need for rinsing. If you use a completely natural, safe product such as vinegar to wipe over your tiles and mirrors, you don’t need to rinse at all!
Disposable, once use wipes and cloths end up in the landfill where they take years to break down. In the meantime, they are leaching out toxic chemicals into the ground and air. Microfiber cloths, although from a manmade fibre, last for years. The great thing about these is that you don’t need to use any cleaning product at all – just water and a microfiber cloth will clean nearly all surfaces including floors.
By doing the majority of your cleaning with natural products such as bicarbonate of soda, lemons and vinegar you can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging you throw away. Most conventional cleaning products come in plastic containers, which end up in landfill. Try and find a company who will refill, such as Ecover to reduce the amount of packaging you use.
Switch to safer, more natural products and reduce the amount of chemicals you are exposed to. Even holding a cloth soaked in a toxic product means that you could absorb up to 60% of that product through your skin. Inhaling products is another way in which chemicals can enter your body. There are many eco friendly products available which are just as effective as their chemically-laden alternatives and are better for your health.
To help you identify cruelty free products, look out for the leaping bunny logo on product packaging.
This logo appears on household cleaning products whose manufacturers are approved under the Humane Household Products Standard. This is your guarantee that a product — and its ingredients — have not been tested on animals.
Find cruelty free products with this online database. Companies such as Bio-D, Faith in Nature, Clearspring and Co-Op own labels are all approved.
What about you? What steps do you take to green clean your home?
I also utilize tea tree oil for disinfecting. It smells great and kills the bad germs, too. In addition, since it is an essential oil, it’s very concentrated and only a few drops are needed, making it not only earth friendly, but wallet friendly, too. : )
@yournontoxiclife: We’re big users of tea tree oil too. Mr Green doesn’t like the smell of it, but by using oils like lemon and benzoin too, it mixes well 🙂