Want to go green with your cleaning supplies? Here are a few tips to clean in a more environmentally friendly manner.
How To Greenify Your Cleaning Routine
Nobody wants to live in a pigsty, but keeping your house clean can be a difficult and time-consuming process. What’s more, keeping your house clean can also be expensive, depending on how you do it and the products you use.
Even worse is the fact that many of these cleaning products are bad for your personal health or the environment, making it hard to keep things tidy without harming mother nature. Nevertheless, many homeowners doesn’t think it’s possible or easy to locate environmentally-friendly cleaning agents which allow them to keep their abodes spic and span without diminishing the vibrancy of their local ecosystem.
Luckily, there are affordable and environmentally-sustainable methods for cleaning your house and other belongings. It simply requires a little bit of homework and preparation to ensure that you can keep things nice without harming your body or the environment.
Tips for Environmentally Friendly Cleaning
Here’s a breakdown of how to greenify your cleaning routine, and which products to avoid as you do so.
Be wary of bad products
Consumers have grown increasingly environmentally conscious over the past few years, largely because of the detrimental effects of chemical-laden products attributed to global climate change.
Realizing that we only have a little bit of time left to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for our planet and children, many homeowners are trying to clean up their acts – literally – by going green when it’s time to clean. Still, many homeowners have resisted this trend if only because they’re unsure of how to locate environmentally-conscious cleaning products and the companies which provide them.
Whenever you find yourself engaged in the process of evaluating and selecting green products, you should be well-aware of the fact that not all cleaning agents are equal when it comes to their eco-friendliness.
A program of the National Institute for Building Sciences has provided a helpful breakdown of evaluating and selecting green products that eco-friendly homeowners should familiarize themselves with. As it accurately notes, “Executive Order 13101” defines environmentally-preferable-products (EPPs) as “those that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products that serve the same purpose.”
Fraudulent companies have realized that they can exploit this newfound environmental consciousness by peddling products that say they are good for the environment but really produce harm to plants, the atmosphere, or even the human inhabitants of your lovely home. The first thing you should do is read up on the fact that eco-friendly product labels can be misleading. Know how to look past fraudulent marketing tactics in order to discover the truth, and you’ll be cleaning green sooner rather than later.
Know that bad companies produce bad products which profess to be legitimate but in reality could be harming not only the environment but also the health and hygiene of yourself, your family, and anybody else who lives in your home.
Some products may claim to be environmentally friendly but could be bad if you’re a homeowner with a beloved pet, too. It’s thus important to do your research before you head out shopping to identify local companies and nationally-available products which are worthy of your attention and money.
Finding the right products
Just because a cleaning product says its “natural” or “earth-friendly” doesn’t mean it’s the real-deal. Want to know for sure? Then set some time aside to learn about the specific household products and chemicals that can be harmful to you, your family, your pets, or the environment. Certain products that claim to be “antibacterial” may sound appealing, for instance, but they could also wreak havoc upon our waterways by harming valuable algae or other plant and bacteria life that’s necessary for a wholesome ecosystem to thrive.
Cleaning products which contain phosphates, such as many floor cleaners, can ultimately harm your local waterways. This is because water filtration systems struggle to truly get all phosphates out of the water before it ends up in local waterways.
Active ingredients like Triclosan may be appealing to homeowners because of their perceived “antibacterial” properties, but in reality they often end up in streams, rivers, and waterways where they kill important algae and diminish the health of larger sea creatures.
See Related: Best Sustainable Gifts
You can clean and be green
There are specific methods you can rely upon to simultaneously clean and go green. If you review a list of 10 eco-friendly ways to spruce up your home, for instance, you’ll find that natural remedies like lemon juice possess antiseptic and antibacterial properties that won’t harm other plant or animal life in the environment.
Using certain products like baking soda can help you ensure your home and belongings remain clean without forcing you to purchase expensive cleaning products that cost an arm and a leg while also damaging the environment.
Taking time to familiarize yourself with eco-friendly materials like bamboo fiber can also ensure that you know what to look for when you next head to the store to purchase cleaning supplies. Cork is a popular alternative to leather and plastics which many people are still unaware of, though it’s been becoming more common in consumer products over the past few years.
You may think that this is asking for those who clean the home to do even more work than they usually do. While there’s no denying that we must all work harder to deal with climate change and ensure a sustainable future, it’s true that certain individuals are asked to clean up around the house more often than others.
That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the other members of your household to contribute to your efforts to go eco-friendly. If only one member of the household is striving to ensure the products your household uses are eco-friendly, your efforts may be in vain, as somebody else’s poor purchasing decisions could undo all the hard-earned progress you’ve generated thus far.
It’s thus critical for homeowners to ensure that everybody living under their roof is aware of eco-friendly lifestyles. This may be easier said than done, but it could entail sitting everybody down to ensure they’re up to date on easy steps that can be taken to bolster the eco-friendliness of your lifestyle.
Getting your children and spouse to turn electronics off more often while composting the food they don’t eat can work wonders for the planet. Additionally, encouraging them to carpool when possible and ensuring that the items they rely upon for personal care are eco-friendly can also ensure you’re not alone in your household when it comes to this initiative.
See Related: What is Sustainability
Know about simple remedies
Greenifying your cleaning routine doesn’t necessitate massive changes to your lifestyle in every circumstance. Sometimes, simple cleaning remedies can be embraced to ensure you’re greenifying your routine without spending a huge sum of money or disrupting your established procedure in order to do so.
For example, baking soda can be used in a wide variety of cleaning scenarios, including cleaning your oven. Similarly, white vinegar and water, when boiled together, can be an incredibly potent and natural cleaning solution that won’t harm local wildlife or plantlife. When you browse websites like cottagecare.com and others that offer environmentally sustainable products like solar panels, consider that everyday cleaning products can be made in your own kitchen without requiring you to spend money on brand-name items.
Sometimes, simple things like opening your windows can improve the air quality of your home. This helps you avoid harmful chemicals or expensive remedies provided by commercial air fresheners.
Cleaning your indoor air naturally by ventilating your home is highly recommended if you want to go green without sacrificing your quality of life. You should also know that carpooling when you visit the grocery store or taking public transportation can help you cut back on your carbon emissions. Driving a car to pick up cleaning supplies can end up harming the environment, after all.
Speaking of automobiles, did you know that you can clean your car without harming the environment, too? It’s not always easy, especially for those who have brand-loyalty to products they’ve used all their life which also may be harmful to the environment. It’s nevertheless important to foster changes in your cleaning routine whenever possible if you really want to go green, as small steps won’t be enough to stave off the deleterious effects of global climate change.
Knowing about the car wash supplies you can use without having to worry about harming the environment will help you keep your ride and home in lovely shape without harming the local wildlife or plantlife.
Many chemicals don’t only harm the environment and your health, but also the loveliness of your vehicle, so consider the financial element of going green if you’re having doubts.
You should also be careful not to use too much water; when running the rose to wash off your car, it’s easy to end up wasting huge sums of water that you otherwise would be using more prudently if you were taking a shower or washing your hands.
Learn about lawn maintenance
Finally, you can’t hope to greenify your cleaning routine if you’re not also greenifying the maintenance techniques you do to keep your lawn and yard in excellent shape. Maintaining an attractive and vibrant yard is important to many American homeowners, but relatively few of them understand to extent to which certain lawn-care techniques can diminish not only the health of their local environment but also the health of the ecosystem which could be surrounding their own home.
Following some tips for an eco-friendly backyard necessitates that you stop burning leaves after raking them. Similarly, when cleaning your deck, patio, or other outside furniture, keep in mind everything we’ve already covered about cleaning agents and their ability to negatively impact your health and that of your pets and local plantlife.
You should also consider the fact that the grass on your lawn is likely sucking up a truly tremendous amount of water which could be put to better use elsewhere. That’s why eco-friendly alternatives to grass lawns should be considered by anyone who’s serious about saving the environment.
Beautiful groundcover plants like creeping thyme and Japanese sweet flag can ensure that your yard has a lush cover that’s beautiful to look at and frolic upon without being harmful to the environment. Ornamental grasses and mosses can also be better options than many traditional lawn grass choices. Even artificial turf and rock lawns (popular in the American West) can help your household become substantially greener than it presently is.
If you haven’t already, you should assemble a compost bin in your backyard. This can be a bit of hard work, especially if you’re building one from scratch, but it can also present a fun opportunity for the entire family to create something together with their hands.
Furthermore, it will make after-meal composing incredibly easy, as you and your family can take the food you didn’t finish and apply it directly to your compost bin.
Staying green in the future
This information is based on knowledge we have access to right now, but in the future additional studies and experiments are doubtlessly going to uncover new and better techniques for greenifying your cleaning routine. That’s why responsible homeowners will know that they should keep their eye open for new developments when it comes to the cleaning agents they can purchase or the lawn care options they could rely upon.
Understand that you need to get the entirety of your household onboard to ensure that this operation is a success. If even one person continues to use environmentally-damaging products in your household, they could thwart the progress you and others are generating.
By ensuring that everybody is on the same page and working towards the same goals, your efforts to greenify your routine will be much easier and longer-lasting, to boot.
Greenifying your cleaning routine can be done from the comfort of your own home, and seldom costs more money than regular cleaning options. Before long, you’ll be keeping your house in lovely shape without jeopardizing the wellbeing of the environment.