Eco-friendly cleaning products and practices for a healthier home
In our world of ever-growing environmentally conscious humans, the green concept is no longer just a movement for the highly placed individuals of our society, or for the knowledgeable group that preaches against the maltreatment of the environment. Regular people, 9-5 workers, businessmen and women, entrepreneurs, homeowners, parents, singles, introverts, extroverts, and young adults, are getting more and more interested in the well-being of our planet. Large companies now share their commitment to the environment with the world, as that translates to recognition, financial growth and longevity of a company. This post will take you on a journey to the important world of green cleaning, cleaning products and practices, and their benefits to humans, their dwelling spaces and the environment.
Current Challenges With Conventional Cleaning Products
The need to change conventional cleaning products exists because chemical content poses a problem to the users and the environment, and that includes toxins. These chemicals did in fact serve their purpose when in use, by cleaning up the dirt and grime, more like, they replaced the problem with their very own problem, which is a trail of harmful residues from the reaction of the chemicals that took out the dirt and grime initially. They are considered very reactive with just about anything on the surface of the earth, harming the environment, but firstly, its users. This has created the need to replace them with less harmful substances, which are now called the ECO-FRIENDLY cleaning products. Below are the specific impacts these chemicals have been confirmed to have on significant aspects of the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF CONVENTIONAL CLEANING PRODUCTS
- POLLUTION OF WATERBODIES: When conventional cleaning products are used at homes, and washed down the drain, they find their water in water bodies like rivers, lakes, ponds, seas and oceans, polluting them by introducing phosphates which can be found in fertilizers, detergents and some cleaning agents, which will encourage the growth of microorganism like algae, bloom in the waterbodies, which depletes the oxygen level in the water, leading to harm.
- POLLUTION OF AIR QUALITY: Many conventional cleaning products contain harmful substances referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can be easily released into the atmosphere in the form of gases, which pollute the indoor air, causing a series of respiratory issues and allergies for the vulnerable group like the children and elderly adults with underlying health conditions.
- MORE WASTE GENERATION: Conventional cleaning products are mostly packaged for single use. Meaning that they don’t often get reused, which is the major difference between eco-friendly and conventional waste products, as they collectively contribute to the ongoing plastic pollution on the planet.
Health Impact of the Conventional Cleaning Products
Long and short-term respiratory issues can result from breathing in VOCs constantly, showing symptoms like irritation, asthma attacks, shortness of breath, lung infection, hormonal disruptions and cancer. Skin rashes, corrosion, burns, allergies, and skin irritation can result from coming in contact with these cleaning products’ chemicals.
QUALITIES OF ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
After careful comparison, some qualities of the eco-friendly cleaning products have made them a better option than conventional cleaning products, because they leave the users and the environment safe. These qualities include;
Biodegradable Quality: Contrary to conventional cleaning products which react with the environment to produce harmful new substances, after they have been used, eco-friendly cleaning products break down/ decompose naturally after they have been used/ exposed to the environment, without harming the environment and users.
Contain Plant-Based Ingredients: Eco-friendly cleaning products typically contain plant-based ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and citric acid, which are effective for the removal of dirt and grime, when compared to the chemicals of the typical cleaning agents, and this includes plant-based detergents.
Contain Disinfecting Quality: Eco-friendly cleaning products also possess disinfectant, antifungal and antibacterial qualities, just like the chemical-filled cleaning products. The use of essential oils like; Lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus oils will play a good role in disinfecting target areas.
Reusable Quality: Reusable clothes are now a good alternative to one-time-use wipes and paper towels. microfiber cloths and mop pads are a good way to reduce waste generation into the environment, but also save money for replacement.
Eco-Friendly Practices that Make it a perfect fit for the earth
We have considered the products that are safe for our planet, now we will now consider the practices that are equally safe for our environment.
The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle possibilities
The 3 ‘Rs’: The significant Rs have been a guiding light for a better operation toward a safer planet. It has been used in songs, environmental programs and even in projects, so much so that it has formed a foundation for all things environment for those who have had an interest long ago, and those who just picked interest in it.
Implementing the Reduce, reuse, recycle concept has spread like wildfire to every aspect including products manufacturing, as well as usage, like in various cleaning routines, which preach on reducing waste to as low as reasonably practicable from manufacturing to usage, like a company indirectly controlling the amount of waste that can come from its products and services, which can include its packaging and bagging from point source, using biodegradable materials likes paper, rather than polyethene, reusing of cleaning materials like the microfibre cleaning materials, rather the wipes which are used one time, and thrown away, and lastly, recycling the wastes after products have been used. For example, the packaging can be recycled and used for something else whether through or not through the company.
The DIY, Cost-effective and Eco-friendly qualities
The safety of eco-friendly cleaning products includes the ease with which they can be made. The ingredients are so earth and human-friendly that they are acquired within. These cleaning products can be made by individuals who have to substitute, replace and even modify these safe ingredients to suit their preferences and allergies, using basic ingredients and readily available ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda, which are considered cost-effective and eco-friendly.
The Benefits of Eco-friendly Cleaning
Over the years, right from its point of existence, the undeniable benefits of transitioning from conventional to eco-friendly cleaning have been weighed and considered, which is why the concept has been pushed for implementation throughout various industries. The benefits will be separated into environmental (planet), health(people) and economics (profits).
- 1. Environmental (planet) Benefits: The Eco-friendly cleaning products’ biodegradable tendencies have placed them at the top of the importance list. The fact they don’t leave behind chemicals that keep reacting with everything in the environment, makes it safe for the planet and people who live in it, meaning that they reduce the chemical exposure that the conventional ones bring, so they break down without harming anyone or anything.
- Many eco-friendly cleaning products emit little to no carbons into the atmosphere, because they are manufactured using sustainable ingredients and processes, and their produced wastes can be recycled, with the non-recycled wastes being biodegradable to reduce the emission to the environment, preserving the business (by using sustainable ingredients for manufacturing), and environment (by not polluting the air, water and land).
- 2. Health (People) Benefits: Eco-friendly cleaning products do not release harmful volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, which automatically guarantees safer air quality, making it the best option for humans, especially those who suffer from allergies or respiratory issues. Producing these products also does not require harsh or corrosive chemicals, which do not corrode the skin or any body part they come in contact with, there reducing allergy levels.
- Eco-friendly products do not degrade the quality of the environment, because they do not contain harmful substances that constantly react with the environment to produce endanger the environment. This simply leaves the home clean, and the user safe, provides non-toxic scents to improve the quality of the environment, and maintains health.
- 3. Economic (Profit) Benefits: These Eco-friendly products are now being referred to as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) products because they are easily made in the convenience of your home, using readily available ingredients that can be found around the house. For this reason, they are considered more cost-effective, than their conventional counterparts. Secondly, having to use products like microfiber cloths, and mop sticks are more cost-effective than disposable and disinfecting wipes, because they save money from having to replace and refill.
How to Switch to Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
It is one thing to identify the harm a cleaning product or products bring to humans and the environment, it is another thing to find the right ones for you. In order not to be deceived or scammed by a brand and its eco-friendly claims, it is always best to know how to spot the right eco-friendly product. Some brands take advantage of the Pro-environment groups, knowing that their product is not in line with their claims, just so they can boost their purchase.
Check product labels for third-party certifications to signify that they have had their products verified and meet health and environmental standards. Browsing up how to make these products on the internet, can also guide you in the right direction, helping you identify the products that are expected to be in the products, so when you smell or spot a strange addition, you will know.
Brands take pride in explaining the reason their product should be chosen, so when you pay attention to the details of products, that will guide you towards the right purchase decision. There a significant information about these products on shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy, educate yourself, by reading product descriptions, lastly, stay tuned to this blog, and we go on an environmental protection journey while learning to clean our homes and the environment.
Finally, the word “Green”, is no longer just a trend for a group of friends, it is a well-calculated choice which comes from a place of research and good analysis of the impacts of actions, in a bid to protect people, profit and the planet.
When individuals, homes and organisations make the significant decision to contribute to a cleaner environment, for humans in existence and those yet to be born, it is not just a verbal commitment, but adopting eco-friendly cleaning products and practices might look like a small step, but collectively it produces a significant impact on the environmental consciousness of the world, like we ave now, and it begins with every homeowner, family, and organisation.