Being eco-conscious means incorporating environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices into any routine.
Cleaning your home shouldn’t be an exception. Moreover, cleaning products can leave a significant carbon footprint, depending on the chemicals they contain and packaging they come in. That’s why green cleaning products and practices are becoming more popular each day.
The green household products industry is growing more and more. However, there are some downsides to this way of cleaning, so think twice before you make your decision. Here’s what you need to know.
Check out the ingredients list
Harmful chemicals such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in cleaning products are the main reason why people switch from standard to green cleaning products. Harmful VOCs are not acutely toxic but can have a negative long-term impact on your health and cause respiratory problems, allergies, and skin irritations.
Green cleaning products don’t contain VOCs, making them a much healthier alternative. Furthermore, they usually contain natural, plant-based ingredients that are not only healthier but also environmentally-friendly.
However, there have been some irregularities regarding the labelling of green cleaning products as well. That’s because there are not enough regulations pertaining the usage of terms like green, natural or even organic. Simply put, the manufacturers can market a product as healthy and still use toxic chemicals in it.
The only way to be sure of what you’re buying is to research every ingredient on the label. Most people don’t have the time or patience for that, so that’s a huge downside.
Be aware of the limits
Green cleaning products can do a lot but the truth is – they can’t clean everything. Yes, baking soda and white vinegar are a great option to clean pans, windows, or your children’s toys. Since they’re mild, you can include your kids in the cleaning process as well without the fear they’ll get burns or irritations. However, some things require more aggressive products or hiring a professional.
Let’s take tackling the issue of blocked drains as an example. Some clogs can be resolved with drain cleaners, but in most cases, calling a plumber is simply a must.
Also, not all natural cleaning products are good disinfectants – look for citric acid, peroxide, and lactic acid in the ingredients list if you’re looking for an efficient sanitizer. Besides, green cleaning products require more elbow grease to achieve the same level of visual cleanliness you get with conventional detergents.
You’ll probably get better and faster results with stronger chemicals, so you might want to reconsider your priorities before purchasing a green product.
Keep your budget in mind
Since eco-friendly cleaning products contain organic, natural ingredients, they’re usually more expensive than standard products. As a matter of fact, they’re often too pricey for an average homeowner and that’s why people choose to go back to standard chemical products or decide to give the DIY option a chance.
Homemade cleaning products are the healthiest and the most affordable option, not to mention the relief of not having to deal with shady labels and hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
On the other hand, a report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory showed that green buildings are estimated to save as much as 20 percent on cleaning costs – they use less energy and less water and emit less carbon dioxide. This is a great example of how adopting a systematic approach to green practices can lead to building real eco-friendly neighbourhoods and even cities.
Now that you have some insight into green cleaning practices, think again and be clear about what you want to achieve. Although it may seem complicated at first, finding a cleaning routine that’s budget and eco-friendly and good for your family’s health is not that hard.
Let’s assume your goal is to have a spotless home and high-quality indoor air. To achieve that, you should take the best from both worlds and create your own solutions. So go on, experiment and have fun.
What’s your favourite cleaning product? Share with us below.