There are many ways you can adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. One of the simplest ways you can start is by looking at the cleaning products you are using in your home. Whether you dread cleaning or not, I’m sure you agree that your home should be both a healthy and safe place for your family.
So, why should you use eco-friendly cleaning products? Eco-friendly cleaning products are made from all-natural plant-based ingredients and do not contain any toxic chemicals so you will keep your home safe and your family healthy while doing your part in protecting the environment.
Many commercial cleaning products are loaded with toxic chemicals which are hazardous to your health and the environment. It’s important to be aware of these potential dangers so you can avoid them and keep a healthy and safe home. I’ve created a list of the many benefits of using eco-friendly cleaning products.
1. Better Air Quality
Did you know that most commercial cleaning products contain VOC’s? VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds are extremely hazardous and pose dangers to our health by leaching into the air. They can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, respiratory impairment, and even memory loss. I’ll say “no thanks” to all of the above!
When you clean using these products, you can smell the strong artificial odors in the air which means you are inhaling these pesky VOC’s. When you look at the ingredients label, avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia, chlorine, or petroleum-based chemicals. Instead of having to limit your exposure to these chemicals, make the switch to eco-friendly alternatives so the air you breathe at home is clean and chemical-free.
2. A Better Smelling Home
No one likes the strong stink from bleach or ammonia! In addition to improving the air quality in your home, using eco-friendly cleaning products will also improve the overall fragrance. No more having to air out your kitchen after cleaning and mopping.
You can rest easy knowing that the scents you are breathing in are made from pure organic and all-natural ingredients such as essential oils and plant extracts. Most eco-friendly cleaning products come in a variety of natural fragrances to keep your home smelling pleasant.
3. A Safer Home
We all have the right to a safe home. By using eco-friendly cleaning products, you can ensure your home will be safe and healthy, free from exposure to any of the above dangers caused by VOC’s that are present in commercial cleaning products.
Truly eco-friendly cleaning products are made from all-natural and plant-based ingredients which are free from hazardous chemicals. They will not cause any respiratory irritation or be harmful to the environment.
4. A Longer Lasting Home
Since traditional commercial cleaning products are filled with many chemicals, they can also adversely affect the texture and condition of your dishes, countertops, floors, and furniture over time. Using all-natural cleaning products with plant-based ingredients will cause less long-term damage to the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom. You may also notice that your clothes last longer when exposed to harsh chemicals in the laundry.
5. Know What’s Inside
By having some knowledge of what is inside the cleaning products you use, you are becoming a more conscious and aware consumer. Most commercial products may not even fully list their ingredients or make vague claims such as “green”, “non-toxic”, or “all-natural”. Instead, look for brands that offer more specific information such as “no phosphates”, “no solvents”, or “plant-based”.
When ingredients are listed, avoid products that are “petroleum-based” and instead choose products that are “plant-based”. Do some research to find out the exact ingredients are in your cleaning products as well as some background information on the brand and how they promote a sustainable environment.
6. Make Cleaning Easier
Cleaning is more streamlined when you have fewer products to choose from rather than an individual product for each part of the house. Using an eco-friendly and all-purpose option will allow you to tackle multiple cleaning jobs in your house at the same time. For example, an all-purpose option can be used as a mildew remover in the bathroom and also an effective countertop cleaner in the kitchen.
Spare your clothes as you won’t have to worry about getting any annoying bleach stains. No need for protective masks and gloves or the fear of mixing the wrong products together for a potentially dangerous chemical reaction.
7. Save Your Money
Since eco-friendly cleaning products contain fewer ingredients and are often made by lesser-known brands, they are actually more affordable than big name commercial brands. They will also get the cleaning job done more effectively so that means less cleaning, less often, and less money spent over time.
Alternatively, using eco-friendly DIY cleaning recipes is a fun way to find new solutions for cleaning in your home. Baking soda and white vinegar can solve about 90% of your cleaning jobs. Combine these with your creative choice of essential oils for a natural smell and DIY cleaning job.
8. Healthier for You and Your Family
Do you have children in your home? If you do, going eco-friendly with your cleaning products makes the most sense to ensure their safety. Children are exposed to all the surfaces in your home from the floor to the remote control. It’s important to make sure these surfaces are free from any hazardous chemicals. Babies spend time on the floor crawling and love to put every object in their mouth so they are more susceptible to exposure of harmful chemicals.
Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products also gives you the valuable opportunity to start the conversation with your children about the importance of a sustainable environment and avoid potential dangers brought on from toxic cleaning products.
9. Protect Your Pets
Do you have pets in your household? Due to their smaller size, animals are more exposed to hazardous chemicals in the home. Carpet, upholstery, and floor surface cleaners should be “pet-safe” and made from all-natural ingredients which are free from any toxic chemicals. This way you won’t have to worry about the health of your furry loved ones.
10. Better for the Earth
Toxic chemicals from cleaning products such as dish soaps, floor cleaners, and all-purpose sprays are flushed down the drain and enter our waterways. Toxins can contaminate water sources and destroy our beautiful marine life while damaging the planet.
Using any products in your home should be guilt-free. By switching to more eco-friendly options you are not only helping yourself and your family, but you are also doing your part in promoting a sustainable environment and protecting the planet earth.
What to Watch out For
Have you ever taken the time to read the label of your laundry detergent, floor cleaner, or cleaning surface spray? You may notice that many cleaning products may not even completely list all of the ingredients present.
You may notice, however, that many labels have warning signs such as “danger”, “warning”, or “toxic”. You may also see explicit safety instructions for use along with “may cause skin irritation” or “flammable” warning signs. This is an indicator that the ingredients present are hazardous and pose a risk to your health. Proceed with caution when using cleaning products containing these warning signs.
In an effort to please the growing demand of eco-friendly consumers, many big brand commercial companies have “greenwashed” and now offer “green” alternatives. However, just because they are marketed as being “green” does not mean they are truly eco-friendly.
When you see ecological claims on the label, look for specific claims. For example, “biodegradable in 7 days” is more specific than “biodegradable” and “made from plant-based ingredients” carries more weight than just “all-natural”. “No petroleum-based ingredients”, “no solvents”, “no phosphates”, are more definitive than simply saying “non-toxic”.
Avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia or chlorine which can cause respiratory and skin irritation. When mixed together, these cause a chemical reaction that will emit toxic fumes. Cleaning is already painful enough as it is!
Stay away from petroleum-based ingredients, as they are not sustainably produced and release toxins into the air. Avoid detergents that contain phosphates. When phosphates enter waterways they cause freshwater algal blooms that release toxins and deplete oxygen that would otherwise be used by marine life.
Since you have an interest in being eco-friendly, look to also reduce your packaging waste by choosing cleaning products that are offered in bulk or large sizes. Although it may be difficult, try to choose products that have containers made from recyclable plastic instead of made from “virgin” plastic (petroleum) in order to reduce your overall environmental impact.
It’s important to have an eco-friendly conscious mind when looking for truly safe and environmentally friendly cleaning products as there are now dozens of brands on the market. Always be proactive by researching which ingredients are in each product and how the brand promotes a sustainable environment.
By adopting this simple aspect of eco-friendly living, you can do your part in helping promote a sustainable environment. It’s an easy switch that can go a long way while keeping your family and home safe.