Contrary to the old myth, it actually is easy being green.
There are a few common misconceptions about cleaning with an eco-friendly mindset. Some of the biggest ones? That natural products are not as effective as their chemical counterparts. Another one is that you need plenty of paper towels and disposable products to get things truly clean. But so much has changed in the last few years. The category of cleaning has evolved, so you can take a dreaded task and turn it into a pleasant one: one that is safe for your family, their health, and the planet.
1. Make it joyful
Sure, some of us love cleaning, but for those of us who don’t, one of the easiest ways to boost your mood? Fragrance! Instead of the harmful scents of strong chemicals that can be used in cleaning, essential oils have risen in popularity, not only for their light fragrances but for their ability to break up grime and leave surfaces gleaming.
2. Buy in bulk
Seek out products that can be refilled at a bulk station, that offers cleaning products from laundry detergent to disinfectant surface cleaner to a shampoo and a body care line. Some offer 10L box format of recycled cardboard, allowing you to refill your regular-sized bottles with—in the comfort of your home. This makes it possible to reuse thousands of plastic containers every day, so you can save on every refill.
3. Consider the planet
One way to consider the way the environment is impacted by our cleaning habits is to consider not only the packaging (is it recyclable or disposable?), but to also think about packaging and ingredients. Products that are vegan mean they contain no animal products, which is beneficial to the health of the planet. And biodegradable products means that over time, they will degrade on their own, instead of clogging up landfills and polluting our water systems, lakes and oceans.
4. Seek out multi-taskers
Forget having to purchase eight different spray bottles to clean a 5 x 8 foot space. Many cleaning products manufactured these days—particularly natural cleaning products—are designed to be used on different surfaces in different ways. For example, find a laundry detergent that can be used as a stain remover—not only will it occupy less space in your cabinets, it also means there is less waste.
5. Be thoughtful about quantity
When considering how to be more eco about your cleaning habits, one of the most simple changes you can make is how many dishes or clothing make it into the next cleaning cycle. Running those machines at half load only washes half of its contents while using the full amount of water and electricity! Be strategic about when you do this, instead of just washing items as they become soiled.
6. Go back to basics
Envision the photos from years past, where it was commonplace to hang your laundry out to dry. Do you have access to a drying rack or clothing line? Skip the dryer and hang your clean laundry instead. Not only can the sun help brighten whites and lift stubborn stains, but you’ll save on energy costs, too. If you prefer to use the dryer, make the switch from disposable dryer sheets to wool dryer balls, which smooth out wrinkles and can be scented with a few drops of essential oils.
7. Skip the paper
Paper towels and disposable cleaning products have taken up shelf space in stores for years, promising convenience and cleanliness. But much of the time, they’re truly not necessary. Aside from the expense, cleaning with paper towels is a waste of paper and money. Instead of purchasing them, take a pair of scissors to an old t-shirt, or stock up on inexpensive tea towels and launder them after every use—they have better grit anyway!
8. Prioritize your health
It’s easy to want a quick fix when you’re working on a tough stain or a messy surface. But those with underdeveloped immune systems, such as children, the elderly and even pets can suffer some health consequences if they are exposed to heavy toxic chemicals. Using these problematic cleaners in order to get the job done is no longer the only option. Instead, look for a household cleaning brand that values safety and transparency, so you can enjoy your beautiful home with peace of mind.