Easy Changes, Big Impact: How to Make Your Cleaning Routine Better for the Environment
Trying to be more eco-friendly as a busy parent can sometimes seem like a struggle – you already have so much on your hands, how can you find the time? If you’re looking for simple ideas that can really make a difference to the environment – and your family – then why not start by reassessing what’s in your cleaning cupboard? It can be as easy as picking up a different product in the store, but having a real impact; studies by the Environmental Protection Agency show that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outside air due to toxic chemicals from cleaning products.
Better for the Environment
Thousands of deaths of marine animals yearly can be attributed to toxic pollution from synthetic chemicals entering the natural water system. The plastic packaging from the products contributes to this further; large patches of garbage floating in the ocean have reached the size of US states. This scale of impact throws out the balance of entire eco-systems – all to get that sparkling finish on your counter tops.
Better for Your Family
Closer to home, studies have also shown that conventional cleaning products can increase the risk of asthma in children; and many scientists support the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ that using chemical cleaners which are “too effective” limits the exposure of children to germs. This means that their immune systems fail to build up defences against harmful bacteria and become hypersensitive, often causing lifelong allergies to things like dust and pollen.
How to Make Your Cleaning More Eco-Friendly
Fortunately, it’s easy and simple to switch to environmentally conscious cleaning products and methods, without sacrificing the results. Many of the solutions can be homemade, and are far cheaper than branded alternatives. Get creative and think about where else you can apply the principles: how about cleaning your car or pet’s crate?
· If you have limey water prone to scaling up in your bathroom and kitchen, try something acidic like vinegar, lemon juice or diet soda to remove the deposits.
· Stains on ovens, sinks or cookers respond well to bicarbonate of soda.
· Open your windows regularly for a blast of fresh air rather than spraying harmful aerosols or using air conditioning units.
· Use natural wax or oil for cleaning and polishing furniture.
If you’re struggling to go 100% eco-friendly straight away, don’t worry – try and cut out the most toxic chemicals first. Ammonia and chlorine are too big ones to watch out for; and by doing so, you’ll be helping the environment and your family.