We have been looking at why it is important to Make Cleaning Eco Friendly. Following on from this we have started a series about ways to be a green cleaner. We started with the light green approach to Eco Friendly Cleaning. This is where most of us start, but many of us end up taking further steps to improve the greenness of our cleaning regime. After all, it really does seem a sad state of affairs when simply doing the household chores can be so detrimental to the environment around us.
The first step to greener cleaning is of course to stop using harmful chemical cleaners. That means getting rid of anything toxic, dangerous, non-biodegradable and indeed harmful in any way. But, one persons idea of safe, toxic or dangerous might be something quite different to another’s. While getting everyone to use less dangerous, less toxic and more safe cleaning products helps the environment, it does not remove the effects we are having on the planet altogether. Some improvement is always better than none, so getting everyone to become a little bit greener does improve things for us all.
The Dark Green Approach to Eco Friendly Cleaning
But, for many this simply isn’t good enough. For them, removing every artificial chemical that is harmful is key. But to achieve this goal of perfectly Green Cleaning is far harder to accomplish. The thing is where do you stop. You may have found the most environmentally friendly cleaning range on the high street, but can you afford it and do you agree with the packaging, the labor used to produce it, the distance it was transported after manufacture? The list of questions to ask yourself if you are really trying to be a Dark Green Greenie are simply endless. And, worse still, not all the answers are that forthcoming. That is why I believe the really environmentally conscious homeowner will be looking to change their cleaning habits in a far more radical way.
Purely swapping to a different brand is not the end of the issue. To make cleaning dark green involves some of the following ideas:
- Consolidating cleaning products
- Homemade remedies
- Dual purpose items such as cleaning with vinegar, scouring with salt and baking soda
- Buying concentrated formulas
- Using less water
- Using nothing but water and microfiber cloths
- Short cool cycles for the laundry
- Laundry balls
- All natural cleaners such as soap nuts
- Avoiding anything derived from the petrochemical industry
- Avoiding all plastics and packaging that cannot be readily recycled
- Choosing only 100% biodegradable cleaning products
- Trying to buy locally produced products
- Relying on more elbow grease than miracle cleaner
In short being really Eco Friendly about your cleaning takes guts and determination!
The dark green approach to Eco Friendly Cleaning does not stop here, but you can see it is a much more serious business. In truth it just is not practical to expect us all to be creating homemade soaps or hand-washing diapers. But simply considering the things on the list can provoke thought and improvement in the way we do deal with the household chores. Rather than feel we simply can never be green enough it is far better to see the list of truly green cleaning ideas as something we may be able to incorporate at least in part into our day to day work. An improvement here and there is an improvement for all of us after all!