Eco-Friendly, Going Green, Clean Living, are buzzwords we hear more and more these days. They all remind us of making an effort to be earth friendly, preserve our environment and practice the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Using products that are safe to the environment or following practices that conserve our natural resources like water and forests are some ways of being Eco-friendly.
So, how do we play our part in this noble cause and perhaps bring it in one of the most common routine of every household which is…Cleaning. Let’s find out….
The Need to be Eco-Friendly and How to Practice it
Are you concerned about your and your family’s health? We all are! But did you know that we are constantly breathing and often use toxic substances that affect quality of life? Issues like headaches and skin irritations can be caused by pollutants and dangerous compounds found in chemical cleaning solutions. These substances also contribute in making our planet suffer from environmental problems like pollution and global warming.
Assessing and changing the way we consume is a good start to green living. The way we commute, usage of packaging materials, how waste is disposed and the unchecked consumption of natural resources must be relooked at. For example –
Reducing reliance on harmful chemicals and use of natural, eco-friendly cleaning products. This promotes a healthier environment and a healthier you. Replacing chemically laden products with those containing natural ingredients decreases risk of diseases and illness.
Practicing the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
- Reduce the amount of waste produced. Use only what you need.
- Reuse or repurpose items from their intended purpose.
- Recycle or use items that have been recycled.
Saving the earth by using sustainable products that reduce waste or are biodegradable.
To find out more on how you can practice the 3Rs, checkout NEA’s Waste Minimising and Recycling initiative.
Cleaning the Eco-Friendly Way
Now that we know the reasons for being environment friendly, let’s find out how it can be applied to daily Cleaning. There are many ways to practice. And one of the most common and easiest way to begin is through Green Cleaning.
Green cleaning has many definitions, but in essence it means using cleaning solutions and methods that keep both us and the environment safe. One can start by using eco-friendly cleaning products…
1. Cleaning Liquids and Solutions
Many conventional cleaning products found in the market are laden with toxic and pollution causing substances which make cleaning easier. But did you know these substances are also a cause for allergies, asthma and other lung and respiratory problems? Not to mention products that cause skin and eye irritation. Some products also have ingredients that are carcinogen! These chemically concentrated products harm not only humans but also the environment.
Switching to eco-friendly and green cleaning solutions is one of the most effective ways to be kinder to ourselves and the planet. With a growing number of people being eco conscious, finding non-toxic cleaning solutions has become a breeze.
You can also make your own cleaning solutions using common kitchen ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon. This is not just a trend, but an effective way to cleaning your home, keeping it safe and free from chemicals.
2. Cleaning Aids
Besides cleaning solutions, cleaning aids also contribute to pollution and landfills. Cleaning aids are tools, such as mops, brush, sponge, etc that help in cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth and chemical free wet wipes to clean spills and stains. Avoid using single use disposable gloves. Buy cleaning aides like sponges and cloth in bulk instead of single packs. Choose recycled or bio degradable packaging.
Most household sponges are made of plastic or polyester. These materials breakdown very slowly and some also contain chemicals that leak into the water. Natural cellulose sponges, coconut husk brushes and loofahs are some examples of naturally sourced cleaning aides.
3. Cleaning Methods
How do you wash your bathroom and sinks? Do you leave the tap running? Instead of letting the water run, fill up a bucket with water or use a mug for washing sinks and basins. Recycling water for other uses or collecting rain water for simple home cleaning is another eco-friendly method.
Soaking greasy or burnt pots and pans in water first before washing reduces effort and lowers water consumption.
Microfiber cloths are perfect for wiping and cleaning as they are highly absorbent. This reduces water and detergent usage plus it has a long life span.
A Final Note
Cleaning is just one of many ways to be eco-friendly. However, it is something we do every day, whether at home or work. More importantly, the products and methods we choose affect our near and dear ones.
At times we are tempted to choose quick fix chemical laden products, not realising the harm they do to the people around us and the environment. Luckily, there are cleaning service companies that offer eco-friendly cleaning services to those who need an extra pair of hands.