As we get older, we become more conscious of how our normal activities can have a significant impact on the environment and each other’s health. From the choice of car we drive, to the how we dispose of waste, there are many ways in which humans can negatively affect the earth. The more effort that is made by individuals to reduce this effect, the healthier a world we leave behind for future generations. When we clean, whether it is clothes or floors, we produce waste and consume energy. This is a good place for many to start making positive changes by simply going green. This post was inspired by a Chicago cleaning service that has made a commitment to go completely green. The below suggestions were made in an interview with them on ABC 7 Chicago.
1. Switch out cleaning products – many of the commercially sold home cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that cannot be effectively neutralized before they find their way into our waterways. They have a very harmful effect on plants and animal life. They can also corrode drains and leave behind toxic fumes that are dangerous to some humans. Dispose of them properly in your trash and invest in green cleaning products. Many of the green products available in stores are just as cheap, if not cheaper than the chemical options. There are also many helpful of-it-yourself home recipes for green cleaning products to be found online. You can choose to stock up on extra supplies of items like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
2. Purify air naturally – air purifiers are electronic devices that promise to rid the air in homes of contaminants like dust, pollen, cigarette smoke and animal dander. Theoretically, this is a good ideal for those that suffer from such allergies. Many of these devices however produce their own gaseous byproducts, require periodic filter replacement and can consume considerable electrical power. Other people may make use of store bought air fresheners. A better alternative for this is using baking soda to neutralize odors, and investing in household plants to filter the air.
3. Limit your cleaning needs– a good way to cut back on cleaning waste is to cut down on the number of times you need to clean. This means doing more to limit the amount of dirt that gets into your home. Placing a good doormat outside your exterior doors provides a place to shake off loose dirt in your footwear before coming in. Making your home a space to be shoeless is another good idea as it cuts down the risk of occupants tracking in mud and other dirt through the house. Opt to hand wash your clothes or only use the machine when you have a full load.
4. Reuse – limiting your use of non-renewable cleaning resources is another good idea. You can use old t-shirts as rags instead of buying new rags and mops. Opt for cloth kitchen towels rather than paper towels that are made from trees. If you must use paper towels, stick to brands that are made of bamboo, or recycled unbleached paper. Avoid use of sponges with antibacterial ingredients.
Also, remember that your garbage collection firm should have a toxic day pickup. Do not pour out toxic cleaners down the drain, or dispose of other chemically treated items carelessly, as it may lead them into our waterways. Dispose of them in your garbage on the appropriate day so the service provider can safely neutralize and dispose of this waste.