Why You Should Choose Green Cleaning Products
It’s no secret, the planet is struggling with the population’s consumption and we are the only ones who can save it. Decades of fast fashion, a throw-away mentality and the consumption of fossil fuels have done some serious damage to the world we live in. Thankfully, we can prevent this and if we all work hard enough, we could even reverse it. You probably already know the importance of reducing your meat and dairy intake, flying less and reducing your plastic usage but do you know what your cleaning products are doing to the environment?
While you may have already made a few changes at home, one of the biggest culprits to contribute to the harmful effects of chemical cleaning is the commercial industry. London-based commercial cleaners GCC Facilities Management are joining forces with suppliers to bring awareness of the importance of green cleaning and how businesses can make the switch.
So, exactly how do conventional cleaning chemicals affect us and the world we live in? What are the myths holding us back? How can we make a positive change in the workplace to care for the planet and safeguard it for future generations?
How Do Cleaning Chemicals Impact Us?
You’ve just wiped down your kitchen sides with the latest cleaning products, the room is sparkling and you’ve protected your colleagues from any harmful bacteria. Perhaps you’ve bleached and scrubbed your toilet and it is shining and smelling fresh, what could be wrong with that? Every time you rinse your sponge out or flush, these chemicals go down your drain. Water waste plants do make every attempt to remove these but it is incredibly tricky to do so and in reality, only a small percentage of these are ever removed.
Unfortunately, this means they are destined for the waters that are home to marine life. These creatures can end up consuming vast amounts of these cleaners. Next time you tuck into your weekend fish & chips, you could be consuming some nasty chemicals alongside it.
There is also a direct link between the damage to the ozone layer and aerosols. Aerosols’ contain hydrocarbons and compressed gasses, both of which contribute to climate change. So next time you are thinking about spraying air freshener, it might just be better to open a window.
Strong chemical cleaners, often used in commercial settings, can contain monoethanolamine. It has been proven that even just the smallest amount of residue left on surfaces can harm those with asthma and other respiratory problems. These chemicals can lead to inflammation of the airways and can bring on asthma attacks. This is why many schools across the nation have banned these forms of cleaning products.
Busting Those Myths
If all that wasn’t enough to convince you, perhaps these Myth busters will be. Some people are put off from making the switch to green cleaning because they don’t think they will get the same results as chemical cleaners.
Fortunately, you can get the same results with a natural-based product and you may indeed need to use a little bit more elbow grease and more of the product itself. However, it is worth it to avoid all the nasty effects of these chemicals.
Another common misconception is that products need to smell a certain way to properly clean. Natural products tend to not have much odour, leading people to believe that they aren’t working. But did you know that most smells are deliberately added to chemical cleaners to mask the chemical smell and give you that ‘citrus fresh’ scent we are so used to? In reality, the odour does not contribute to the effectiveness of cleaning products at all!
Aside from wanting everything to look nice and clean, we also use products to prevent and protect us against getting ill. You’ll be forgiven for thinking natural-based products can’t kill germs and viruses very well. Did you know that you don’t need chemicals to prevent the spread of colds and flu? Even something as simple as vinegar can kill these nasty bugs while having none of the negative effects of chemical cleaners.
Green cleaning isn’t just about the cleaners you use. If you want to do your bit for the planet, this includes all consumables. Switch your kitchen towel for washable cleaning cloths, instead of disposable gloves, get yourself some marigolds. Washing-up sponges are essential but many of the common high-street brands are made with plastic and can take decades to degrade. Swap these for natural sponges, which are a little more pricey but last a lot longer.
How Can You Make The Change?
The easiest way to make a change is to actively shop for natural cleaning products. However, this might not be suitable for everyone. Your local shop may not stock these products and ordering online means you have to wait for delivery for a product you need immediately.
Here are some of our top tips for making your own natural cleaners. Effective both at home and in the office.
● 1 tbsp baking soda
● ½ lemon
● 1 l warm water
● ¼ cup white vinegar
Toilet and Bathroom Cleaner
● ¾ cup baking soda
● ¾ cup white vinegar
● 10 drops of tea tree oil
● 10 drops of your chosen essential oil (for a fresh scent)
● 2 cups warm water
● 1tbsp corn starch
● ¼ cup white vinegar
● (another alternative is rubbing alcohol)
Washing Up Liquid
● 2 cups warm water
● 3 tbsp natural liquid soap
● 2 tsp glycerine
● 10 drops of your chosen essential oil (for scent)
● 2tbsp white vinegar
A bonus of making your own is that most chemical cleaners come in non-recyclable packaging. This is due to the plastic having to be so thick so the chemicals don’t corrode it. By making your own cleaners for the home or for use in the office, you can use reusable bottles and reduce plastic destined for landfill.
So, next time you are looking for commercial cleaners, make sure you take the time to ask them what products they are using. GCC Facilities Management commercial cleaning services are always working with suppliers to ensure they are using not just the next quality, but the most environmentally friendly products on the market.