Why Green Cleaning is Important & How You Can Start
More likely than not, a well-intentioned friend or family member has told you that it’s important to use green cleaning products.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Of course you should use cleaning products that are “green.” Buying green cleaners helps the environment.
Quick question, though, do you know how green cleaners impact the environment?
It’s okay to say no. Most people don’t.
Studies show that over 66% of all consumers are more likely to buy something if they know that it’s made by a socially responsible company, but if we don’t educate ourselves, our friends, and families on the “why” behind green cleaning, we’re less likely to keep making the right choices down the road.
That’s why we got together with our team to answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how of green cleaning.
The more you know about green cleaning, the better off your home, your family, and our planet will be.
- The #1 Reason to Embrace Green Cleaning: Your Kids
- Generation Green: A New Generation of Cleaning Products
- How to Get Rid of Allergies the Green Way
- Recycling 101: The Expert's Guide
1) The #1 Reason to Embrace Green Cleaning: Your Kids
Even more than your perfect teeth, or your S/O’s adorable freckles, or even your dad’s sense of humor, the #1 thing most of us want our kids to inherit is our good health.
But when you choose to use toxic cleaning products, you’re negatively impacting your child’s immune system right from the moment you see two lines on that little stick up until the end of their life.
Toxic chemicals and plastics have a nasty habit of absorbing into our skin when we use them. And for little ones that can mean reduced immunity to diseases, lung, liver or kidney damage, or exacerbated allergies.
The simple fact is that most household cleaners can create a lifetime of side effects for your children.
Switching to naturally-derived, green, non-toxic cleaners that are packaged sustainably is the best way to ensure long term health for your family.
Not sure how to tell the difference between green, non-toxic cleaning products, and toxic ones? Check out part four of the ThreeMain Home Cleaning Guide: Pick Your Products.
The free guide will help you determine which products are safe for your family...and which aren’t.
2) Generation Green: A New Generation of Cleaning Products
Like quinoa, kale, and gluten-free pasta, green cleaners haven’t always been so easy to find.
In fact, until very recently, you couldn’t find them at all.
Then came the internet.
Not everything about the internet is positive (see: the R29 Money Diaries comments section), but it has given us an endless treasure trove of knowledge.
Gone are the days of buying the big name household cleaner you’ve always bought just because you’ve always bought it.
Now, instead of standing in the Home aisle at the grocery store trying to figure out the difference between “all natural” and “organic” window cleaner, you can do research about what you’re buying before you drive to the store.
Or you could just order online and never have to put on pants go to the store at all.
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3) How to Get Rid of Allergies the Green Way
According to the U.S. National Health Review, 54.6% of Americans report reacting to at least one kind of allergen.
Put simply: over half of Americans have some type of allergy.
That means that the next time you throw a neighborhood Superbowl party, there’s at least a 50% chance that someone is going sneeze on the bowl of guac you put next to your air freshener.
Because of that, you should always try to buy products that are free of synthetic fragrances. Natural fragrances, fragrances that come naturally from the ingredients in products, are fine.
The trick is telling the difference.
If you see the word “fragrance” or “perfume” on the back of a bottle, it probably means there are synthetic fragrances in the formula.
But if you see the phrase “lemon oil” and don’t see “fragrance” or “perfume,” that means the product will likely have a fresh lemony scent that won’t induce the Superbowl Guac-a-lypse 2.0.
Already use naturally-derived, organic, non-toxic cleaning products and still suffer from airborne allergies? Invest in some air purifying plants.
There are a number of household plants - dracaenas, for example - that remove dust, pollen, and toxins from your home.
4) Recycling 101: The Expert’s Guide
Put your waste into a recycling bin, leave it at the curb.
It sounds so simple.
In fact, you probably think you’ve got the art of the before school, bathrobe-clad, drag your recycling bin to the curb routine down to a science.
Not so fast.
Many people don’t realize that you need to take extra steps with your recyclables before they can be accepted by a recycling facility. Otherwise, your recyclables will get thrown into the trash by the recycling facility.
It might sound crazy, but that is what happens.
Any plastic, aluminum, or styrofoam takeaway containers that have leftover food in them will be trashed by recycling facilities.
Didn’t separate the plastic cap from your glass bottle of kombucha? That’s getting trashed, too.
You need to be careful about how you treat your recyclables to make sure they’re really going to get recycled.
Here are 7 common recycling mistakes you’re probably making and how you can fix them.
Side note: noticed that your recycling bin seems to be attracting more fruit flies than your trash can ever did? We noticed that, too. Luckily, with a little elbow grease, honey, and motivation, you can keep fruit flies at bay naturally.
Becoming an expert green cleaner isn’t going to happen overnight.
Green cleaning is a journey that starts with replacing any of your cleaning products that look like they were developed in the 80s and ends with naturally-derived, plant-based, eco-positive dish soaps, bathroom cleaners, and multi-surface products.
So try not to be too hard on yourself if every once in a while, you forget to clean out your takeout containers before you recycle them.
Remember: any eco-positive change you make - no matter how big or small - will change the future of our planet.