The latest IPCC report on climate change has declared “code red for humanity”. It is the most rigorous assessment of climate change due to various human activities and imparts a clear vision of the future if it goes unchecked. The interesting part of this report is that key messages are still the same as it was in the first report published in 1988. The only difference is that climate change is no longer a thing of tomorrow. It is here, in present - we all are witnessing it already. Be it the increased rate of wildlife fires, extreme winters/ summers, frequent floods due to heavy rainfall, etc.
From Siberia to Algeria to Australia to India, the world is full of examples of such catastrophes. So the question is how you and I can contribute less & less to the existing carbon footprints and why it is pertinent to think about it now. The most straightforward method is to reconsider our daily habits, from what we eat to how we dispose of waste, from how we travel to the products we use for cosmetics, cleaning, and clothes. With so many commercial manufactures claiming the tag of “green products”, how do you identify the green cleaning products amongst hundreds of options available?
Cleaning products are more of a necessity to maintain a clean & hygienic environment both indoors and outdoors. But this removal of dust, dirt, and allergens with the use of such heavy toxins cleaning products comes with its health and environmental costs.
The Direct Impact of Cleaning Products
Each chemical used in commercial cleaning products has long-lasting consequences. Not only the constitution but also how it is manufactured is directly proportional to the environment.
It is primarily used as an anti-fungal & anti-bacterial agent in almost all cleaning products. Out of all the household products, almost 96% of the total volume gets discarded eventually down the drain, thus affecting the aquatic environment the most. Various tests have shown the presence of TCS in aquatic snails and algae posing an immense threat to marine life. Thus, the best eco-friendly cleaning products shouldn’t have TCS as their active component.
Again a very popular component in various cleaning products. Pentasodium triphosphate is the most common type of phosphate in-home cleansers (PTSP). PTSP along with other phosphates are difficult to remove from the water even after the treatment. It's been connected to eutrophication, which is defined as the excessive development of algae in the water that takes all of the oxygen. Lack of oxygen directly impacts the life and development of both aquatic plants & animals.
One of the major disinfecting elements in cleaning products, especially floor cleaners. Ammonia is a major generator of nitrogen oxide, which has negative consequences for biodiversity since it is poisonous to plants, which are a food source for many creatures. Ammonia affects both the human and natural environment. Aerosols present in floor cleaners react with air and soil too. It reacts with the atmosphere and converts into ammonium, eventually returning to the land as rainfall. This further affects the soil, vegetation, and plants.
If you are a user of commercially produced cleaning products like floor cleaners, glass cleaners, hand wash, etc, it must have been manufactured miles apart in a large manufacturing facility and transported to many points of sale. Such transportation has a huge environmental cost. Trucks, ships, and other modes of transportation all rely on fossil fuels to convey their products. Substitute it with locally sourced and homemade items will be significantly minimized.
A majority of cleaning products come in plastic that is ultimately disposed of rather than being recyclable. Unfortunately, most of us throw away such plastic in a jiffy. Because plastic does not biodegrade, it remains in landfills permanently and accumulates in large amounts over time. VOCs from half-empty containers might cause issues in disposal sites, impacting animal life and vegetation.
How to identify “Green cleaning products”
We are living in a world where we cannot be ignorant about our environment anymore. We are already overusing all our natural resources with terrible givebacks! We are polluting our air, water, and land thereby negatively affecting all the other life forms. Unfortunately, our genuine concerns about the environment are being targeted by many commercial cleaning products. Best eco-friendly cleaning products have become the new gold in the industry. So how do you steer away from all this “greenwashing” and make sure to invest in authentic green cleaning products? Just by simply being more aware of your purchases! How to identify eco-friendly cleaning products, here is your quick go-to guide:
Every product is marked with labels, the more specific they are, the better. Products marked with “all-natural only” are hardly an indicator of absences of toxic ingredients. Look for manufacturers who publish their components in detail on their packaging.
Invest in Green education
Just the mention of “natural floor cleaner”, “organic floor cleaner”, “India’s best floor cleaners”, “non-toxic floor cleaners” shouldn’t be the only criteria for your purchase. None of these terms and many more have a standard that manufacturers must follow. So as an aware and conscientious consumer, go beyond such marketing gimmicks and research about the various toxic ingredients that are used for household cleaning products.
Research about the Manufacturers
Whenever you decide about switching to green cleaning products, do your research. Go through the customer reviews, visit the manufacturer’s website, read their product description, go beyond the green packaging. Authentic sellers make an effort to showcase the purity thereby increasing the credibility of their products.
There is no denying the fact that big corporations across industries have contributed majorly to current environmental damage. Needs have been manipulated to create unnecessary demands. Several small-scale businesses and individuals are trying to cover these gaps. Their products are eco-friendly, all-natural, and effective at very competitive prices. So, do explore such homegrown brands!
Looking for green cleaning products that are not harmful to the environment isn't an easy task. This may seem like a minor choice but has a huge impact. Just follow this 5 step rule for a green living lifestyle:
- Is the packaging recyclable or reusable?
- Is the product biodegradable?
- Manufacturing location, local is the best
- Is the brand believe in ingredient transparency?
- Is it made with non toxic ingredients?
Stay informed, keep learning should be the motto of green living. When it comes to saving our environment, no information is too much information. Awaremes about eco-friendly cleaning products available in the market is increasing there are a few options which are successfully catering to your needs with minimum or even negative carbon foot-printing.
Here is a list of toxic ingredients that we don’t use in our product range.
Visit PureCult range of eco-friendly cleaning products, here.
Let's save our environment together. Because as much as cleaning matters, how you clean matters too! Let's undo the damage and give mother nature back what it really needs and deserves.