Make this your Big New Thing – move over to eco friendly cleaning. Clean with sustainability in mind and you’ll be taking care of the health of the planet, that means what’s good for you and your family. You won’t have to face concern about how the cleaning materials you splash about might impact the environment or your health now or some time in the future.
The key is to develop a routine that’s good for you and good for the environment
11 tips for eco friendly cleaning
Buy in bulk. It makes sense for your pocket but it also cuts down on packaging resources. If you don’t want to go so far as leaving excess packaging at the checkout just make sure you don’t buy it in the first place.
Decant the large sizes into more manageable-sized containers for everyday use. All you need is a bit of cupboard space to store the bulk sizes that you’ll be decanting from.
I always make sure to follow the recommendations for the amount to use; the manufacturer already pushes this to the limit to persuade you to buy more, so don’t bother adding an extra capful in the belief it might work better – it won’t!
Take care when you read the labels. You might already distrust big advertising claims that manufacturers emblazon across the packaging – words like ‘Green’ can be used by anyone. What you should trust is recommendations from an accredited scheme, such as Carbon Footprint Standard – those are the sort of labels you can believe.
Look for products with natural ingredients from trusted sources such as Ethical Superstore.
Cut down on paper towels. Aim for a paper-free kitchen. This is the most visible change you can make with eco friendly cleaning and it will make you think about everything else you’re doing wrong. And it could well be the thing that turns you into a role model for your friends.
Natural sponges are great for bathtime but cleaning up spills requires a bit more friction. For my ‘floor cloot’ I get more friction with a torn-up old towel. I keep a supply of microfibre cloths handy so that I can mop up any emergencies – treat the cloths as a replacement for the paper towels that you once wasted on every little drama.
Use newspapers to clean windows – they’re absorbent and they have just the right ‘grip’ for glass. You don’t buy a newspaper? Nor do I, but everyone knows someone who can give you a stash.
If you do have piles of newspapers take a look here to find some other ideas for how to re-use them.
Old toothbrushes are great for scrubbing intricate details. If you’ve got an old plastic one, treat this as revenge!
Set aside a dedicated ‘dirty’ cloth for tasks which would quickly ruin your clean microfibre cloths. You don’t need to buy a specialist cloth; just re-purpose an old t-shirt or towel.
Wait until your dishwasher is full, don’t run it simply as part of a daily routine. The same goes for your washing machine.
When possible, air-dry clothes and dishes. If doing real laundry seems alien take a look at this post to introduce you to the art.
Clean methodically, working from top to bottom so you don’t keep going over what you’ve done! Whatever resources you’re using you’ll be using them only once.
Last but not least – the best advice for eco friendly cleaning and all effective cleaning is Clean As You Go. Put away items after use and wipe down counters when spills arise. You’ll find cleaning won’t be such hard work if you don’t leave it to turn into a separate chore that
must be done. I would not go so far as to say that cleaning ‘gets done on it’s own’ but you notice it less than when you have to face it all in one big splurge.
As a bonus, Clean As You Go means that you’ll have time to think. Instead of a mad rush you can think ‘What’s the best way to tackle this one task’. Much better than zapping everything on the planet with a scattergun chemical.
You don’t have to change everything all at once. Just make one change at a time, keep it up and eco friendly cleaning will be something you do without thinking. The world will thank you and you’ll feel better for it too…