Whether you enjoy cleaning or not, we are all required to clean regularly in order to maintain a healthy home. But if you actually take a look at the ingredients used in your cleaning supplies you may notice a lot of them contain unfamiliar chemicals and unnecessary additives. Over the past couple years, more and more people are switching to natural cleaning products that not only contain more natural ingredients but are also low waste because as these products are better for us, for our homes, and for our planet.
Understanding The Differences
It seems like every product on the market these days is labelled as "natural", "green" and "pure" but these terms are unregulated and knowing whats truly organic and sustainable is hard to differentiate. If something is natural it suggests that it is produced by nature - containing no synthetic or artificial ingredients. However, this is not always the case. One great resource you can use get more information on the environmental impact of various natural cleaning products is the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning. This organization gives products a specific grade based on how toxic they are and even offers verification for products that meet their rigorous standards.
Benefits of Natural Cleaning Products
Natural cleaning products are better for our health and the health of our families because they use organic and safe ingredients, meaning fewer harmful chemicals are being introduced into our homes. When we spray air fresheners or use chemical disinfectants to wipe down our counters, we release chemicals into our air and onto our surfaces that can have various adverse health effects both the short and long term. To have a healthy home we have to make changes, which includes switching to products that wont hinder our health and wellbeing.
Of course, we cannot talk about natural cleaning products without mentioning the benefits for the environment. Generally, most natural products are biodegradable and many of these eco-conscious companies also use less packaging or more sustainable packaging. Plastic packaging has posed as a serious complication for our planet as single use plastic products have become ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives. While it may be more convenient for companies, it has serious detrimental impacts as almost 80% of plastic waste ends up in landfills or natural environments such as rivers and oceans. By choosing to support eco-conscious companies with our purchases we can help to reduce the plastic pollution problem.
Make The Shift Today
As a consumer today, there are many options for natural products and eco-conscious companies that you can choose to support. Here are a few of our favourite sustainable businesses with products that truly make an impact:
Sarah Paiji Yoo created Blueland in 2019, after becoming a first-time mom and recognizing the amount of plastic that we consume in our daily lives. The crazy thing is that while plastic ends up sitting in landfills for a very long time, we've often only used it once. Paiji Yoo came up with a simple yet effective idea that eliminates single-use plastics. Her company offers cleaning tablets so you can refill and reuse your cleaning supply bottles. All you have to do is add water to your "forever container", add the tablet and watch it dissolve. Blueland offers cleaning products such as hand soap, glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap, dishwasher tablets and more.
Most of our detergent and cleaning products are primarily water while the packaging is mostly plastic. Tru Earth is another innovative company that is here to reduce waste and stop the amount harmful chemicals that get released into our water. True Earth offer laundry strips that are filled with hypoallergenic, eco-friendly cleaning powder that you toss into the wash instead of your typical laundry detergent. Their unique laundry strips also remove the need for single-use detergent bottles, instead opting for easily recyclable packaging. It is better for your skin and better for the environment.
Ethique started back in 2012 by Brianne West, who was another eco-conscious consumer. She began mixing up some formulas in her kitchen to create basic bar body essentials, such as shampoo and conditioners. They offer plastic-free packing that can be easily thrown into your compost and quickly broken down. With their formula, a single bar of shampoo can replace up to three bottles. On their website, you could also find conditioners, skincare products, body care and even concentrates if you are not ready to switch to a bar.
By Liz Shiro