Many ideas and theories behind "Green Cleaning" are great. I truly believe most people's and even company's hearts are in the the right place. But, just because you put the word "Green" on the label and throw up a picture of a leaf (don't look at our logo) doesn't mean it's environmentally friendly.
I believe our best plan for minimizing our carbon footprint, from the cleaning side, is to use common sense more and cleaning products less.
Here are 6 ideas to help accomplish this goal:
1. Use the least amount of cleaning product possible
Most green cleaning products have the "green" title because the chemicals they use or don't use are supposed to be biodegradable and/or less harmful if they find their way into the ground. I'm sure that is true, but our goal shouldn't be to find the most ecological product, it should be to use as little cleaning product as possible.
Recommendation: Buy only concentrated cleaning products in the largest size you can or make your own.
2. Be more concerned about the plastic bottle than the chemical inside
The negative environmental impact of the plastic bottle, even if you recycle it, may be far greater than the chemicals inside. The bottles needs to be made, stored, shipped and recycled. Each one of these steps require energy and fossil fuels.
Recommendation: Buy good quality trigger sprayers (the good ones will last a long time) with your favorite sized bottles and reuse them. Use 1- to 5-gallon containers for storing large quantities or mixing concentrated cleaning products.
3. Buy only the products that you need
Recommendation: A glass/all purpose cleaner and a disinfectant should be your main products. These products should be used in 90 percent of your cleaning tasks. Use specialty products sparingly and as needed.
4. Use microfiber and water as often as possible
Switching Absolute Clean to microfiber cut our product usage by over 50 percent and allows us to do a better job. Use the magic of microfiber to save money, waste less, and accomplish more.
Recommendation: Have at least 24 microfiber towels and 10 mop pads for your floors and follow the care instructions carefully.
5. Try homemade cleaning solutions
There are some outstanding homemade recipes to make your own cleaning products.
Recommendation: Tinker with ratios to meet your needs and avoid residue on your surfaces.
6. Use the right tools and techniques. Elbow grease has no environmental impact
Using microfiber, with the correct tools and equipment, can minimize the amount of time and cleaning products used.
Recommendation: Buy the more expensive tools, brushes, vacuums, etc. Not only do the cheap ones not work as well, but their disposal and repair can be wasteful. The better tools almost always save you money in the long run.
As I try to live by this at home and in my business, there is one rule of thumb to help in making decisions that are actually better for the planet.
"If it creates unnatural waste, then it's bad for the environment."
Do you have any cleaning ideas to limit our environmental impact or do you disagree? Please share below.