Natural Cleaning Products & Green Cleaning
Use of Natural cleaning products or Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning has a lot of definitions, but its main goal is to use cleaning solutions, products, and methods that keep us and our environment healthy. Green cleaning falls under the umbrella of using a green cleaning product or cleaning your space in a way that, for example, reduces waste or doesn't produce any waste at all.
What Is Green Cleaning?
For most homes, green cleaning means that they use substances like lemons, baking soda, and vinegar to clean the home surfaces. Those are natural green cleaners. Some households seek out manufactured green products that are healthy for the environment (some are green cleaning brands). When you rely on a green cleaning product, you may want to avoid artificial fragrances, phosphates, chlorine, and artificial colors.
Many cleaning products on the market now are being marketed as being biodegradable. Other products have ingredients that are organically produced using sustainable farming practices. Some Natural cleaning products may certify that their items are fair trade, meaning that the products meet certain labor and environmental standards by those who produced it. Eco-friendly cleaning products may not be free of additives or harmful chemicals—Perhaps they donate a portion of their profits to environmental causes or use recycled packaging. Those are all examples of green cleaning products.
How "Green" Can Green Cleaning Get?
To tell if a cleaning product is green, there are various labeling programs that classify cleaning products. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment program labels products that meet EPA's criteria for chemicals. These products display the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. Others that are labeled as "no VOC" or "low VOC" means they have a lesser concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or none at all.
In recent years, there has been a lot of debate about whether or not natural cleaning products are as safe as traditional cleaners. When it comes to stopping the spread of infection and killing germs, for example, it is important to have an effective product. Some individuals have stopped using green cleaners in those instances and are stuck to effective favorites such as bleach. Natural cleaning products have also faced a backlash because they often cost more than traditional cleaning products.
The American Cleaning Institute has remained vocal when it comes to educating people about which chemicals are in cleaning agents―and other groups have come out stating which ingredients to avoid.
Whatever choices you make about your cleaning products and practices, there is a huge variety of eco-friendly choices for those interested in green cleaning. With a little research, you may be able to green up your household cleaning routine to create a safer, healthier environment for yourself and others.
References and Resources
Center for American Progress
United States Environment Protection Agency