As the pandemic spread across the world, many people’s first response was to disinfect any surface they could find. However, may you be damaging yourself and the environment by using harmful cleaning products in your attempt to avoid catching a virus?
Many people’s first reaction when the pandemic spread across the world was to disinfect every surface they could find, however, in your effort to stop catching a virus.
Cleaning items that claim to be “eco-friendly” or “green” in some way have swept the shelves and are now available almost everywhere. The effect of ingredients on human health and the environment and produced wastewater and plastic are all factors to consider when developing sustainable cleaning products.
According to Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with experience in toxicology and environmental health at the National Resources Defense Council, there are ingredients and labels customers can look for to ensure they can make educated decisions about the goods they choose whatever pretty products to leave on the shelf.
How do you know if your cleaning items contain poisonous or dangerous ingredients?
Sass says dyes, fragrances, and phosphates can penetrate rivers and potentially cause harmful contamination, so they should be avoided if you care about the environment. According to Sass, the term “fragrance” on an ingredient can be deceptive. She says, “They’re authorised to be trade secrets,” adding that a single fragrance can contain hundreds or thousands of components.
As a result, what smells like a flower or fresh rain may be more complex than it seems. Fragrances used in personal care items were frequently harmful and related to serious health problems, according to a 2018 study by the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners nonprofit.
A study released in April 2021 by the nonprofit Women’s Voices for the Earth lists hazardous chemicals discovered in cleaning supplies due to a new California law requiring the disclosure of dangerous fragrance ingredients. According to the researchers, chemicals including diethyl phthalate and butylphenyl methylpropional were found in the fragrances of daily cleaning items.
Both have an impact on human and animal reproductive organs.
Due to a new California law requiring the disclosure of toxic fragrance ingredients, a report published in April 2021 by the charity Women’s Voices for the Earth lists harmful chemicals discovered in cleaning supplies. According to the researchers, chemicals such as diethyl phthalate and butylphenyl methylpropional were found in the fragrances of everyday cleaning products.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, consumers can look up ingredients in a database to see if they’re dangerous, and goods can be labeled if they follow the Safer Choice requirement. The mark indicates that the product has met a certain level of ingredient scrutiny in human and environmental protection.
Aside from non-toxic materials, what other ways can goods be sustainable?
Many businesses are committed to the sustainability of cleaning products by reducing the amount of waste they produce, which goes beyond the active ingredients. Plastic bottles or plastic pods are commonly used for packaging cleaning items such as laundry detergents and soaps.
Plastic pods are particularly troublesome because they are wasteful and degrade into microplastics that end up in our dishwashers and washing machines, polluting our waterways.
Grove Collaborative, a conservation home, and care products company, uses a “plastics scorecard” to track how much plastic waste the company avoids, according to Danielle Jezienicki, director of sustainability. Grove claims that by using their plastic-free goods instead of glass or metal, they have diverted over one million pounds of plastic from landfills, with the company aiming to be free from plastic in 2025.
Many companies are committed to the long-term viability of cleaning products by reducing the waste produced in addition to the active ingredients. Cleaning products, such as laundry detergents and soaps, are often packaged in plastic bottles or plastic pods.
Sustainable development is at the forefront of product growth, as evidenced by reliable, lightweight, recycled wrapping and formulated formulations of goods that consumers dilute at home. After all, any cleaning product that must be transported as a liquid would be heavy and energy-intensive, according to Sass. Pumps, rather than aerosol sprays, are ideal for preventing the release of additional aerosols into the environment. The price of more organic cleaning products is usually higher than that of traditional cleaning products, but as more big-box stores carry a sustainable product range, the prices are becoming more competitive and acceptable.
According to Sass, any cleaning substance that must be transported as a liquid is heavy and energy-intensive. Pumps, rather than aerosol sprays, are suitable for stopping other aerosols from being released into the air. Natural cleaning products are usually more expensive than conventional cleaning products.
How can consumers be sure they aren’t buying a product that has been “greenwashed”?
Greenwashing is a problem in the cleaning product industry, as it is in many others. Fortunately, the warning signs of a non-sustainable commodity are easy to spot. “Words like regular, all-natural, or green” on labels are meaningless. When a brand is stamped with the EPA Safer Choice logo, you may be sure that it has made an effort to be non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
You may also do your own studies on a few businesses. Grove and Process, for example, have posted reports on their websites detailing their attempts to be environmentally friendly.
There is really no shame in using up the last bit of non-renewable bathroom cleaner or window spray in the back of your cleaning cabinet. According to Sass, helping your friends and family think about safety with cleaning products, make educated decisions, and get “on the road towards sustainability,” according to Sass, is a better option than guilting them into converting to a greener cleaning process.
It’s OK to use up the last of your non-renewable bathroom cleaner or window spray in the back of your cleaning cabinet. Helping your friends and family think about cleaning product protection, making informed choices, and getting “on the path to sustainability” is a safer choice, according to Sass, than guilting them into switching to a greener cleaning procedure.