Spring cleaning is in the air, and today, environmentally-friendly cleaning products abound.
You try hard to live a lifestyle that not only avoids exposing your family to unnecessary harsh chemicals, but also one that doesn’t expose the planet to unnecessary toxins, pollutants, and other negative outcomes. For some people, cleaning products have proven particularly challenging.
In the past, cleaning products claiming to be green were either found ineffective when compared to those that were filled with toxins and pollutants, or were found to have been more than a little misleading in their advertised “greenness.” Today, though, and fortunately, that has changed.
Identifying Cleaning Products that are Truly Green
In an effort to provide greater clarity in informing the public about green products for cleaning and more, several agencies and organizations are stepping up to offer certifications and labelling standards designed to help you make the right decisions about greener, more earth-friendly purchases.
As an added benefit, you are able to enjoy the comfort of knowing that you’re purchasing cleaning products that are safer to expose yourself, your family, and your pets to as well. These are a few of the labeling organizations you might want to familiarize yourself with so that you can buy your cleaning and household products with confidence.
Design for the Environment
The Design for the Environment label, also referred to as the DfE label, is presented through an EPA partnership program. The purpose of the DfE label is so that consumers are able to quickly and easily identify products that are not only safe to use for themselves and their families, but also for the planet.
Products that carry this label must meet the DfE’s Standard for Safer Products requirements in order to receive the label, which indicates that companies have made substantial investments in research and development of products that are planet- and health-friendly while maintaining certain performance standards.
Green Seal is a non-profit environmental certification program. The non-profit status of Green Seal allows the organization to maintain integrity in the products it certifies. Today products bearing the Green Seal symbol are recognized as products that embody a deep commitment to the planet, but that are also effective and proven for meeting the purpose of their designs.
Products earning Green Seal certification have gone through a series of evaluations in order to determine that they live up to rigorous Green Seal standards for performance and functionality without having a negative impact on the planet or the people who populate it.
Green America Seal
While the Green America Seal focuses on business standards rather than specific products, it does still indicate that a business organization is dedicated to leadership in the field of green businesses.
Green America offers two certifications. First, there is the Green America Certified Business standards, which exemplify businesses that adhere to certain standards of social as well as environmental responsibility.
Businesses that have earned the Green America Gold certification have exceeded the already strict standards established for standard certification.
Find Trusted Green Brands
You do not need to look very far to find a wide range of businesses claiming to offer green products and goods. Many of them, in a rash of recent greenwashing events, do not tell the full story. That’s why it’s important to find trustworthy green businesses that offer products that are planet-driven rather than profit-driven.
The following brands are making outstanding strides to provide greener cleaning experiences without sacrificing any of the standards you have for cleaning – especially when it comes to the health and safety of your family.
Seventh Generation. With the mission of bringing “sustainable, innovative products to market,” a company was born. Seventh Generation is an organization that is committed to making products that will nurture health for the next seven generations.
The company offers a wide range of products from baby and kid care products to health and beauty and cleaning products that are toxin free and absent of chemicals believed to lead to a wide range of conditions including cancer, asthma, birth defects, and more.
The Honest Company. The Honest Company was founded by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan with the purpose of helping families everywhere find products that were safe to expose their families to while also being effective and eco-friendly.
It seemed like a tall order to fill and yet they’ve done so beautifully. More importantly, they’ve made these products affordable so that parents from all walks of life can afford to use these products in their homes and on their children.
They even offer bundles that ship monthly at substantial savings to help families stretch their budgets even further.
Biokleen. Biokleen is an organization that has perfected the idea of green cleaning over the past 25 years. The products are made in the USA with 100 percent renewable energy. The line of products includes a wide range of products for cleaning homes, including pet stains and odors, that are natural and planet friendly.
Mrs. Meyer’s. This company fills a void in the cleaning supply market by offering products that are not only planet-friendly, but also smell great. One of the worst things about cleaning for many people is the harsh smells involved. Mrs. Meyer’s products are all about providing tough cleaning power without chemical odors and harsh fragrances.
They are made with essential oils from flowers and herbs in fragrances like: lavender, verbena, basil, and more to make cleaning house a more pleasant experience all around.
Ecover. This brand taps into Mother Nature herself in order to power the cleaning process. They are devoted to building a better world by cleaning the world with natural products made from natural ingredients.
In the beginning it was a radical concept. Today, Ecover has 35 products available in over 40 countries. It’s a concept that is definitely taking root among earth-conscious consumers seeking safer products to expose their loved ones and planet to.
Sweat the Details
When it comes to cleaning green, there are plenty of details to sweat. The three most important include:
It’s important to really look at the packaging for the products you use claiming to be planet-friendly. How much unnecessary package is included? Are the packages made with recycled goods? Are the packages themselves recyclable or biodegradable? These are all important things to ask as we seek to move away from a world where landfills are overflowing and towards a world filled with more green spaces and far less waste.
The ingredients in your cleaning products have a profound effect on how well the product works as well as what the product can do to the planet. Experts say to avoid products that contain the ingredients listed below.
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Sodium Hypochlorite
These are only the tip of the iceberg. The key is to search for products that contain only natural ingredients or that have been certified as earth- and family-friendly products to use.
The truth is that products must be tested before they can be used to clean your home. How on earth will anyone know how effective they are otherwise? It’s not the fact that products are tested that’s the problem.
It’s the manner in which some products are tested that is problematic. That’s why it’s important, as consumers, to look for products that are not tested on animals.
Clear the Air Inside Your Home
The air inside your home may be the most toxic air you are likely to breathe. It is filled with carcinogens and pollutants brought in on your feet, on the breeze, and in many household cleaners, solvents, and consumer products (mattresses, shelving units, etc.). Even the air fresheners many households use contain harsh and potentially harmful ingredients.
These steps can help you eliminate the harsh chemicals within the walls of your home.
- Get rid of toxic air fresheners, candles, and scented oil warmers. Use essential oils and natural fragrances instead. Try simmering a small pot of water with lemon or orange slices, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks, to fill your home with fragrance without unwanted toxins.
- Remove your shoes at the door. This simple process will prevent countless allergens, toxins, and chemicals from coming into your home completely. It’s worked in Oriental cultures for centuries and can be instrumental in keeping the air inside your home free and clear.
- Invest in air purifiers for your home. These tools can help draw impurities, toxins, and allergens from the air so that the air you and your family breathes is cleaner and healthier all around. It’s a small investment for the good it provides.
Once you’ve cleared the air of these harmful things, you’ll find that you’re not redistributing them every time you clean.
Hire Green Cleaning Services
Not everyone has the time to devote to cleaning as well, or as green, as they would like. There’s no reason you should have to resort to services that do not place a premium on cleaning practices that are better for the planet, however. Instead, look for services like The Cleaning Authority that uses Green Seal certified cleaning products, HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners, and microfiber cloths for the cleaning process.
Cleaning green doesn’t need to feel like a giant sacrifice, or like you’re taking one for the team. When you use the right kinds of products and educate yourself about your options, it is easier than ever to get the clean home you want for your family without damaging the planet in the process.
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