All over the world, people are developing respiratory illnesses seemingly out of nowhere. Others experience allergic reactions to their clothing, to the air, to invisible pathogens the source of which is nowhere to be found. Many people believe that using environmentally friendly cleaning products is the cure for all of these often bizarre and misunderstood conditions.
If someone living in your home has suddenly become ill or has exhibited strange symptoms that you can’t find the source of, perhaps the products you have under your kitchen sink are to blame. With the world’s safety and health in mind, here are some of the top reasons that you should swap out your chemical-based and abrasive cleaning products for green, environmentally friendly ones.
1. Create a Safer SpaceIf traditional chemical products are so safe, then why do they come with so many warning labels? You can’t read over a cleaning product these days without the words “flammable,” “toxic,” and “harmful” staring back at you. Although you might have the ability to read and interpret these labels, there may be people and pets within your space who don’t understand the danger of exposure to these products. Unfortunately, accidents happen no matter how vigilant you are. Perhaps the best way to avoid injury or worse in your home is to keep the poisonous and toxic chemicals out of it.
2. Feel Better, Sleep BetterTry using chemical-free cleaning products for a few days and see if you feel better. Chances are you’ll breathe better and feel much better. You’ve probably had the experience of spraying an allegedly harmless chemical in a smaller space such as a bathroom, for example, the fumes burning your eyes and your throat as you inhaled them. Often, the fumes can linger in the air and cling to items in your home for days or even weeks afterwards. Using green products will literally help you feel better and sleep better at night.
3. Clean Up the Indoor AirStudies show that the air inside your home is more polluted than the air outside. Part of the problem is certainly the products you’re using to clean your home. For instance, it would be naïve to think that you can mop bleach all over your kitchen floor and not have those toxic fumes go airborne. Most of the cleaning products you can pick up off the shelf contain pollutants known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which are associated with conditions such as liver and kidney damage. In some cases, VOCs can even damage your central nervous system. Green cleaning products that don’t contain VOCs will improve your indoor air quality and allow you to breathe better.
4. Help the EnvironmentUsing green cleaning products is one small way that you can help the environment every day. Make sure the products you are using are labelled as being made using sustainable manufacturing practices as well as containing clean ingredients. Compared to commercial products that blare the message “harmful if swallowed,” many green cleaning products are made up of ingredients that you actually recognize. (But swallowing it would still taste pretty bad, so don’t do that.)
5. Put Money Back in Your WalletNontoxic cleaning products can also save you money. Bought off the shelf or online, the upfront cost might not seem significantly lower, but there are many recipes online for cleaning products you can make at home. White vinegar is one ingredient that many people have on hand anyway, and it makes a great cleaner for many different applications. What’s better is that it’s completely safe. If you wonder whether making your own cleaning products is something that you’d actually do, then consider how you might save money by purchasing green cleaning products that are multipurpose instead. For instance, if you have a cleaner that works well on hardwood floors as well as windows, you can save a lot of money by buying just one product instead of two for different uses.
6. Save Space in Your HomeAs mentioned, vinegar is a great product to use for many cleaning tasks around your home. It can wipe away mold and mildew, and works great on tough set-in stains in clothes, carpet, and upholstery. Not only will you save money by replacing your arsenal of cleaning products with two or three substances that work just as well or even better, you’ll also save a lot of space in your home. You also won’t be as worried about tiny fingers of your children being able to reach into the forbidden cabinet where you keep your cleaning products.
7. Give Back to the CommunityMany companies that manufacture environmentally friendly cleaning products tout promises that they give a portion of their products to causes and organizations that promote environmental change. Some others provide funding for charities that help people all over the world. Others are involved in worldwide educational causes. If participating in humanitarian aid is something that interests you, research some green cleaning products that promote positive messages and are actively making positive changes.
8. Know What You’re UsingDon’t you feel better when you’re eating something and you know exactly what’s in it? While it’s really not recommended that you ingest your cleaning products, there’s something to be said for using products that contain only easily recognizable ingredients. All over the world, federal governments are not requiring manufacturers to divulge what their products contain, so you could be inhaling chemicals that you know nothing about. One of the best things about using green cleaning products to keep your house looking sparkly and new is that it effects social change. Once your friends see what you’re doing, they are likely to follow. An environmentally conscious mindset is contagious, and once people see your life improving and your house shining, they’ll be more likely to follow you on your quest to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.
Even small changes can often be difficult, but this is one that you have nothing to lose but a host of mysterious illnesses and medical conditions, and only much better health to gain. If you’ve been unsure of whether or not using green cleaning products could solve your problems, why not give it a try? Your family will thank you and if it could, the earth would probably give you a high five too.