By Sara Zipf
Consumers in the UK are embracing greener products and services, as found in recent research compiled by Deloitte. Around two-thirds of British people have reduced their use of single use plastics, around 43% are supporting brands with a passion for sustainability, and 34% are taking ethical considerations into account in everything from fashion to cleaning products. If you are a house-proud individual who likes showing off a sparkling clean home to family and friends, how can you do so while saving water and eliminating your reliance on toxic cleaning products?
Reducing Your Reliance On Water
England is set to run short of water within 25 years, as warned by the Environment Agency. It is therefore important to start taking steps now, including during our daily or weekly cleaning routines. There are many steps to take, both small and large. You can start by installing a meter, so as to be more aware of how much you are consuming. Ofwat reports that homes with meters have an average reduction in water consumption of 9%-20%. Additional ways to lower your water usage include filling a tub with water to wash produce (instead of just letting the water run), using an eco-friendly dishwasher, using hot water to remove grease from pans instead of scrubbing them under running water, and cleaning outdoor areas such as garages with a broom instead of a hose (to remove items such as leaves and soil). Think of how you can reuse water. For instance, if you have a fish tank, you may be able to recycle the water to water pot plants or your garden.
Reducing Or Eliminating Your Reliance On Chemicals
Many modern cleaning products contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, bleach, ingredients that create suds such as sodium laureth sulfate, and fragrances. These toxins have a wide range of health effects that extend from skin and respiratory issues right through to chemical burns, cancer, and endocrine issues (i.e. issues related to miscarriage, some types of cancer, and infertility). The good news is that you can achieve your cleaning aims naturally by either purchasing green cleaning products or making them at home.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products And DIY Products
There are a plethora of green cleaning brands on the market, so it can be confusing to choose a specific brand. In general, opt for products made with natural ingredients (such as essential oils and organic and plant-based ingredients). Priority should also be given to biodegradability, the use of recyclable packaging, and a commitment to reducing carbon emissions. You can also make many cleaning products yourself. For an all-purpose cleaner, for instance, mix one cup of white vinegar with 5 tablespoons of baking soda and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. There are free recipes online for everything from grease removers right through to laundry detergent.
Having a squeaky clean home and lowering your carbon footprint are compatible aims. Start out by thinking of ways to reduce water consumption by cleaning – for instance, don’t leave water running, and avoid using a hose unless you need to. Try to reduce or eliminate your reliance on chemical cleaning products, getting a little creative and making a few natural cleaning products of your own.