We all like to have a clean home, but did you know that the cleaning products you use are damaging to the environment? Talk about screwing up your carbon footprint. Most people see chemical cleaning products as necessary to remove dirt and germs, but they don’t break down and end up contaminating our water systems, and ultimately end up in the oceans.
Cleaning your home in a more environmentally-friendly way is easier than you think and these simple tips will start you on your way.
By ditching the chemicals not only will you save money, but you will also be helping the planet as well as improving your health.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
There has been a sharp increase in the number of people advocating natural cleaning ingredients, and it really is one of the easiest ways to be more environmentally-friendly.
By using a handful of natural products that you probably already have in your home, you can clean your house in a safer way.
If not, use companies like CHOR who use eco cleaning products!
White vinegar is a versatile cleaning product, and it has anti-bacterial qualities which make it perfect for cleaning the home.
Simply add it to a spray bottle filled with water and use it to clean kitchen countertops, sinks, and windows. Add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil if the smell of vinegar is overpowering.
Lemons are great cleaning products, and they also have anti-bacterial properties. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle it with salt to make a great pot scrubber. You can also place half a lemon into a bowl of water and then put into the microwave. After the microwave has finished, leave the door shut for 5 minutes. The lemon and steam will have loosened any tough stains and you can simply wipe them away with a cloth.
Dry Your Clothes Naturally
Drying clothes in a dryer is a huge energy drain, yet some people still use them even in the summer. To reduce your carbon footprint and save on energy costs, dry your clothes naturally when possible.
Hang clothes outside, even if it’s not warm. The fresh air will dry clothes naturally as long as it’s not raining. If it is raining, place your clothes on a drying rack in front of a heater. You are already using the heater to heat your home, so this will further save energy.
Use the Eco Setting on Your Washing Machine
Unless your clothes are really dirty, you can use the eco setting on your washing machine. Most modern machines have one and it will use far less energy than a normal wash. Use eco-friendly detergent to further reduce your carbon footprint.
If your clothes are really dirty and have a lot of stains, you could try soaking them first before placing in the washing machine.
If you only have a few items of clothing to wash, save the energy and just wash them in the bathtub. Fill the bath with warm water and detergent and leave to soak for a while. Wring the clothes out and then hang them up to dry naturally.
Invest in an Eco-Friendly Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum cleaners are energy hungry machines, but they are a necessity, especially if you have children or pets. While it may not be possible to limit their use there is a number of things you can do to use them more efficiently.
The first thing you can do is invest in a bagless vacuum cleaner. Vacuum bags need to be changed regularly and as they can’t usually be recycled this results in more waste going to landfill. Most modern upright vacuum cleaners are now bagless, and the dirt is collected into a canister which can be emptied.
As with all electronics, cheaper vacuums do not last as long as more expensive models. There has been a rise in the production of cheap vacuums, and this is one of the leading causes of landfill waste. Buying a more expensive vacuum that is designed to last at least 5 years will save you money in the long run, while also reducing the number of cheap products that get thrown away.
Use Baking Soda on Your Carpets
Baking soda is another versatile natural cleaner. Better than many cleaning products. Also, it’s great for freshening up your carpets. If your carpets are starting to smell, sprinkle them with baking soda and leave for a couple of hours. Vacuum up the baking soda to reveal fresh smelling carpets, without the need for expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals.
Freshen the Air without Chemicals
Air fresheners are loaded with dangerous chemicals. Also, all they really do is mask any odors without removing them. Opening a window to allow fresh air into your home will do a better job at removing bad odors.
You can also make a homemade air freshener by boiling a pot of water and adding in some fresh herbs. Cloves, basil and cinnamon are favorites and they will leave your whole house smelling great.
If you use an air purifier to deal with smells in your home, consider switching to house plants instead. Spider plants and peace lilies are great natural purifiers, and using them removes the need for an air purifier.
Leave the Toxins Outside
There are all sorts of toxins as we mentioned in your cleaning products but outside your home; that end up on your shoes. Antifreeze, oil, animal waste and pollution are all toxins that you bring into your house unknowingly.
Finally, the easiest way to ensure they don’t end up on your carpet is to remove your shoes before you enter your home.
In conclusion, if you don’t feel comfortable asking guests to remove their shoes, provide them with a door mat so they can wipe their shoes before they come in.