Ten years ago, if you wanted to buy environmentally sound cleaning products, you had to shop in special stores and bring lots of extra cash. But now you can find green products in most supermarkets and chain stores right beside their caustic counterparts, and often similarly priced. They are also available online from a variety of merchants. If you haven’t made the switch yet, here are some compelling reasons to consider going green when you clean.
Your Family’s Health
Image via Flickr by go_greener_oz
Conventional cleaning products contain some seriously scary chemicals, including a few that scientists know can cause cancer, disrupt your endocrine system, cause mutations or birth defects, and impact your nervous system. Discontinuing the use of these products may relieve symptoms like coughing, sneezing, skin rashes, headaches, and more. Cleaning products may also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which linger in the air and contribute to indoor pollution. VOCs can cause damage to your liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. Studies have even shown that using VOC-containing household cleaning sprays even once a week raises the chance of developing asthma.
Biodegradable Products and Packaging
Many manufacturers of green products care deeply about the environment, so they create both products and packaging that have minimal impact on the environment. Green products are often unscented and created without chemicals that break down in the air and destroy the ozone. These products may be concentrated; leaving out some of the water that usually dilutes traditional products means that they can be packaged with less material. The packaging of green products is usually minimal and is often made from recycled or recyclable materials.
Eco-friendly products are often just as effective as their conventional cousins. You don’t need a lot of dangerous chemicals to remove stains from laundry, get dishes sparkling, or clean household surfaces. People kept their homes and clothing clean by using all-natural ingredients for hundreds of years before chemical products ever appeared on store shelves. Check out the “Legacy of Clean” demonstration videos on Amway’s YouTube channel to see how effective green products can be.
Green products meet strict standards so that they aren’t toxic when inhaled or absorbed through the skin, and they are less like to burst into flame than conventional products, too. While you still want to keep cleaners locked away from curious toddlers, it’s good to know that the cleaning products you’re using around your home aren’t deadly.
Fewer Antibacterial Ingredients
Antibacterial ingredients have been popular in cleaning products for years, even though the American Medical Association insists that these ingredients encourage bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, and now we’re learning that disrupting the “good” bacteria that live in our systems could be contributing to the obesity, anxiety and depression epidemics. Triclosan, which is common in soaps, shows signs of disrupting both hormones and thyroid function.
Now that the FDA has ruled that antibacterial soaps have no health benefit over regular soaps, it makes a lot of sense to switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products that don’t include these antibacterial ingredients.
Improving the Environment
Obviously, the environment is a key reason to choose green products. Traditional cleaning products release harmful chemicals into the air, pollute waterways, deplete the ozone layer, and contribute to global climate change. Green cleaners are designed to break down after their use into harmless compounds that you can safely rinse away or allow to evaporate without worrying about the damage you may be wreaking on the planet. Future generations will thank you.
Being a Role Model
Every person who chooses environmentally sound alternatives is contributing to a culture of caring. Change happens quickly when enough people start moving in the same direction, pulling the rest along. If you become a leader in green cleaning, recycling, and other environmental efforts, you are part of the solution.
Environmentally friendly cleaning products sometimes cost a little more than the alternatives, but when you weigh the advantages of going green, the wisdom of that decision is clear. Green products offer you a safer home, a healthier family, and an opportunity to take the lead in improving the environment and preserving the planet for the sake of your grandchildren.