Finally, spring. The flowers are sprouting, and the trees are growing their leaves. While most of us do not have time to routinely deep clean, spring is always that time of year we want to feel brand new. Let us not harm our beautiful blooming environment by switching to more sustainable ways of spring cleaning.
Cleaning products, your health, our planet
This switch is about benefiting your environment AND your health. Deep cleaning has health benefits, including strengthening immune health, decreasing stress, and preventing illness. However, using products that are full of toxins and plastics can have the opposite effect.
Many everyday cleaning products contain harmful chemicals like ammonia, phosphorous, and other VOCs. These chemicals are seen in dishwasher detergents, air fresheners, aerosol sprays, and more. Exposure to these chemicals can cause headaches, irritation to the eyes, skin, throat and create chronic respiratory problems. When using harsh chemicals, you put yourself at risk of developing severe conditions like cancer.
Our environment is just as harmfully affected by these chemicals. VOCs and other toxic substances highly contribute to climate change. Every time we use cleaning toxic products, those toxins end up in our oceans and landfills. Water treatment plants may remove most of the toxins, but not all. Over time, the little toxins that make it to our oceans, plants, and animals create enormous environmental effects.
Cleaning products significantly contribute to waste. Although these products come in recyclable plastic containers, plastic can only be recycled 2-3 times. Of the billions of plastic containers that have been produced, 79% of the plastic is in our landfills and litter. Not only is the end result of plastic detrimental, but the production of plastic resin creates high levels of pollution.
Making the switch
Making your own homemade cleaning products is sustainable, cheaper, and healthier. By using all-natural ingredients and controlling the ingredients you use, homemade cleaners are a much safer choice. For bonus points, purchase reusable bottles to cut back on your waste. There are many recipes online for different sustainable, homemade cleaners. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ones;
- All-purpose cleaner– one part white vinegar, one part water, one part lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs.
- Dish soap– ¼ castile soap, 2 ½ cups of water, 10 drops of lemon essential oils, and 1 tbsp of baking soda
- Glass cleaner– ½ gallon of hot water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and 2 tbsp of lemon juice.
While making your own sustainable cleaning products is effective, many people do not have the extra time. Thankfully, many companies make switching to sustainable cleaning easy. How do we know if a company is actually sustainable and eco-friendly? The Safer Choice label was created to make finding eco-friendly, sustainable, and safe products easy. Companies have their products put to the test through an ingredients review, product performance review, package testing, and pH level testing. If you see a product you like with this label, you have the green light! If the products do not have this label, do your own research before purchasing.
One of the best and well-known companies, Grove Collaborative, carries a variety of sustainable cleaning essentials. Not only is Grove taking steps to be 100% plastic-free by 2025, but their products are also non-toxic, sustainable, cruelty-free, and effective. Their products are Safer Choice-Certified, meaning they are not a greenwashing company. Grove embodies everything it means to be sustainably clean; that’s why we have a link for a free Mrs. Meyer’s set along with a couple of gifts at check out.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is our answer to a healthier future in our homes, gardens, beaches, and everywhere we love. Are you making sustainable switches for your spring cleaning? Which method will you be using? Let us know in the comments and on our Instagram @cada_culture.
For more ways to spring clean, check out our 7 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Home Office blog. Be on the lookout for our Spring Activities blog coming soon!