One of the most popular trends we can all get behind is going green. Getting rid of those single-use plastic bags, carrying a refillable water bottle and walking wherever possible. Businesses across the world following this and more offices are becoming paperless and cycle to work schemes are becoming the norm.
However, there is one element that is often forgotten about, making the switch to green cleaning. London commercial cleaners are clocking onto this and encouraging commercial green cleaning wherever possible, click here to find out more.
Company directors and office managers often forget the importance of green cleaning, especially as this responsibility is often given to contractors who perform these tasks out of hours, meaning they are not seen. If managers supply cleaning products themselves, they don’t always know what the labelling means.
Below, we discuss who switching to green cleaning is crucial to not just the environment, but also employees and visitors.
How Chemical Cleaners Directly Impact Us
Strong chemical cleaners are used on almost every surface of our workplace and we all know these need to be rinsed away to avoid contamination with our skin, food and fabrics.
We always feel safe knowing those toxic substances have been washed away, but what happens after the drain down the sinkhole?
These chemicals end up in water waste plants where every attempt is made to remove these. Unfortunately, this is a hard task and only a fraction of cleaning chemicals is actually removed.
This contaminated water is then released into the ecosystems, streams, river and the ocean all end up washed with these toxins. Marine life then lives among this polluted water, causing birth defects, breeding problems, growth issues and even death.
We could even be unknowingly consuming these toxins whenever we are eating seafood as there is no way of monitoring what fish and other creatures have come into contact with cleaning chemicals.
There is also a direct link between aerosols and compressed gases causing damage to the ozone layer which is a big contributor to global warming. This is already impacting wildlife across the planet but is also beginning to show ill-effect on humans and without addressing the situation, it will only get worse.
The problems with plastic waste are no stranger to any of us and chemical cleaners are a huge contributor. Chemical cleaners need to be packaged in thicker plastic than other products to avoid corrosion during transit. This plastic is not biodegradable or recyclable and the containers can not be reused. Meaning tonnes of plastic are filling our landfills.
Green Cleaning Myths
Many businesses may be reluctant to switch to green cleaning purely due to a lack of knowledge and many myths surrounding it. But we are here to tell you the truth.
A common misconception is that green cleaning products are not as effective as chemical cleaners. They lather less due to no sulphates, but soap bubbles aren’t what makes a product fulfill its purpose.
It is true that green cleaning products require a little more elbow grease and sometimes more of the products itself but they are just as effective as their chemical counterparts.
Green cleaning products do certainly smell different and this causes people to believe they are not doing their job. That ‘clean’ smell you find with chemicals cleaners is actually added in the manufacturing process for no reason other than scent.
If you want to add a nice smell to your green cleaning products, you can simply add a few drops of your favored essential oil.
We don’t just clean for appearances but for our health too. It is easy to believe you need something strong to kill germs and bacteria. Actually, vinegar, a common ingredient in green cleaning, has been proven to kill the cold and flu virus.
However, there is yet to be thorough research into if this kills the Covid-19 virus, so if you have had an outbreak or a case in your workplace, it is recommended to stick to products, such as bleach, that have been proven to do so.
Making the switch to green cleaning isn’t just about the liquid cleaners you buy. It encompasses every element of cleaning.
For example, replacing paper hand towels with reusable, washable one. Reducing energy consumption by investing in new vacuums and other appliances that are energy efficient.
Even tools such as brooms and mops, these often have plastic handles that can take centuries to degrade once thrown away. Next time you need to replace these, consider getting wooden handled ones instead.
While these items may seem like a big investment as opposed to disposable items, they will actually save cash in the long-run as they can be used numerous times and even eradicate multiple delivery costs.
Here are some quick home recipes for making green cleaners:
Glass cleaner- 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
All-purpose cleaner- ½ cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon of castile soap and 20 drops of essential oil (optional)
Carpet cleaner/stain remover-1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 2 tablespoon and 15 drops of essential oil (optional)
Drain cleaner – ½ bicarbonate of soda, 2 cups vinegar mixed well and poured down the drain, followed with boiling water after 15 minutes.
Oven cleaner – ¼ cup bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of warm water.
Furniture polish – ¼ vinegar, ¾ cup olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.
Washing up liquid – 4 parts castile soap to 1 part water.
Toilet cleaner – 1 part bicarbonate of soda to 3 parts vinegar shaken well and left to sit in the basin.