HOW TRADITIONAL CLEANING PRACTICES HARM THE ENVIRONMENT
Traditional cleaning products and practices cause harm to the environment in many ways. It is one of the reasons why businesses and individuals are looking for more sustainable cleaning solutions. As a result, green cleaning solutions are growing in popularity and those who adopt green cleaning practices are reaping the benefits. If you are on the fence with regard to green cleaning, knowing how traditional cleaning solutions impact the environment may help you to make a more informed decision.
Here are just a few of the negative impacts of traditional cleaning practices:
Many traditional cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compound are released into the air and can cause respiratory distress for many individuals, particularly those with an existing respiratory disease like asthma.
Even individuals without preexisting conditions may experience eye, nose, or throat irritation and in some cases VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Toxic chemicals contained in many traditional cleaning products eventually make their way into the bodies of water that we humans rely on. Ammonia, Ammonium compounds, Chlorine, Sodium Hydroxide, and Butoxyethanol are just a few of the toxic chemical food in common cleaning products.
Many of the chemicals found in traditional cleaning products biodegrade slowly or biodegrade into more toxic and persistent chemicals. Once they enter the fresh water system these chemicals eventually enter the food chain, impacting marine life and those that consume marine life.
Many traditional cleaning products are made from, or contained in, non-recyclable materials that typically end up in a landfill. Many landfills are poorly managed and many solid wastes take decades to decompose. This can result in increased air pollution and water and soil contamination.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF TRADITIONAL CLEANING?
As the environmental impacts of traditional cleaning solutions are better understood, many are opting for green cleaning solutions. This demand for green cleaning solutions has created an entire industry dedicated to providing more sustainable cleaning products.
There are many options now available for both individuals and organizations and for many the only thing standing in the way of more sustainable cleaning practices is making the decision to switch.
Today, most reputable commercial cleaning service providers offer green cleaning solutions and for organizations looking to reduce their environmental footprint, professional cleaning can be a very good option.
For those who choose to manage their own green cleaning program the best place to start is with the chemicals you use to clean. Simply switching to non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products can significantly reduce your environmental impact. Just be sure that you are choosing products that are genuinely green.
CHOOSING GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS
Despite the increased popularity of green cleaning products, they can be difficult to identify. Many cleaning product manufacturers use labels that imply environmentally conscious ingredients, but may still contain harmful chemicals. To ensure that you are buying green cleaning products you should look for the seal of approval from one of the following third-party certification authorities.
• Green Seal – Green Seal is a non-profit, green cleaning certification authority that has been around since 1989. They evaluate the entire life-cycle of cleaning products to ensure that they meet both independent and international standards.
• Safer Choice – Safer Choice is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (E.P.A.) certification program for green products and is designed to help individuals and businesses find products that are safer for human health and the environment.
• ECOLOGO – ECOLOGO certifications are provided by Underwriters Laboratories, a company that has been developing safety standards for more than a century. ECOLOGO certifies products, services, and packaging for reduced environmental impact.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR GREEN CLEANING INITIATIVES?
Complete Care Maintenance has years of experience developing and utilizing green cleaning programs for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Call or contact us today to learn how we can help you go green!