I blog about greenish things at times and do try very hard to live a more Eco friendly life than I once did. So when I was asked recently ' should we use Eco cleaning products?' you might assume I would shout an immediate and defiant yes! In fact, though I do try to be as environmentally aware as possible my answer was more of a no, leaning towards a maybe.
The thing is, I do not personally believe that switching all the cleaning products in the world from conventional to Eco would solve a great deal. After all, one of the greenest cleaners you could chose would be good old soapy water. But, too many soap suds in the water system leads to suds downriver and alkaline water. So simply buying a different product is not the solution.
Of course if we all only use green cleaners we will be saving some chemical pollution and we will certainly be putting our families at less risk of accidental poisoning or health risks associated with toxic fumes. But far more importantly, I feel, we should be altering our attitude to cleaning.
I do not mean for one moment that we should all stop cleaning and live in filth. But, our obsession with cleanliness can go a bit far sometimes. There are times when you need an antibacterial cleaner, but a lot more times when you simply do not. Water and a little soap can do an awful lot. But be sure not to use too much soap, or any other product for that matter or you will subsequently be using huge quantities of water to rinse it all away again.
Simple things like wiping down the units with a vinegar solution, or cleaning mirrors with a damp microfiber cloth will save a huge amount of waste. Never forget than even the greenest commercial Eco Cleaning Product is manufactured (often alongside toxic cleaners), over packaged, transported and paid for by you working at a job that is rarely environmentally friendly.
Adding up waste, packaging, transport and your hours of work associated with a green cleaner means that in fact they can never be as environmentally sound as we would like. So should we all use Eco Cleaning Products then? Well, it would be good if we could, but far better to use less of all our cleaning products and consolidate what we do use into a few items we can buy in bulk concentrated form to reduce all the extra environmental costs associated with anything we buy.