A new craze has taken over the internet, with stars and influencers like Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo (miraculously!) glamorising boring tasks like cleaning and tidying. Keeping clean is now cool, therapeutic and a great way to destress – a tidy room is a tidy mind, after all. While demand for cleaning goods might be on the rise, unfortunately, there’s a darker side to our trusty cleaning products.
The average person uses around 30 plastic bottles of cleaning products a year, and with household favourites usually packed with toxic chemicals, this is bad for both our health and the environment.
How the chemicals in cleaning products affect the environment
When people clean their homes, dishes and clothes, most of the cleaning products will go down the drain, into the sewer system and wastewater treatment facilities as well as our rivers, lakes and oceans. This is going to lead to some *serious* water pollution if we use the dangerous chemicals usually found in household cleaners.
In fact, a study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found constant detergent traces in 69% of streams sampled across the USA, and 66% contained disinfectants. If that wasn’t bad enough, triclosan (which is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and is suspected to bioaccumulate in aquatic environments) traces have been found in 58% of 85 streams located throughout the USA, and even in organisms such as algae, black worms, fish and even dolphins!
What’s more, wastewater treatment facilities can only filter out about 30% of phosphates from wastewater, so the majority of the cleaning chemical enters our waterways, leading to big blooms of algae that swamp wild aquatic plants and starve fish and other aquatic creatures of oxygen.
How the chemicals in cleaning products affect human health
Using toxic chemical-based cleaning products isn’t only bad for the environment, it can be bad for us and our families too. In fact, research shows that regular use of cleaning sprays has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day and raises the risk of developing asthma.
In homes where aerosols and air fresheners were used frequently, mothers suffered from 25% more headaches and 19% more depression, and infants under six months had 30% more ear infections and 22% higher incidence of diarrhoea.
The solution: Eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning!
But don’t worry, we can still get sparkling homes without using the dangerous, unnecessary chemicals found in conventional cleaning products! Instead, you can swap all those nasties with alternatives like minerals and essential oils that are naturally antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal, and still biodegradable and totally harmless to the waterways, soils, flora and fauna, human beings and planet as a whole!
This week’s top swap
Sounds great right? We think so too! If you’re looking to make the swap, why not start with these amazing non-toxic powders by Planet Detox – we’re totally obsessed! Check out toilet cleaner, eco-friendly laundry powder, dishwashing powder and carpet freshener too! They’re all 100% plastic-free, packaged only in reusable, recyclable, and compostable paper.
Their makers Planet Detox are fantastic too, they’re a small, cottage company with absolutely minimal production impact and have promised to never, ever sell out to corporate greed – we’re so excited to be working with them.
Since finding out about the risks of conventional cleaning products with harsh chemicals, we’re so happy to have found sustainable, natural cleaning alternatives. They make for a healthier home and purer environment – what’s not to love?
Have you swapped to natural cleaning products yet? How are you getting along? Are there any other natural cleaning products you’d like us to stock? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you.