The way we impact on the planet has always been a concern. However, worries about our health and safety are now also a hot topic, particularly since the pandemic. As we head towards more people becoming eco-conscious, as well as the pandemic accelerating cleanliness in homes, there is also an increased demand for green cleaning. Mintel research shows people now look to more sustainable cleaning products since the arrival of Covid-19. A third of the public buying green household products increased the amount they bought from September 2020 to March 2021.
Switching up your cleaning supplies and introducing more eco-friendly products is a great start to living a more sustainable life. Not only are ‘green’ cleaning options better for the planet, but they are also better for you and your home – containing far less harmful ingredients and plastics.
If you’re unsure how eco-friendly your cleaning cupboard is, take our handy quiz:
We know that it can seem overwhelming, when switching your current cleaning products to greener alternatives – however, that is where we come in. At Ecovibe we pride ourselves in transparency and strive to make sustainable living achievable for everyone. So, we’ve pulled together this guide to give you a head start when it comes to green cleaning.
Increased Demand for Green Cleaning Products
During recent times, as people have spent more time at home than ever before, they’ve had more time to focus on what cleaning products they’re using to make their home sparkle. Obviously, a big part of cleaning is about killing bacteria and viruses, so when you’ve got a nasty cold, it’s natural to sway towards the harshest chemical cleaners to kill this bacterium. But did you know you can do this with natural products too? A product as simple as the vinegar in your cupboard is a great example of this, as this is known to fight off cold and flu germs.
Thankfully, more people are starting to realise this, as research shows individuals are using phones more to look up product information whilst they’re shopping, and buy products with ingredients they can pronounce and understand. Naturally, this increased education leads to more people leaning towards going green when it comes to ingredients. So, now more than ever, individuals are recognising that they themselves can make a real difference to the future of our world, showing the intent of giving it some TLC.
The good stuff doesn’t just stop there either – green cleaning is actually a lot better for your health too. Unlike standard cleaners, you’ll know that what you’re using won’t harm you, or your beloved family and pets. Considering lots of the harmful chemicals in traditional products are often carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, or endocrine disrupters – it’s definitely worth ditching them for a green cleaning cupboard. You may just find those pesky, irritating coughs or sneezes disappear once you rid your air of toxic cleaning chemicals. Breathing easier is only one green cleaning product away!
When you go for green cleaning products, whether it’s doing a complete overhaul of your cleaning cupboard or you start off substituting one or two commercial products – you are committing to protecting the environment, as well as yourself and those around you.
When shopping for new cleaning products, choosing green can help to protect our planet. Not only do green cleaning products generally contain less plastics and create less waste but they also contain fewer harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals.
On the surface, switching to green cleaning products seems like a simple switch – and we truly believe it is! Although, we do understand that starting your eco-journey can be a little daunting – especially getting your head around the different eco-credentials.
At Ecovibe, we want to make switching to a greener lifestyle as simple as possible, whilst ensuring we are being completely transparent about our products. So, we have our own ‘green labels’ which we assign to each of our products – making it easier for you to know exactly what you’re buying.
You can calculate your own ‘Green Score’ using our credentials. See if you could improve or if you’re already the planet’s best friend:
What Makes a Cleaning Product Green?
When it comes to cleaning products, it can be difficult to know what makes them ‘green’. And, whilst ‘green’ is a rather general term – we have a few standards at Ecovibe that we look for to ensure our products meet our high standards.
Is it compostable?
Many of our cleaning products are completely compostable – such as our compostable sponges, sponge clothes and bin liners. Ensuring as many products as possible are compostable is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you produce – as these items will break down entirely in compostable conditions. There are typically two types – compostable at home, and industrially compostable.
Is it biodegradable?
It can be hard to know the difference between biodegradable and compostable. The thing to remember is that compostable products break down in specific compostable conditions whereas biodegradable means they can break down into natural materials and be reabsorbed into the surroundings – leaving no trace.
Is it recycled, and does it recycle?
Recycled products are perfect for eliminating waste as they can be reused. Plus, if products can be further recycled – this is even better!
Is it free of harmful chemicals?
In cleaning products especially, there are a number of harmful chemicals which should be avoided. When looking for products that are free of chemicals, make sure to look out for products that are organic, made from naturally occurring ingredients and BPA free.
Busting Green Cleaning Myths
There are several myths out there about green cleaning, and green products overall. It’s easy to be misled when it comes to more sustainable alternatives. However, we’re here to put the myths to rest and weed out fact from fiction. Below are some of the most common ones debunked:
Green cleaning is expensive
In fact – using sustainable cleaning products can actually work out cheaper than traditional ones. Whilst it may seem like you’re spending more, in reality you’re actually buying less, and more concentrated cleaning goods. This way you’ll get a lot more use for your money which is always a bonus. Plus, if DIY is your thing, making some of the products yourself will mean you can save on a few extra pennies.
Green cleaning is a fad
In recent times, there has been much speculation when it comes to green cleaning. Many people, especially those in professional cleaning jobs, have been thought to believe that the whole concept is a fad. Luckily, research has shown us there are lots of benefits to smart cleaning. Some of these great things include things such as less illnesses and improved productivity. This has helped businesses, and people in general, to take green cleaning alternatives more seriously. So, it’s true that cleaning up your house or business with a green detox can lead to a healthier and happier abode.
Green cleaning isn’t safe
When putting your green cleaning products into your shopping basket, you need to be cautious. Don’t be fooled by words like green, natural and sometimes even biodegradable. They’re used as marketing tactics to lure people into the “green” trap. Such terms aren’t regulated by the government which makes it easy to perpetuate fake or misleading claims. So, make sure to get swotted up with your research, and always read the labels. There are a number of ecolabels to look out for which will ensure you’re spring cleaning your house safely – you can find them here.
Green cleaning doesn’t work as well as traditional cleaning
Natural cleaners work just as well as conventional cleaning products. In fact, you can do a thorough clean by making cleaners with ingredients in your own cupboard. It’s common for people to think green cleaners don’t sanitise as well. However, new advancements in green cleaning products means current formulas are better improved than those from several years ago. Remember – that “clean” smell you think you’ve achieved with a standard cleaner may trick you into thinking everything’s sterile. In reality though, most of these products have had artificial scents added to them to tickle your senses – which really isn’t needed at all.
Greenwashing can be defined as when brands or companies spend more time, and money, claiming to be green than actually working to minimise their negative impact on the planet. Generally, greenwashing can be described as a marketing ploy that promotes the perception of a brand being eco-friendly when in practice they’re actually not.
At Ecovibe we believe ‘green’ products should be accessible to all, and that’s our philosophy. We also stand by being transparent across all our products – which is why we developed our green stamps.
Some of our top tips to avoid falling for greenwashing, are:
Just because the colour green is used, doesn’t mean the product is eco-friendly
Many brands have been criticised for their use of green coloured packaging. We associate a lot with colour – so seeing the colour green makes us automatically associate products with nature. When in reality, the product may be full of harmful chemicals and in no way natural.
Look at the labels
As we’ve discussed, understanding eco-labels and credentials is a great way to know if a brand is greenwashing or actually actively working to protect the environment. Claims such as ‘natural’ and ‘eco-friendly’ are great – but understanding the more specific claims such as BPA free, compostable and biodegradable can help you decipher how green a product really is.
Do your research
If you’re still unsure whether the brands you’re buying from are actually ‘green’ then a little research goes a long way, and should tell you pretty quickly. Luckily, nowadays the world is picking up on greenwashing much easier so it shouldn’t take long to find out whether a brand is truly doing the work to protect the planet.
Making a change to your cleaning habits can be as big or small as you’d like it to be. Fortunately, there’s lots of easy switches you can make around your home for a bright and sparkly clean:
Borax is a very versatile substitute for many cleaning products around the house. Add it to laundry to freshen up your clothes, pour it down your toilet bowl for that squeaky-clean toilet or make a paste and use it to scrub your shower and bath to perfection. Its abilities don’t just stop there either as Borax can also remove pesky carpet stains and make your bin smell nice. It’s one of our household favourites for a greener clean. You’ll find Borax powder in hardware shops or in the laundry aisle at big supermarkets.
Essential oils aren’t just great for helping your body, spirit and mind – it’s also a super green alternative to your conventional germ killers. They’re full of anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties, so they can fight off germs as strongly as the chemicals found in our regular cleaning supplies. Remember – a little goes a long way when it comes to essential oils, and plus they smell absolutely amazing! Essential oils are a definite must add to your green cleaning cupboard, in particular – lemon, tea tree and peppermint. Lemon brightens whites in laundry and removes grease and grime, tea tree oil is good for mould and mildew and peppermint is great paired with water in a spray bottle as an antiseptic surface cleaner.
Like Borax, baking soda is a powdered substance that’s extremely versatile. From being a great deodoriser to scrubbing away dirt on tiles and tubs – baking soda is a product you want on hand for all your cleaning needs. Just pop down to your local supermarket or pharmacy for this must-have green substitute!
White vinegar is the way forward to a green and healthier cleaning routine. It can kill mould, get rid of those annoying stains on surfaces and clothing, sanitises surfaces, makes windows and glass sparkly clean and deodorises too. Add vinegar to a spray bottle with water and any essential oils of your choice and you’ve got yourself an easy go-to green cleaner. Forgot to take your washing out and now it smells musty? No worries! Just re-wash your clothes with a couple tablespoons of vinegar for a freshen up.
A super safe and effective disinfectant – hydrogen peroxide is definitely one for the shopping basket. Add either straight (3%) hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle to use inside your fridge or counters or mix it 50/50 with water. You can sanitise cutting boards with it or even use it as a toilet bowl cleaner – it really is a household essential. Blocked drains? Sprinkle some baking soda and a tablespoon or two of hydrogen peroxide and watch the grime disappear! It’s also a great substitute for bleach in your laundry, to help get your clothes looking pure white as well as remove tough stains. All you need to do is add a cup of it to your washing load. Is there anything hydrogen peroxide can’t do?
Taking the First Steps
Switching to a greener lifestyle may seem challenging when you’re just taking the first steps, however at Ecovibe our goal is to make it as easy as possible. We don’t expect you to be perfect all the time – so rather than guilt people into being more conscious we want to help you take the first steps.
Your cleaning cupboard is one of the easiest places to start making switches to greener products – and they don’t need to cost a small fortune!
If you’re starting out on your eco-journey, you may want to start off with a few easy switches and build up your collection as you go. Start out with the essentials – such as some of our cleaning sachets for all over cleaning, compostable sponges and bin liners to get you started.
Beginning with the essentials is a great way to get going – and you can learn as you go which products you prefer and build your collection from there.
The Natural Cleaning Kit Checklist
- Antibacterial Cleaning Sachets
- Compostable Sponges
- Refillable Glass Bottles
- Toilet Cleaning Bombs
- Coconut Scourers
- Natural Laundry Detergent
If you’re ready to make the switch but you’re not sure where to begin – we have a range of simple switch kits to help you out. If you want to become the great cleaner of tomorrow, remember you can make a big impact with a small change. So, inject a little green into your life not only to look after the planet, but you and your family too.