There are two things almost everyone can agree on: they hate cleaning and the climate crisis. Not only can harsh cleaning products lead to adverse health consequences, they also contribute to air pollution, water contamination, and waste.
We’ve curated our favorite tips on how to make your cleaning routine more environmentally friendly.
The most environmentally friendly and cost-effective cleaning products are more than likely sitting in your pantry already. This list of holy grail ingredients can easily be turned into natural, environmentally friendly cleaning products that can tackle any mess. Did we mention they’re cheaper than store-bought cleaners?
Before tossing your orange peel or mango skins in the trash, use your food scraps as an addition to your homemade cleaning supplies. Not only can you reduce food waste, but you can also save money on cleaning products.
For example, 2-3 cups of citrus rinds or fruit skins can create a multi-purpose enzyme cleaner. Adding old citrus discards to white vinegar and letting them sit for a week and get an all-purpose cleaner. If DIY cleaning solutions aren’t for you, check out products like Veles, a circular cleaning product produced almost entirely from food waste.
Just as coffee cups, grocery bags, and cutlery have accessible alternatives, there are many recyclable, reusable and plastic-free household cleaning products.
If you have access to a zero waste or bulk store, buy reusable bottles and refill them with cleaning solutions. This is a great way to minimize packaging waste – and can be less expensive than conventional cleaners.
For cleaning tools, try to repurpose what you already have before buying anything new. Repurpose old clothes and dish towels as cleaning rags. Reuse old toothbrushes as scrub brushes.
When it is time to buy new cleaning products, these are great green replacements:
If you don’t have the time or energy to make all your cleaners from scratch, there is an increasing number of online zero waste shops with sustainable household cleaning products. Blueland, for example, has a whole line of waste-free cleaning products. Here are some of our other favorites:
To make sure any cleaner you buy lives up to your standards, check out the Environmental Working Group’s searchable guide of cleaners that evaluates environmental and health impacts.
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