Caring for the environment while keeping clean

There are many pre schools and daycare centres that are now making the move away from chemical cleaning. It’s a smart move, as less chemicals can have a positive impact not only on your budget, but also on the health of the children and the environment. With the higher incidences of childhood eczema and asthma having a possible link to exposure to chemicals, it makes sense to reduce chemicals in our daily lives as much as we can. There is also the environment to consider, as the cleaning products and their packaging cause damage to our world.

For the daycare centres who don’t have cleaning companies on their roster are looking into ways of cutting out chemicals by themselves. There are methods they can follow to help them do this, and you can even start to make small steps to reducing chemical use in your own home too. Here are some tips to help you move towards being more green in your cleaning routine:

Green cleaning products

Conventional cleaning products are full of chemicals. The world is divided on whether these chemicals are harmful to your health or not, but why risk it if you don’t have to? Aside from how the chemicals may be impacting on your own health as well as that of your family, there is no doubt about the impact they are having on the environment. Some chemicals found within cleaning agents are non-biodegradable, or may not break down for a long time, meaning they are floating in our waterways for years. The packaging is also often non-biodegradable, or even if it is, the production of the packaging alone can impact on the environment.

You can step around all of this by making your own cleaning products. That way you’ll know exactly what has gone into it and what you are putting on the surfaces around your house. Plus, you’ll avoid the part where big factories need to use energy and water to make the product. By going homemade you can use reusable containers which don’t need to go into landfill, so it’s win-win all around!

Here is a quick recipe for a great all-purpose cleaner:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a drop of your favourite essential oil
  • Full the rest of the spray bottle with water
A great oil to use for cleaning is eucalyptus oil as it is a natural antiseptic. Just pop a couple of drops into your home made cleaning fluid as a great-smelling way to combat germs.

If you don’t have the time or the energy to make your own cleaners, you can buy environmentally friendly ones from the supermarkets. Just take a close look at the packaging to see what chemicals they include and if the product is biodegradable.

Employ green cleaners

If you don’t have time to clean your home, business or daycare service, you can hire cleaning companies who are environmentally conscious. Check out the website of any cleaning company you are thinking of hiring to see what their stance is on caring for the environment, or call them up to have a chat about it. Ask them which cleaning products they use and how they consider the environment when they are cleaning or disposing of waste. If you have cleaners coming into your business often, it’s an important discussion to have as they will be the ones in charge of your waste disposal for the majority of the time.

Water waste

When you are cleaning, it can be easy to waste a lot of water without even realising it. But it really pays to be conscious of how much you are using.

400 billion gallons of water is used every day on Earth (a huge amount!), and in 2012 Australia was the country which rated highest in water consumption. We can all make changes to these overall statistics by doing our small part.

When you are washing dishes at home, don’t leave the tap running while you are rinsing. After you’ve finished mopping the floors, dispose of the bucket of dirty water onto the lawn instead of pouring it down a drain. And if you throw some paper towel into the toilet bowl after wiping it down, don’t flush. One flush can use up to 12 litres of water, which would be a huge waste if what you’re flushing is just a small piece of tissue.

Mopping floors

Forget the chemical filled store brands, the next time you mop the floors whip up a quick batch of your own floor cleaning solution. It is super simple, fast and very effective. All you need to do is mix one cup of vinegar into a bucket of warm water and you are ready to go. It can be used on wood, linoleum, vinyl or tiles. You only need to go over it once, without any rinsing afterwards, and you will be left with shiny and clean floors. It is also more kind to your garden when you empty the bucket at the end. In fact, it has been said that a vinegar mixture can be a great way to get rid of weeds, while deterring ants at the same time.
 

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