In a nutshell, green cleaning means cleaning in a way that’s not just safe for people and safe for the environment, but that’s also sustainable in the long term.
Sounds complicated, but the concept is simple. It just means cleaning in a way that we could keep on doing, day after day after day — and in particular without draining the planet’s resources to the point that future generations couldn’t do the same.
The fact is, in developed countries like the UK, we have lifestyles that would need the resources of several planets to maintain them, using today’s methods and technology. So we need to find ways of doing the cleaning using less resources, which means using less materials, less energy and less water for each job.
It won’t be a quick fix — it’s about making the whole cleaning job more sustainable, and then making it better still, again and again. And it needs to be a team effort to succeed, because no matter how efficient the product or the machine, it depends on the person who is doing the cleaning to control how much of these resources are used each time.
The good news is we’re making real progress — sustainability has already improved dramatically, especially in the last two decades. But there’s still a long way to go. To find out more about how you can clean greener, click here.
In comparison, isn’t difficult. Manufacturers of cleaning products have a legal responsibility only to supply products that can be used safely and to provide use instructions and labelling where necessary to guide safe use. Products are risk assessed to ensure there will be no harm to people or the environment when they are properly used. So whichever product you choose, cleaning safely is really just a question of doing what it says on the pack. To find out more about how to be sure you’re cleaning safely, click here.
Did you know the facts behind this common myth?
Myth: Traditional or ‘natural’ products are a good alternative to cleaning with chemicals
Fact: Even vinegar is just a collection of chemical substances diluted in water. It is these chemical components, like the acetic acid in vinegar, the sodium bicarbonate in baking soda and the citric acid in lemons that make them work. Modern cleaning products often combine the same things with other ingredients to make them work better.
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