Want to clean more sustainably but not sure where to start? Don’t fret. Ask Team Clean is here to help get you started on a path to greener pastures. Or rather, creating a greener cleaning routine at home! Cleaning more sustainably begins with small changes that have a big impact that will not only benefit the planet but will save you time and money. Win, win, win.
Microfibre cloths at the ready!
What does being sustainable mean in terms of cleaning? It’s finding a maintainable cleaning routine that is both good for you and the planet. But with time and money of the essence and almost too much choice in the cleaning aisle, it can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together ten tips to help get you started.
Selecting products more sustainably includes switching to an eco-friendly product, but choosing a concentrated version of a product also makes a difference. Compact and concentrated products generally use fewer raw materials, less packaging, and are more effective (at lower temperatures), reducing energy and water usage.
Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to avoid single-use plastic entirely, but there are ways to reduce it at home. Some product packaging is made from recycled plastic or cardboard, which reduces what ends up in landfills. Look for products you love sold in "reduced" or "lightweight" packaging. Instead of a small box of all-in-one laundry tabs, purchasing the same product in a larger, soft plastic bag packaging can save up to 70% on the packaging. You could also consider switching to refills and reusables.
Choosing the best, safest product can be tough no matter what you are buying. Cleaning products have the added challenge of hard-to-decipher labels. Remember that not all labels are created equal. Look for stamps of approval like EPA, EcoLogo, or Green Seal rather than just the words "eco" or "natural" on the bottle. For example Colour Catcher Laundry Sheets are not only made of 100% naturally derived fibres but they’re also FSC certified!
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Bulk-buying is a more sustainable approach to cleaning your home. Buying in bulk not only saves you money, but it is also easier on the environment. Less packaging overall means less energy and waste. Fill small reusable (glass) bottles and store the remainder of the product somewhere safely away from children and pets.
As well as refillable products, there are other ways to have a greener cleaning routine. Switch out paper towels for multi-purpose microfibre cloths, which can be washed in the machine and used for years. Old T-shirts or sheets make ideal rags for really dirty jobs like cleaning the oven or car. Old toothbrushes make good scrubbing tools. Old coffee grounds make an excellent cleaning scrub. Go for quality, all-purpose cleaners like Jeyes Multi-purpose surface spray where you can rather than a different product for every job.
Sometimes, you can’t beat a classic. Baking soda eliminates odours throw away landfills in fridges and carpets and helps lifts stains. It’s a great sustainable secret weapon to have in your cleaning tool kit.
Inefficient cleaning wastes energy, time, and money. You don’t need to be the world’s record holder at speedy hoovering, but a little common sense goes a long way to being more sustainable: Select the right wash program for the weight of the load. Air dry clothes where possible instead of using the drying. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full. Use the right amount of cleaning product (don’t free-pour or spray with wild abandon). Clean from top to bottom, and from wall to doorway so that you don’t have to clean the same area twice. Hoover the floor last for the same reason!
It sounds silly, but one of the best ways to create more sustainable habits is to simply read the label. Labels offer dosage and usage direction, and many products have simple tips to help you save water, energy, CO2, and cash.
Nature is clever, really clever. It holds many answers. Stale, stinky air? Ditch the air freshener and simply let in the fresh air. Air out rooms and purchase plants that purify the air.
Choosing to be more sustainable doesn’t stop at the supermarket checkout. How we throw away cleaning products and waste makes a big difference, too. Check your local municipality to see if your community has toxics and electronic recycling days. This is where they take them off your hands so they don’t end up in landfill or down the drain.
We hope that these tips make sustainable cleaning easier and more accessible. You’ll be an eco-warrior in no time! It all comes down to buying trusted products, reducing and reusing where you can, and an efficient cleaning routine.
Speaking of efficiency. Wish other areas of your home were more effective and less cluttered? Check out how to make your kitchen more efficient and methods to declutter your home.