You only have to take a trip down the aisle devoted to cleaning and laundry products in your local supermarket for your senses to be bombarded with the strong smell of chemicals.
For those who are especially sensitive, such chemical smells can be almost too much to bear.
There has to be a better, safer way to clean our laundry, our dishes and our homes but, until consumers start to complain and even switch to something different, the manufacturers are not going to make any changes.
Choosing more natural products
Fortunately, there are now several cleaning brands who have positioned themselves as eco-friendly and have gentler formulations aimed at reducing environmental impact. If your local store doesn’t stock them, express your own interest and desire to them direct, look for products online to buy in bulk or even make your own!
Recycle your packaging or if possible refill empty containers
When buying products, look for those that are in recyclable bottles so they can be safely disposed of when empty. Another way is to choose brands that offer refills or track down a zero waste shop. These stores, which let you fill your own containers with cleaning products and household goods, offer a greener and more sustainable way to shop.
Look for concentrated products
Choosing concentrated versions of cleaning products will also help you to reduce the amount of packaging you buy as these often contain twice the amount of cleaning power in a regular-size bottle. Make sure to measure out the amount indicated on the bottle. While using too much is wasteful, too little could mean poor results that need re-washing.
Using vinegar and baking soda
and white vinegar
can supplement, or even take the place of, many conventional cleaning products. Click on the links for more information on how to use them. They can be an inexpensive alternative as well as getting rid of unnecessary chemicals in your home. Look for stockists that sell larger containers of each of these to cut down on cost and excess packaging.
Citrus smells so good
Commercial cleaning products will often emphasize the lemon fragrance contained in them. However, these are artificial and certainly not harmless. Instead, use real lemons to leave a scent and a much lighter chemical footprint. From brightening laundry whites to cutting room odours and bringing glass and mirror to a sparkling finish, lemons
can become an essential part of your cleaning kit.
Using your machines efficiently
Using your dishwasher and washing machine in a smart way can reduce your energy bill and lessen their environmental impact. Waiting until a machine is full before running it and setting it at a low temperature will both make a difference.
Try to give up the wet wipes
are one of the top household plastic pollutants. Although many household cleaning wipes look like regular tissues, they often contain plastic, so aren’t recyclable or flushable and create a big problem when they end up in sewers, rivers and oceans. Try replacing them with washable cotton cloths. If you must use them in an emergency, you can make your own wet wipes
or look for biodegradable alternatives and buy one large packet rather than lots of smaller ones to reduce the amount of plastic and packaging.
Air drying your laundry
Where possible, air drying your clothes rather than using a tumble dryer will save you money as well as reducing your impact on the planet. Running a tumble dryer uses a large amount of energy. Ceiling or wall mounted indoor airers are a great option if you don’t have access to a line outside or during any colder or wetter months. Just be careful to keep a flow of air circulating when clothes are drying indoors to prevent condensation. And if you can line dry outdoors
, this is the ideal solution.
Avoiding artificial fragrances
If you want to cut down on artificial fragrances
and room sprays, invest in nature’s own air cleaners instead – houseplants
. Rather than try to cover up odors with plug-in diffusers and chemical air fresheners, many types of houseplants will work around the clock to take toxins out of the air and freshen up your home naturally.
Another idea is to put a few drops of our own Lavender Essential Oil or Lemon Essential Oil in a small bowl for a gentle and safe burst of fragrance to greet you and your guests and make your house smell great.