Green Cleaning Alternatives

Ideas to Help You Save Money and the Environment!

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

Keeping your home clean is an important task, but over time, it could cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, according to one report, the average family spends more than $600 dollars per year on cleaning supplies alone!

Not only that, but this report from the National Resources Defense Council shows that the average household uses around 25 gallons of toxic chemical products per year, most of which are found in cleaning supplies. Many of these toxic chemicals are dangerous not only to your family’s health, but to the environment as well.

So before you head to the store and purchase potentially harmful cleaning products, check out the following tips that will help you save money while helping out our planet!

Household Glass Cleaner

glas_sprayEveryone loves shiny, sparkling windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces, but unfortunately, many name-brand glass cleaners contain harmful chemicals including ammonia, a powerful eye, skin, throat and lung irritant that has also been linked to organ damage.

In addition to the health issues associated with the toxic chemicals found in glass cleaners, wiping the cleaner off of surfaces often requires the use of a significant amount of paper towels, which creates tons of unnecessary waste. This article estimates that the average family uses up to two rolls of paper towels per week, which can really add up!

bulbSolution: Instead of using an enormous amount of paper towels and chemical-filled glass cleaners, try using a high-quality microfiber cloth and some water on your glass surfaces. It’s not only better for your family and the environment, it will also save you a bundle, too!
Name-Brand Laundry Detergent

laundry-detergentMany name-brand laundry detergents are filled with harmful foaming agents and countless, untested fragrance chemicals.

Some detergents may even contain phosphates, which could cause negative effects on marine life and ecosystems.

According to an article on Treehugger.com, “Higher than normal phosphate levels can destroy the health of a lake, stream or other fresh water body, as they allow algae in the water to grow faster than would naturally occur, turning clear lakes and rivers green and cloudy. This extra algae growth is not only unappealing to look at, but can also make the water smell bad and make it unsuitable for swimming. It can also make drinking water more expensive to filter and can spoil the taste or smell of the drinking water.”

With the possible effects that name-brand laundry detergents can have on your family and the environment, why take the risk?

bulbSolution: To keep things more eco-friendly, try purchasing a “greener” alternative. Look for products that are biodegradable and fragrance- and phosphate-free, which will keep your family AND the environment safer from harmful chemicals.
Dusting Spray

spray_canHousehold dust can often carry harmful substances such as allergens, flame retardants and pesticides, all of which can be harmful to you and your family.

Dusting sprays may seem like a quick cleaning solution, however many dust cleaners contain allergy-inducing and even hormone-disrupting chemicals.

bulbSolution: To help keep your family safe from these dangerous chemicals, try a high-quality microfiber cloth or dusting mitt or wand! They’re reusable and can do wonders for your home, helping you reach in between blinds, screens and other hard-to-reach surfaces, while giving you the chemical-free clean your family deserves!

comment_2Do you have any other tips on how to save on cleaning supplies while helping the environment? Please send us your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

Resources:
Little Things: Save Over $800 A Year By Switching Out These Basic Household Cleaning Products!
Little Things: Calculations Chart
Norwex Movement: 5 Easy Tips to Help Simplify Your Life
AndreaWoroch: Generic vs. Name-Brand Household Cleaners
EarthEasy: Non-Toxic Home Cleaning
NRDC: A Dozen Things You Can Do to Keep Yourself Healthy
AOL: Use Rags to Keep Your Riches
CarbonRally: Paper Towel Challenge
Trehugger: What’s the Dirt on Phosphate-Free Soaps?

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