Why is green cleaning such a topic of interest today? There are two very good reasons. Standard cleaning chemicals can create smog and can also create an unhealthy environment. Cleaning with green products alleviates harmful toxins that enter the air while keeping your home or office clean and healthy.
The goal of green cleaning is to eliminate dust and grime in addition to viruses, allergens, bacteria, mould, and other harmful substances. This will result in better health for everyone.
With the intense focus on green cleaning, experts are redefining indoor air quality. Indoor environment quality, also known as IEQ, takes into account the use of volatile organic compounds, (VOCs), thermal comfort, glare, mould, formaldehyde, and even noise. Green cleaning focuses on eliminating cleaning products that can cause smog in the environment.
Is Green Better?
While the news is flooded with information about green cleaning, many people remain wary. They wonder if green cleaning products will actually perform and eliminate germs and diseases. However, a look at the many health problems resulting from common pollutants is staggering:
- Respiratory illness
- Carcinogenic exposure
- Viruses like the clod and the flu
Each of these health problems can be treated and in some cases eliminated when properly using green products to clean your home.
Ordinary cleaners release smog into your home or office every time they are used. Standard detergents, floor cleaners and finishes, furniture polish, and disinfectants are all on the list of offending products. They produce harmful compounds such as fluorocarbons, acetone, and ethanol. When they evaporate they combine with the air in your environment (the ozone) and are the cause of health problems.
Simple changes to green cleaning products can immediately make a difference. It’s important to look for green cleaning products that are non-toxic. Many green cleaners are biodegradable, and some are made from renewable resources.
Going green will require you to make some changes in your cleaning supply cabinet. Many of the cleaners you currently own contain chemicals that have been manufactured such as phosphates found in detergents and volatile organic compounds found in solvents.
When replacing your old cleaning agents with green cleaners, it’s crucial to ascertain that they are free of pollutants that cause indoor smog by reading the labels carefully. Here are a few hints to get you started:
- Dishwasher soap often includes phosphates. These chemicals should be avoided.
- Buy cleaning products that are free of petroleum.
- Avoid bleach by using products with borax.
- Use furniture polish that does not list phthalates.
A good rule of thumb to remember: if you can’t say it, do not use it.
The Careful Green Consumer
While the interest going green is growing, there are no standards in labelling for green cleaning products. Consumers must take the time to ensure that what they buy is truly a green cleaning product.
Fortunately, there are excellent green cleaners available. Because so many false claims have been made in order to sell products, companies are beginning to take matters into their own hands. For example, one company has created its own rating system for their cleaning products, proving they are safe for the environment. It follows a strict protocol created to ensure product safety for your home.
You can also alter other green common behaviours to improve the air quality in your home or office:
- Give your cleaner time to work instead of using more. You can soak baked on grime in pots using a green dish detergent or use a damp cloth with a green cleaning agent on hard to remove grime on hard surfaces.
- Clean your home or office on a regular schedule to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating.
- Keep a cleaning tool kit stocked with the right brushes, cloths, and other implements.
Cleaning chemicals can create smog by releasing chemicals into the air. Fortunately, it’s easy to lean up the air in your home or office today by making the switch to green cleaning. Products like those sold by Envirosafe Solutions (www.evss.com.au) are safe to use and won’t lead to air pollution.
 Is Green Air Clean? (n.d.). Retrieved from AIRAH: http://www.airah.org.au/imis15_prod/Content_Files/EcoLibrium/2011/May2011/2011_05_F01.pd
 Brisbane City Council Green Home Fact Sheet – Clean Home Indoors. (n.d.). Retrieved from Brisbane City Council: http://www.sustainablehomebrisbane.com.au/bcc1.pdf
 Green Cleaning. (n.d.). Retrieved from Penrith City Council: http://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/index.asp?id=2867