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Reduce Waste with Eco-Friendly Cleaning Habits

March 3, 2024

Reduce Waste with Eco-Friendly Cleaning Habits

Why Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products is one of the easiest ways to reduce waste and exposure to harmful chemicals in my home. Here’s why I choose eco-friendly cleaning products:

  • Less plastic waste. Many eco-friendly cleaners come in reusable or recyclable packaging, reducing reliance on single-use plastics. This cuts down on plastic waste ending up in landfills or oceans.

  • Safer ingredients. Conventional cleaners often contain chemicals like ammonia, bleach, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives. Eco-friendly cleaners use plant-derived ingredients that are biodegradable and gentler on my health.

  • Better for the environment. Eco-friendly cleaning ingredients break down quickly and don’t persist in waterways or soil. Many are plant-derived, renewable ingredients. This makes them more sustainable than petroleum-based chemicals.

  • Cost savings. Although some eco-cleaners may cost more upfront, I save money by making my own cleaners using a few simple versatile ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and castile soap. Concentrated cleaners also last longer.

Swapping Out Conventional Cleaning Products

Making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning doesn’t mean I have to replace everything at once. I started by picking my most-used cleaners and finding greener alternatives:

  • For all-purpose cleaner, I make a simple solution of 1 part vinegar, 1 part water, and a few drops of essential oil. White vinegar disinfects while essential oils add a fresh scent.

  • Instead of bleach, I use hydrogen peroxide, borax, or vinegar to brighten clothes and disinfect surfaces. They get the job done without harsh fumes.

  • For glass/window cleaner, I mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Vinegar cuts through dirt and leaves a streak-free shine.

  • Baking soda works wonders as a gentle scouring powder for tubs, sinks, and countertops. For tougher scrubbing jobs, Bon Ami is a non-toxic option.

  • My homemade dishwasher detergent combines washing soda, Borax, and essential oils. Washing soda cuts grease while Borax provides water softening.

DIY Cleaning Recipes

With just a few ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, Castile soap, and essential oils, I can make safe, effective cleaners for my whole home:

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄4 cup vinegar
  • 15-20 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Use on countertops, appliances, mirrors, and other surfaces.

Foaming Hand Soap

  • 1⁄2 cup Castile soap
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 8-10 drops essential oil

Whisk soap and water until frothy. Add oil and transfer to a foaming dispenser. Customize scents with different oils.

Oven Cleaner

  • 1⁄2 cup baking soda
  • 1⁄4 cup salt
  • 1⁄4 cup water

Mix ingredients to form a spreadable paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let sit overnight before wiping clean. No harsh fumes!

Developing Eco-Friendly Cleaning Habits

Once I had the right products, developing new habits was easy:

  • I eliminated antibacterial products with triclosan. Regular cleaning with soap and water removes germs effectively without chemical residues.

  • I switched paper towels to reusable rags and towels. These cut waste while remaining highly functional for cleaning tasks.

  • I use only what I need and make concentrated cleaners last longer. A little vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or Castile soap goes a long way.

  • For spot treatment, I use simple mixtures like baking soda and water to scrub out stains. No need for spray cleaners full of mystery ingredients.

  • I check labels and do research before buying new products. I look for plant-based, non-toxic ingredients from brands with a green mission.

The transition took some effort initially, but now eco-friendly cleaning is second nature. With better products and habits, I’m keeping toxic chemicals out of my home and reducing my environmental footprint.

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