Eco-friendly cleaning solutions reduce risks associated with indoor cleaning products. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, commercial cleaning products pose a risk of eye, skin and respiratory irritation and many concentrated formulas are classified as hazardous materials that pose risks with handling, storage or disposal. (See References 1)
Eco-friendly alternatives to chemical carpet cleaners safely degrade in the environment and do not release dangerous chemicals into the home. Effective and inexpensive nontoxic cleaners can be made from just a few common kitchen ingredients to create a safer environment for your family — especially for pets and children who are in close contact with the floor.
In many homes, carpets cover nearly every area of the house. Because of its prevalence, carpeting should be cleaned with eco-friendly non-toxic solutions to prevent potential health problems and environmental contamination from chemical-based products. Nontoxic carpet cleaners effectively attack dirt in the carpets without introducing noxious chemicals into your home. You can choose from many non-toxic options for ...
If you're alarmed by "danger" and "caution" labels on carpet shampoos and deodorizers, consider natural alternatives. Some carpet-cleaning products have the potential to harm the environment with frequent enough exposure to septic systems and landfills. Regular use of certain cleaning products over time also raises your own risk for health problems, according to the University of Florida's Institute of Food and ...
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Many commercial cleaners contain harsh or toxic chemicals like chlorine, ammonia and phosphates. It isn't difficult or expensive to switch to nontoxic cleaning solutions that get the job done without raising environmental and health concerns. Depending on the cleaning job, baking soda, plain soap, white vinegar, cornstarch, lemon juice and borax can be used in solution, sprays or pastes for rubbing and scouring. They can be used separately or combined in different proportions to tackle most household cleaning jobs.
A truly clean home is free from dirt and grime, and it is safe from hazardous chemicals. Some chemicals in today's commercial cleaning products could be restricted in the future if scientists uncover long-term dangers. Opting for a natural approach gives you a clean home without the worry that the fumes may prove to be toxic, or the concern of adding pollution to the environment. Ecological cleaning might require more thought and effort, but the payoff is peace of mind.
Front-loading washing machines are designed for doing laundry quickly with minimal effort, but they do require routine care. Over time, residue from laundry detergents and fabric softeners may cling to the inside of the washer. In warm, humid weather, mildew or mold may form, particularly if you have forgotten damp clothes in the washer for a few hours. Keeping the washer fresh and clean is an important step in keeping your laundry fresh.
Mahogany, valued for its fine grain and hard, dark wood, was first harvested in 1500. Used in furniture, boats and musical instruments, as well as decks and as a veneer, the wood offers a natural alternative to composites. Eco-friendly deck-cleaning solutions prevent damage to surrounding trees, grass and bushes in addition to avoiding the potential environmental damage that detergents and chemical cleaners cause. The process is more labor-intensive than simply using an electric or gas-powered leaf blower to remove debris from the deck, but the Earth, and your neighbors, will thank you.
Many products marketed for home cleaning contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment if they leak into waterways or groundwater. A common ingredient in all-purpose cleaning fluids, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate, is toxic to animals, which are attracted to its sweet odor and ingest it; this chemical can also damage internal organs when absorbed through the skin and cause dizziness when inhaled (see References 1). Fortunately, environmentally aware consumers can use safer and eco-friendly home cleaning products and techniques.
An urban area may seem miles and miles away from anything green. There a million ways individuals and organizations can "green" urban areas. Everything from switching light bulbs to donating old computers greens a community. There's no question that large sweeping changes, like solar-heated office and apartment buildings, make a difference. Small changes, however, in daily habits, the products you use and how you spend your free time make the biggest positive impact on the environment.
Keeping your shower clean is important to prevent the growth of mildew, which can stain tile and cause an unpleasant odor. But cleaning your shower doesn't mean you have to use chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment. Using a combination of all-natural household items, you can keep your shower looking its best while preventing chemical cleaners from moving down the drain and into the water supply. Using natural cleaners also prevents you from inhaling artificial fragrances and chemical fumes.
Human industrial activities have added record levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, creating a host of problems such as declining air quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (see References 4 and 5). These issues may seem difficult to address because of their magnitude. However, focusing on personal lifestyle changes and close-to-home issues makes helping the environment easy. Thinking close to home will also give you a better grasp of the issues you care most about, making you more effective in enacting change.
Despite microfiber's durability and stain resistance, your couch will eventually need cleaning. However, most commercial cleaners contain chemicals that emit potentially harmful fumes. According to Martin H. Wolf, director of product sustainability and authenticity at Seventh Generation Inc., “[the] risk of harm from a cleaning product ingredient has two components. One is the toxicity of the ingredient, and the other is the level of exposure. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk.” Your couch is a central part of your life — try to think of one day that you didn’t use it — but the air in your home is even more important. “Most people don’t realize that they breathe 10 times more air than they eat food,” Wolf says, so avoiding the fumes from toxic cleaners is even more crucial than avoiding contact.
Ceramic stove tops lend a sleek, modern appearance to the kitchen. More importantly, their smooth surface is much easier to keep clean than conventional stoves with gas burners or electric ring elements. Commercial products are available for cleaning ceramic stovetops, but your kitchen and pantry already contain eco-friendly alternatives.
Spa treatments can leave patrons feeling refreshed and renewed -- but the spa itself doesn’t always do the same for the environment. From chemicals used in treatments to water needs to using containers and cardboard products, opportunities to reduce your spa's carbon footprint can range from a simple switch of cleaning product to a complex project such as installing more energy-efficient windows. By making changes to become a greener spa, your spa can benefit your clients and the Earth, all at the same time.
Scented diffusers make your home smell nice without the risk of candles starting a fire. The essential oils inside may have health benefits, too. Several essential oils, including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon and sandalwood, may help relieve anxiety, stress and depression, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (see Reference 1). Make your own organic diffuser using organic essential oils and organic twigs from your yard. Or, for another reed-like option, buy organic bamboo skewers. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable product that can grow up to 6 feet a day, requires minimal water and absorbs more CO2 than hardwoods (see Reference 2).
Environmental awareness and corresponding regulations have increased in recent decades. In the 1970s, the U.S. experienced an upsurge in environmental regulations such as the National Environmental Policy Act, which provided a framework for creating environmental policy. (See Reference 6, Page 25) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was also formed in 1970, to oversee compliance with environmental laws. The regulations resulting from these initiatives and later laws would draw both criticism and celebration for their perceived advantages and disadvantages.
Commercial laundries can pose a significant environmental concern, depending on the practices of the individual facility. Developing more eco-friendly facilities is entirely possible, however. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to mitigate the environmental concerns of laundries through its Design for the Environment program, which involves voluntary partnerships between the agency and businesses to improve environmental performance (see References 1).