Today’s society is becoming more aware of the impact it puts on the environment. Consumers are conscious of their actions and are more careful with the choices they make. Businesses recognise the new trends and tend to take their part in protecting it.
Cleaning products are a significant concern for conscious customers. Traditional store-bought cleaning products are known to release harmful toxins into the environment, which results in obstructing the natural ecosystems. More and more consumers are aware of this issue, so the demand for “green” products experiences rapid growth. And it isn’t all about protecting the environment. Recent studies have shown that the chemicals present in traditional cleaning products can cause health problems. Consumers prefer green products that are toxin-free to protect their health.
You might have many questions about green cleaning on your mind. Are eco-friendly products as good as the traditional ones? Is every product labelled “green” good? Read on and find out.
Let’s clear up what eco-friendly cleaning products are
1. What is an eco-friendly cleaning product?
Green or eco-friendly products have less harmful effects on human health and the environment, compared to traditional ones. They are made of natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic ingredients.
While you may encounter statements like “green” on the labels, keep in mind that this isn’t regulated by law. Terms used in green marketing like green, renewable, natural, recycled, eco, earth, greener, chemical free are vague terms that company can use. The government doesn’t have any strict regulations that determine which ingredient is classifies as “green”.
Just because certain products are labelled as “green” or “eco-friendly”, it doesn’t have to mean that they are natural. Green can mean that the product doesn’t have harmful effects on the environment, is produced using less water, or manufactured with entirely recyclable material.
The lack of clean-cut government regulations around the term green and eco-friendly gives freedom to the companies. Knowing that going green is a huge trend nowadays, companies often use this as their marketing tool even if their products and manufacturing process aren’t as green as they want you to think they are (greenwash). Many promote their products as green to make them more appealing to buyers. They target the conscious buyers that are concerned about the negative impact of the products they purchase.
However, even if the labelling of product being green and eco-friendly isn’t clear, the environmental claims made being the products must be accurate and substantiated and are subject to the Competition and Consumer Act. Should a company not be able to back up its environmental claims, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) can take actions.
Finally, it’s worth noting that just because a product is marked as “green”, it doesn’t have to mean that it is non-toxic for human health. Many products that state “eco-friendly” actually have harsh chemicals on their ingredient list.
2. Are eco-friendly cleaning product and biodegradable product the same thing?
The commercial cleaning products such as bathroom cleaners, dishwashing detergent, and window cleaners contain many chemicals. These chemicals can harm the aquatic ecosystems and your health.
The biodegradable cleaning products are made of carefully chosen ingredients that won’t release toxins that pollute water and air. They will still have an excellent ability to clean the dirty surfaces, without containing harsh chemicals that pollute the environment.
3. Which ingredients should I avoid?
If you want to make sure that you get natural cleaning product instead of ones marketed as “green”, you need to put more effort.
As a conscious buyer, you need to check the label and find a complete list of ingredients. You might be confused, as it is a list of some chemicals that are hard to pronounce.
Based on that, how can you tell if the product is natural? Look for ingredients such as chlorine, phosphates, triclosan, mineral oil, artificial dyes, and fragrances. According to studies, these ingredients can harm human’s health and the environment. EWG has compiled a guide on healthy cleaning, comparing and rating over 2,000 cleaning products.
Here is a complete list of the ingredients that you should avoid and why:
- Surfactants: There are different types of surfactants contained in detergents and soaps. They can irritate your skin, so it is better to avoid them. Also, they are toxic to animals in a large percentage. Although the wastewater is diluted, they can still accumulate and be a potential threat for animals.
- Triclosan: An ingredient used in the production of antibacterial products. It is toxic for the microbial population in ecosystems. Also, it can affect the work of the endocrine system and weaken the immune system of humans.
- Plasticisers and BPA: These chemicals are toxic for the aquatic ecosystem when present at high levels.
4. Australian eco-friendly cleaning brands
Finding the right products that are actually “green” as they promise is very hard. You need to check labels and have the knowledge to determine which ones aren’t good. To make it easier for you, we picked some reliable brands that are very picky when it comes to ingredients.
There are three Australian brands that produce eco-friendly products:
The brand uses all-natural ingredients to make safe products. They have luxurious cleaning products with a minimalist design that will look great on your counters. The wide range of products allows you to clean every surface in your home with safe ingredients that won’t harm your health or the environment. Your home will smell wonderful due to the presence of natural extracts and essential oils.
This is another environment-friendly brand that uses natural ingredients such as essential oils. The products are affordable and very useful for cleaning, so you don’t have to use harsh chemicals if you want your home to be perfectly clean. You will get to smell the pleasant scent of eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint, instead of the unpleasant smell of chlorine. Every product is packed in recycled bottles, which is a great plus if you are worried about the waste.
The brand produces eco-friendly cleaning products with plant-based ingredients that don’t contain toxins. The waste-free packaging contributes to the eco-friendly label of the products. From floor cleaners, dish wash detergent, to disinfectant and natural laundry powder, they have products that will cover your needs. Another great fact is that the products are awarded the NASAA organic certification.
What are the advantages of using eco-friendly products?
Eco-friendly cleaning products come with so many advantages. For some people, feeling safe in their home is very important. Some people put an accent on protecting flora and fauna.
For others, green products are a budget-friendly option. No matter which your reason is, eco-friendly cleaning products come with a wide range of advantages over traditional ones!
1. A safer home
Many of the traditional cleaning products come with disturbing labels that alert you that they are toxic, hazardous or flammable. Also, they note that it is better to keep them away from the reach of children. When you read a product’s label, you get that the product isn’t safe at all.
On the other hand, using different chemicals at once is a potential danger for the whole household. For example, the mix of ammonia and chlorine can release toxic evaporation. When you have kids and pets, you should be worried. Due to their size, even low levels of toxins can harm their health. By replacing the traditional products with natural alternatives, you will minimise the risk and avoid intoxication.
2. Prevent health problems
On a daily basis, we are exposed to a mix of toxins from the cleaning products in the home. These can cause unexplained headaches, coughing, sneezing, or rashes. When you start using natural cleaning products, all of those problems will disappear.
3. Improved indoor air quality
Air pollution is a major concern for many. However, we forget about the fact that the indoor air can be polluted too. When you clean with a specific product, it evaporates and is present in the air long after using it. Also, don’t forget that the products can evaporate even when closed and stored.
Multiply this by the number of different cleaning products that you have and use daily, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Most of them contain Volatile Organic Compounds, which can damage the internal organs and the central nervous system. By replacing the traditional cleaning products with green ones, you will improve the indoor air quality.
4. Protect the environment
The risk of using harsh chemicals expands to the environment too. The toxins can be a huge threat to Earth’s ecosystems, s they aren’t biodegradable. Also, they can contain ingredients like petroleum, which is made using non-renewable resources.
Green and natural products are made of safe ingredients that won’t harm the animals and the environment.
5. Budget-friendly option
Going green doesn’t mean that you have to splurge. You can purchase all-purpose cleaning products and use them for every room in your home. Also, don’t forget that you can make your own DIY natural cleaning products. By using non-expensive and easy to get ingredients such as vinegar or baking soda, you can make cheap and eco-friendly products that will do the job even better than the store-bought ones.
Once, the green products used to be more expensive. Nowadays, things have changed to the better. More and more companies appear on the market and compete to offer better prices, so the green cleaning products are becoming more affordable.
6. Convenient cleaning
Many of the eco-friendly cleaning products are all-purpose, and you can use one to clean every surface in your home. You don’t have to own a whole cabinet with a bunch of products for different purposes.
Another great advantage is that you won’t have to read the labels to make sure that you won’t mix dangerous chemicals. The natural products are safe, so you won’t have to worry about getting bleached stains on your clothes or skin burns.
All of this will make the cleaning process more convenient and will save you some precious time.
Benefits of environmental management for business owners
Environmental management is considered to be a necessity for modern businesses. It helps the organisation use its resources wisely, which will reduce operational costs. Every organisation should have its Environmental Management System. This is a set of carefully chosen practices and processes related to the specific business operations to reduce the negative impact on the environment and improve efficiency.
Going green is beneficial for business when you consider the different aspects. Being eco-friendly has become a part of many organisation’s strategies, both short term and long term. A company can go green with a few simple actions. They can hire services that use eco-friendly cleaning products. Or, they can recycle the waste.
No matter which practices they apply, here are the benefits of excellent environmental management for business owners:
1. Cost savings
Every business owners want to cut down on unnecessary costs. You get to spend less on energy, water, and waste management by going green. Business owners will apply practices such as near sourcing, using less water, travel less, be more efficient with shipping. This reduces the operational costs of the organisation.
2. Enhanced brand image
Nowadays, many companies will build a reputation of a conscious entity that cares for the environment. Consumers will have a positive perception for such businesses and are more likely to support them. This is confirmed by a new study by HP and Planet Ark, which states that the consumers are willing to spend more money if the brand is environment friendly.
You can turn this to your competitive advantage, as customers prefer to buy from environment-conscious brands. Just make sure that you are honest with how you contribute to preserving the environment, as we already mentioned that “greenwashing” is a significant concern.
3. Increase employees’ productivity
Reducing the use of harsh chemicals and replacing them with natural cleaning products will lead to a safer working environment. This will preserve the health of the employees and prevent headaches and other health problems at work. Don’t forget that healthy and happy workers will be more productive and help in achieving the goals of the organisation. Also, don’t underestimate the fact that employees prefer to work for companies that have adequate eco-friendly practices.
This will make them feel like their goals are aligned with the organisation’s goals, which results with a strong feeling of belonging there. This will improve the recruiting and retention of high performing employees.
4. Legal compliance
Your business operations need to meet environmental laws. The laws depend on the business type, so ensure that you understand which ones apply to your specific operations. The environmental protection laws in Australia are administered by the federal, state, and local governments.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act protects the environment and national heritage. It affects the actions of individuals and businesses that have an impact on the environment.
Are you looking for a commercial cleaning company who can help you meet your environmental management targets? We use the highest grade of environmentally friendly and responsible cleaning products. But if you have a preferred cleaning product, we can source it.