What Is Green Cleaning? 6 Tips to Ensure Your Home Is Really Earth-Friendly

The spirit behind green cleaning means to be cognizant of the cleaning products you buy and opting for sustainable alternatives that have non-toxic ingredient lists. Green cleaning practices are safer for you, your family (including furry friends), the planet, and in turn, the environment in your home. Share tips on a healthy and safe lifestyle and get the chance to interact with your audience in real-time. If you wish to have a stronger digital presence, buy twitch viewers.

But, what does “green” even mean? The term “green” often gets thrown around with other buzzwords like “eco-friendly” and “all-natural.” While these terms may suggest that using these products means you’re doing something that is good for the earth, it’s important to understand the actual standards (or not!) behind these grocery buzzwords so you can shop better and find true earth-friendly cleaning products.

To help, we at Hive created this guide that tackles the challenge of authentic sustainable cleaning for you, so that you can shop easier and clean everyday messes better.

What is Green Cleaning and Why Is It Important? 

The term “green cleaning” refers to cleaning methods or products that use non-synthetic ingredients that are earth-consumable, like vinegar, essential oils, and citrus, with plant-based or reusable cloths and scrubbers. Sustainable cleaning products are recyclable, reusable, or compostable, and are not harmful to you, your family, or the environment. By incorporating earth-friendly cleaning into your regular routine, you can help to reduce pollution and waste while protecting your household from exposure to harsh chemicals.

Although many cleaning products claim to be “green” or “eco-friendly,” it can be difficult for consumers to differentiate between genuine earth-friendly cleaning products and marketing hype. 

When searching for sustainable cleaning products, look for products that:

  • Back up claims with reputable certifications like Leaping Bunny and EPA Safer Choice
  • Have recognizable ingredients
  • Have real third-party certifications like EWG, Ecologo, and Leaping Bunny
  • Use probiotics over harsh disinfectants
  • Are easy to reuse, refill, or recycle
  • Don’t use artificial colours or fragrances 
  • Use organic ingredients

What Are the Benefits of Green Cleaning? 

Many manufactured cleaning products have a negative impact on the environment. Using eco-friendly cleaning methods eliminates this risk by reducing your carbon footprint and cutting down on waste. 

Some advantages of green cleaning methods are that they:

  • Reduce the use of hazardous chemicals
  • Ensure that cleaning is safe for people, pets, and the environment
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Cut down on waste
  • Lower environmental impact
  • Contain fewer antimicrobials like triclosan that may increase drug-resistance in bacteria

6 Green Cleaning Tips for Your Home 

While it may appear intimidating, incorporating earth-friendly cleaning methods into your regular cleaning routine can be simple. Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly cleaning tips and tricks to help you keep your home mess-free this year.

1. Incorporate Everyday Items

Pantry staples like lemon, baking soda, and vinegar are all-natural and effective cleaning agents. These child-safe and pet-friendly household items can be used in a variety of mixtures and on just about any surface throughout the home. They also contain natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making them a great way to naturally sanitise your home without the use of harmful chemicals.

2. Dispose of Toxic Cleaning Products Safely

When making the switch to sustainable cleaning methods, make sure to properly discard anything containing hazardous or toxic chemicals. While most of these cleaners are water-soluble, refrain from pouring them down your drain, as this can cause issues with your drain or septic tank. On top of that, do not dump these cleansers outside or in places that animals or children can easily get to. If you’re unsure how to dispose of hazardous cleaners, you can always turn them in to your local waste disposal location.

3. Invest in Reusable Cleaning Cloths

Reusable products like cleaning cloths are a sustainable way to cut down on your waste when cleaning. More durable than paper towels and single-use wipes, reusable cleaning cloths protect the surfaces of your home when cleaning and can save you from having to repeatedly buy paper towels. If making your own cleaning cloths, consider using old clothes and towels.

4. Make Use of Multipurpose Cleaners

Usable on any surface from kitchen counters to door handles, multipurpose cleaners are a great way to reduce the number of cleaning products and chemicals you use. By having one go-to bottle, you cut down on plastic and waste, all while keeping your home healthy and happy. Additionally, since you’ll only have to purchase one multipurpose cleaner, they can save you money on cleaning products and free up storage space.

5. Purchase Reusable Glass Bottles and Containers

Instead of stockpiling plastic cleaning supplies you’ll have to throw away, start looking for products and brands with reusable containers or refillable options. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and produce less waste over time. 

6. Use Essential Oils Instead of Air Fresheners

Essential oils are an excellent way to deodorise your home without using harsh chemicals. You can even make your own air fresheners at home by combining your favourite essential oils with baking soda and water in a spray bottle. Before using specific oils, however, make sure that they are safe for both pets and children. Certain oils like peppermint and clove may not be suitable for them.

Cutting Through the Noise: How To Spot Authentically-Green Cleaning Products

Due to widespread greenwashing, it can be difficult to determine which cleaning solutions are actually sustainable. When looking for sustainable cleaning solutions, keep in mind that many of them share certain characteristics. 

What to look for on the label:

  • Clear information on use and disposal (packaging is curbside recyclable or don’t pour contents down drain)
  • Simple words, rather than scientific lingo or jargon
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice label
  • Transparent language about the company’s practices
  • The terms “phosphate-free” and “chlorine-free”
  • Cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA

What to look for in the ingredients:

  • Natural fragrances
  • Bleach alternatives
  • No artificial colouring
  • Natural acids and disinfectants (citric acid, peroxide, and lactic acid)
  • Organically grown or sourced ingredients 
  • Free of Sulphates, Parabens, Phthalates

What to look for on the packaging:

  • Instructions on how to recycle or compost
  • Biodegradable(preferably compostable)or recyclable labels
  • No heavy metals, BPA, or phthalates
  • Language about shipping in bulk
  • Use of renewable energy
  • Don’t be fooled by “earthy”-looking packaging (browns and greens, images of leaves, etc.)- check the labels to be sure!

7 Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products to Use This Year

Plastic waste is a serious threat to the environment, especially our oceans. In fact, only 8.7% of plastic created is recycled. You can reduce your use of plastic this year by purchasing plastic-free cleaning supplies or even zero-waste options. 

At Hive, we only choose brands with sustainable packaging and non-toxic ingredients. Below are some of our favorite eco-conscious cleaning products to add to your cart.

  • Meliora Unscented All-Purpose Home Cleaner: This is a safe and effective home cleaner that contains no heavy-duty chemicals.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner: Say goodbye to harsh chemicals with this plant-based multipurpose cleaner.
  • Aunt Fannie’s Bright Lemon Cleaning Vinegar Spray: Cut through grease, grime, and any other sticky messes with this powerful vinegar-based cleaner.
  • Full Circle Reusable Bamboo Towels: With one sheet equaling a whole roll of paper towels, these reusable towels are great for wiping up everyday messes.
  • Meliora Unscented Oxygen Brightener Bleach Alternative: Fight stains and brighten clothes with this chemical-free bleach alternative.
  • Squeak Key Lime, Lavender, Eucalyptus + Rosemary In The Clear Essential Oil Glass Cleaner: Chemical- and pollutant-free, this essential oil-based glass cleaner offers a powerful and streak-free clean.

Looking for more eco-friendly cleaning solutions you can get from a sustainable grocery store? Visit Hive’s household page for the best green cleaning supplies you can get delivered right to your door.