The importance of saving energy and the benefits of using environmentally friendly alternatives to chemicals in the home are two ideas that are increasingly in the public eye. But what are the facts, and why should you go the green route in your home?
Well for one thing, it has been proven time and time again that many chemical products we and even the reputable top-notch home clearance companies use in our houses can be considered dangerous. Don’t believe me? Just go and check the cabinet under your sink (or wherever else you keep your cleaning products) and look at how many of the bottles are labelled as ‘toxic’, ‘hazardous’ or ‘irritant’! Obviously most families take precautions not to let these chemicals near children or pets but accidents are often unavoidable, so why take the risk in your home?
Not only do many chemical cleaning products, like bleach and even disinfectant, cause skin irritation, breathing difficulties and in some cases even blindness if used incorrectly, they are also particularly harmful for the environment to produce. Natural alternatives, often made using products already found around the average home, are nearly always cheaper, safer and much less harmful to make. You’d be forgiven for thinking that eco-friendly cleaning products would be less effective at household cleaning but in most cases you’d be wrong; and where there are drops in efficiency, the tiny increase in amount of effort required to clean is outweighed by the savings and safety benefits.
In most cases however, you might find that eco-friendly cleaning products are actually more efficient. Using the anti-bacterial properties of many natural substances you can often find around the house, homemade natural cleaning products can work just as well as chemical alternatives and at a fraction of the cost.
If you do decide to make the switch, there are two routes to go down: shop bought environmentally friendly cleaning products or do it yourself home-made versions. Shop bought products are obviously the easy option, with a huge range available on the market as companies have begun to realise that consumers are becoming more ecologically aware, but be warned, these may work out as being more expensive in the long run. If you can afford it, this is obviously the way to go as many hours of research will have been put in to make sure that these products are just as efficient, if not even better, than their chemical counterparts.
If you’re on a budget however, or simply fancy a little DIY project to make your home that little bit more self-sufficient, then many cleaning products can be made at home using natural alternatives. For example, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 ½ litres of water mixed into a bucket makes an effective window; without any of the harmful chemicals. For cleaning floors and bathroom or kitchen surfaces, simply mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and use as you would a normal cleaner – you might be very surprised at the results!