Switching to Eco Friendly Cleaning in Your Homes
Many ingredients in cleaning products leave behind residues that are especially harmful on the surfaces of food and contribute to indoor air pollution. Prolonged exposure of these chemicals over a lifetime may pose risk of complications if we do not do anything about it. We can help ourselves by doing our own research to be equipped with some background knowledge prior to our purchase. As informed consumers, we are supporting companies that prioritise its consumers’ wellbeing and helping to do our part to create a positive change on the environment.
Here’s what you can do to choose the right products:
#1 Read the labels and ingredient list
It is important to look out for labels with full disclosure of its active and inert ingredients. Unlisted ingredients are often polluting to the environment and can cause irritation and illness to its users. Easy telltale signs are warnings that caution users to be careful when using the products. This indicates that the product carries a certain level of toxicity. Such chemicals can cause harm and irritation to the lungs, skin and eyes, and are known to be endocrine disruptors. A safe green cleaning product is biodegradable and should not contain any hazardous chemicals.
Other things to look out for is by checking to see if it is phosphate free, whether it contains dyes, chlorine, or hypochlorite and if the product made use of artificial fragrance. As manufacturers are not expected to disclose all their ingredients on the label, they don’t have to specify what exactly is in “fragrance”. Unlisted fragrances are often dozens of substances used to mask the smell of other chemicals, and often associated with a range of health effects such as allergic reactions.
#2 Choose products packaged sustainably
Being eco friendly targets more than just the content of the products. Choosing products in sustainable packaging avoids harmful chemicals and also helps to reduce the amount of plastic going into the landfills. Based on a 2018 statistic from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), one-third of our 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste disposal comes from packaging, with more than half of it made up of plastic.
Most packaging for cleaning products gets thrown away once it’s been used. In addition to the production of waste, packaging puts a drain on resources to be manufactured. As consumers, we can choose to go packaging free by purchasing from bulk refill stores. Alternatively, choosing products with less or green packaging is also an eco-friendly option.