As we become increasingly environmentally conscious, we are all looking for ways to incorporate environmentalism into our lives. One simple step you can take to make a difference is using zero waste cleaning.
Recognise the benefits of zero waste cleaning
A zero-waste lifestyle offers many advantages for the environment. It can also provide benefits for people and their homes and even the community. According to the Toronto Environmental Alliance, zero waste also has economic advantages. For example, zero waste economies produce ten times more jobs than those focused on disposal.
Zero waste can also help society. For instance, zero waste helps to eliminate food waste. In general, people waste $31 billion worth of food every year. Finally, zero waste also helps to conserve resources, reduce pollution, and minimise climate impact. As you can see, there are many ways to practice a zero-waste lifestyle. Cleaning is just one option.
Just what does zero waste cleaning entail? It could mean using eco-friendly cleaning products, such as goods you make yourself. This also means not buying new plastic containers constantly, reducing packaging waste. For instance, household goods like vinegar and baking soda can be used for all kinds of cleaning purposes.
Eco-friendly cleaning products have many advantages both for your household and the broader community. In addition to being safer for the environment, they’re also less harmful to people and pets, as they lack certain toxic chemicals. They can also be gentler on your belongings, preserving furniture, carpeting, and other surfaces.
Get the zero-waste products you need
The first step in adopting zero waste cleaning is getting the products you need. Start with the actual cleaning tools. For example, you may be using disposable dust mops and rags. Instead, switch to items that you reuse, like a no-waste dustpan and brush. A vacuum cleaner that doesn’t require bags but has a removable dust collection bin is also ideal.
Other examples of zero-waste cleaning supplies include reusable trash can liners, natural sponge scrubbers made of products like vegetable cellulose, and reusable paper towels. There are even dishwashing blocks, which you can use instead of repeatedly buying dishwashing liquid in plastic containers.
Once you have the basic cleaning supplies, you can start investing in the actual cleaning products themselves. While you can make your own cleaning goods, it’s also possible to buy these items. If you can’t find these goods at your usual store, try going to local health food and organic food shops. Ideally, you will avoid ordering them online. Buying goods via the internet is bad for the environment and worsens your carbon footprint. Why? You have to account for the fuel needed to transport your goods by car, plane, or other transportation mode.
Implement zero waste cleaning in an effective fashion
After you get the supplies and products you need for zero-waste cleaning, make sure you’re implementing them correctly. Always read the instructions on products before using them. Even natural cleaners like vinegar-based solutions can cause damage to furniture like marble and wood if not used with caution.
This generalised guide to zero waste cleaning explains how to use various cleaning tools in the most effective manner. For example, when using a feather duster, you should always move it in one direction. This way all of the dust and grime accumulate in one spot. You can then vacuum or wipe it up easily.
It’s also important to take precautions when doing zero-waste cleaning to protect yourself. When dealing with cleaning solutions, you may want to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin, for example. Use reusable gloves instead of disposable ones you’d have to throw away, maintaining your commitment to a zero-waste policy.
A face mask is another basic piece of protective gear you should invest in and always wear when cleaning. A mask helps to protect against the inhalation of harmful chemicals and protects against splashback. It also protects against allergens and other particles in the air. Again, get a reusable mask that you won’t have to throw away but can wear repeatedly.
Try out other eco-friendly methods in your home
Zero waste cleaning is just one of the many eco-friendly practices you can implement in your home. Support your zero waste policy by adopting other practices to help the earth. For example, you might start reusing and recycling goods more frequently. Look into your local municipality’s recycling opportunities to get started.
Some cities and counties have their own recycling programs. You simply need to get the appropriate bin and can put your recyclables in it. A professional recycling pickup service will then get the bin once or twice per week, taking these goods off your hands and ensuring they don’t end up in a landfill.
Composting is another practice you can adopt to reduce your home’s environmental damage. This primer to composting at home is a great way to get started. You can compost many everyday goods like fruits, vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, paper, grass clippings, and houseplants.
You can also implement zero-waste policies in other areas of your home. For example, you can get UV lights in your garden that are powered by the sun. This way you don’t have to constantly buy and throw away lightbulbs. You can also create a rain barrel to collect rainwater and use this to water plants.
Spread the word about the zero-waste movement
Once you’ve implemented zero waste cleaning and other practices in your own home, spread the word! Sharing your knowledge of zero-waste practices can help others get on board. The more people we have practicing these kinds of ecologically friendly habits, the greater the impact they’ll have.
There are many ways you can share your knowledge of green living habits like zero waste cleaning. For starters, target your inner circle of friends, family, and co-workers. Mention that you’ve adopted a zero-waste approach to cleaning and share what steps you took to change your habits.
Blue and Green Tomorrow offers a guide to telling others about your eco-friendly habits in a way that will convince them to join the movement. For example, you should say why you wanted to go green. You might also talk about the health benefits. Also, reveal how going green helps you in other ways, like saving money.
In addition to simply telling people about zero waste cleaning face-to-face, you can also take to more public platforms to advertise your efforts more widely. You might start a blog dedicated to zero-waste living, for example, or join discussions on social media. You can also get involved in area organisations like neighbourhood associations and school boards.
In conclusion: Implementing zero waste cleaning in your life
If you’re looking to make a difference and help the environment, a zero-waste approach to cleaning can help. The zero-waste approach is healthier for the inhabitants of your household and the earth. It can also save you money and even help local economies and communities, creating jobs and cutting food waste.
Once you recognise the benefits of zero waste cleaning, you’ll no doubt want to implement it. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to adopt these practices. You simply have to invest in the right cleaning supplies, as described above. There are also other lifestyle habits you can adopt to further your zero-waste commitment, like recycling at home.
Finally, if you really want to make a difference, make sure to share what you know about zero-waste cleaning with other people. Spreading the word about zero waste will help make the practice more prevalent. If we all make an effort to embrace these habits, we will be able to help preserve our earth.