Climate scientists agree that we’re heading towards a tipping point. We have a collective responsibility to work towards a more environmentally sustainable society. One area where we’re doing tremendous damage to the earth without even realizing is with our choice of cleaning chemicals. There are serious environmental impacts of cleaning products, keep reading to find out what they are and how green cleaning techniques can minimize them.
Your choice of cleaning product affects a lot more than your business’s bottom line, it has dramatic impacts on the earth. Traditional cleaning products cause an enormous strain on the environment in every dimension. Not only are they resource intensive to produce, but they’re difficult to dispose of and remove, and pollute our water and air.
Some of the environmental impacts of cleaning products includes:
Traditional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to any living organism. These products frequently leak into our environment because of improper disposal. The most common ways that toxic cleaning chemicals enter water streams include:
- Washing them down a sink
- Flushing them down a toilet
- Improperly disposing of them in the trash
When chemicals get disposed of like this they end up in local streams, rivers, and lakes. With nowhere else to go, these chemicals persist in the environment and disrupt local ecosystems and food chains. In severe circumstances, this pollution can even compromise our water supply.
Many traditional cleaning chemicals use volatile organic compounds (VOC). Not only are these compounds hazardous for human health and environments, they can end up in the ozone layer. This damages the ozone, which is one of the primary drivers of climate change.
Traditional cleaning products have harmful effects on our local environments too. Using these products indoors will lead to a reduction of indoor air quality and an increase in outdoor smog.
Traditional products rarely use recyclable materials in their packaging. Instead of being recycled, empty bottles and other packaging elements will probably end up in landfills or the ocean. This plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and is already having severe impacts on our ocean—over 1,000 species of marine life are impacted by water pollution.
Traditional manufacturers don’t care about the environmental impacts of cleaning products. The majority of these products are going to be mass produced with their only concern being getting costs as low as possible. This means that all of the processes for producing and distributing these goods are unsustainable. One of the primary ways that these mass-produced traditional cleaning products affect the environment is through transportation. These products usually go through numerous steps in the transportation process, adding up to huge costs in fuel and resources. Transport also produces an enormous amount of greenhouse gases.
Chemicals in cleaning products take their toll on your lungs. 400,000 people are injured by cleaning chemicals every year. Between volatile chemicals that accidentally get mixed to devastating consequences to simple long-term exposure, traditional cleaning products are surprisingly dangerous. Don’t assume that you’re safe just because your cleaning staff is taking the proper precautions. Dangerous cleaning chemicals linger in the air and on surfaces, meaning that they can affect anyone.
Harsh chemicals in cleaning products can impact your employees’ skin, eyes, or throat. Traditional cleaning products are equally devastating for you and the environment.
Now that we understand the environmental impacts of cleaning products, let’s learn about green cleaning and why it can solve the issue.
Green cleaning is an environmental cleaning solution that is designed with the environment and your health in mind. But what makes a cleaning product green, anyway? Green cleaning products commonly have these characteristics:
- No Toxicity
- Minimal VOC Composition
- Low Energy Production
- Recyclable Packaging
Green cleaning solutions are the key to staying clean without sacrificing the environment and your health. If you’re concerned about the environmental impacts of cleaning products or want to keep employees healthy, green cleaning is for you.
Not convinced of the environmental impacts of cleaning products? A recent 20-year study conducted by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway found that daily exposure to traditional cleaning products can be as harmful as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. This study was made up of 6,000 participants and also found that people regularly exposed to cleaning products also face:
- A 40% higher risk of developing asthma
- Accelerated aging of the lungs
- Increased rate of lung infection
Traditional cleaning products take an immense toll on your health. Transitioning to green cleaning is the key to keeping yourself and the environment safe.
Curious About Green Cleaning? Read our blog to learn why green cleaning products may be right for you.
Is your current cleaning provider using toxic chemicals? You’re putting yourself, your employees, and the environment at risk. You don’t need to endanger yourself to get the right clean. Carlson can get your facility in the shape it deserves while avoiding the risks that come with harsh, traditional cleaning chemicals. We offer green cleaning products that will:
- Boost your health
- Get your environment cleaner
- Improve your air quality
- Cut down on costs
- Have fewer antibacterials
Stop putting yourself at risk and get your business sparkling. Contact Carlson for a new type of clean.