2. Use chemical free cleaning products
Lots of us associate a clean home with better health but did you know that depending on the products you use, your cleaning regime could actually be making you sick? Many household products contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VCOs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVCOs) which are extremely harmful to human health. VCOs and SVCOs are known to cause symptoms, such as headaches, allergic reactions and respiratory issues and long-term they can trigger a host of serious diseases, including lung cancer, neurodegenerative conditions and cardiac problems such as stroke.
By switching to safer alternatives, you can significantly cut down on the percentage of VOcs and SVOCs in the air – but be careful as some so-called green products contain similarly high levels. Berkeley researchers conducting a study on the toxins in both regular and green household cleaning products found that while 75% of the highest VOC emissions were from non-green products, many of the green products also contained harmful levels.
The problem is that there’s no legal requirement a product must meet in order to call itself green or eco-friendly – though there are bodies that can award certification to products that meet green criteria, like Green Seal, ECOLOGO and USDA Organic. It’s best to conduct your own research before purchasing any cleaning product that calls itself green, to see if there are any harmful toxins in it that could endanger your health. The Cleaning Project Ingredient Safety Initiative (CPISI) is a searchable online database that allows you to look up any ingredient to see its effects -so if you’re unsure what’s in that product you’re about to splurge on, check it out using this handy tool first.
If you’re looking for a completely non-toxic option, Kinn Living offers affordable plant-based biodegradable products that are a genuinely green alternative – such as this Sweet Orange Multi-Surface Cleaner with essential oil and the Eco-Friendly Lavender and Rosemary Washing Up Liquid.
Spruce is another green cleaning brand that doesn’t use any harmful chemicals and their products are also refillable to help you save cash and the environment. Check out their Bathroom Starter Kit and remove limescale and soap scum without any nasties, or try out the Multipurpose Spray with organic geranium, for sparkling, chemical free surfaces!