Green Cleaning is Easier Than You Think
Every time I go shopping, I try to find a sustainable replacement for at least one thing in my house. Shopping at Whole Foods, Target, and even Walmart, makes buying green cleaning supplies more accessible for everyday people. There are sustainable and eco-friendly replacements for nearly everything in your kitchen. You can create a paperless kitchen instead of using paper towels. Buy organic dish detergent with less chemicals than normal detergents. Purchase detergent, soap, and food in bulk to avoid buying and wasting more plastic packaging. And don’t forget to take your reusable bags. If you add one of these methods every few times you go shopping, your entire kitchen will be green before you know it!
Sustainable =/= Perfect
Just like with other products that you try out for the first time, you may or may not find the perfect option the first time you try a mores sustainable option. My dishwashing detergent pods were leaving their little particles all over my dishes. I could smell the chemicals when I used the dishes. I was honestly afraid that some of those particles were getting in to our food, drinks, and bodies.
This prompted me to head straight to Whole Foods for a new solution. My first choice was a liquid detergent by the Whole Foods brand. Unfortunately, it didn’t get my dishes all the way clean. On my next Whole Foods trip, I purchased the Seventh Generation powder detergent. Now, I use the liquid detergent for the pre-wash and Seventh Generation for the main wash. They work perfectly together! The only one of these 3 detergents that I could find on the Think Dirty toxicity measuring app was the Seventh Generation, and it rated low at a 3/10.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies
Green cleaning extends beyond cleaning solutions, sprays, and detergents. The brushes and sponges that you use and quickly throw away once they begin to stink start to add up and increase worldwide pollution levels. On my recent Whole Foods trip, I decided I’d find a better option for sponges to hand-wash my dishes with. I’d found a suitable option at Walmart made by Scotch Brite. It was a mostly plant-based sponge, and it was ok, but I wanted to try even harder!
I noticed that typical cheap scrubbers leave lots of little particles behind when I cleaned my tub. I never saw it as bad in the kitchen, but I know its happening. Besides being annoying, would you believe me when I say that those micro particles are a huge part of the pollution issue, too? Synthetic fibers don’t die easy, and they make their way into water sources worldwide. Synthetic microfiber pollution, known as the “invisible plastic,” typically come from our clothing being washed, and that water making its way into the world’s water streams. Essentially, we are eating our clothes because the fibers travel from our home, to water streams, into marine animals, and back into us when we consume them. That’s one food chain I don’t want to contribute to.
So I made a change. I found two types of sponges from a new-to-me brand called Twist. The Twist sponge is make form 100% natural materials, is machine washable, and can be composted. It would be perfect if only it didn’t come in plastic packaging. But remember, we’re not looking for perfection, we’re working towards improving. Plastic is an important innovation, but using it as much as we do is the issue. Instead of a plastic and synthetic fiber based sponge, switch to one that may be packaged in some plastic, but the product itself is more sustainable. You may even find some brands with no plastic involved, at all! Just don’t feel bad if you don’t. Baby steps are important.
What switches have you made lately to create a greener kitchen? What other green cleaning, less toxic, or sustainable lifestyle changes to y’all want to hear about? Let me know in the comments!