Updated: Nov 3, 2019
The movement towards environmentally friendly products and practices has been growing since the 1960s. But with the growing controversy over climate change becoming more prevalent, it wasn't really until the 2000s that green movement moved out of the cultural environmentally-conscious niche market into the mainstream. But even now, much of the focus is on widespread, global issues such as pollution caused by vehicle emissions or factories, and seemingly makes the average person feel powerless to impact change. As a way to move toward a healthier lifestyle, many people started to focus on making changes in their health and diet because that's something that can be controlled without an act of legislation. But as awareness of environmental issues spread and green products and practices become less expensive and more effective, people are now beginning to make other changes in their everyday lives that support the health of our planet.
As a growing concern, people started to realize how to make simple changes in their lives that would promote a healthier body and environment. Green cleaning is one of those practices. Simply put, green cleaning is a decision a person makes to choose environmentally friendly cleaning products that preserve the health of humans and our planet. Any web search on green cleaning will give you a technical definition that's similar. But it's really about more than just buying environmentally friendly products. It's about taking back control of our life and our future. We are responsible for the stewardship of our bodies and our planet. And any single person can make an impact. That's pretty powerful.
Sure that's great and all, but I'm not an environmentalist so it's not my concern.
Okay, so the "you can be a hero" talk might not work on everyone. But don't think about this issue as just an emotional or sentimental one. There's an argument for green cleaning that even the most pragmatic minds cannot dispute.
If you're more into facts, there are plenty. Many cleaning products on the market today contain toxic chemicals that emit volatile compounds called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that have been identified to cause serious health problems to humans (see our article on the "The Dirty Facts of Cleaning Products" here). Even some products that claim to be "green" still contain chemicals that are both toxic to humans and the environment. Even savvy consumers may be fooled by sneaky marketing strategies from companies that make false claims about their products. And the worst part is that these products are used in our homes every day to wash laundry or clean the bathroom, which can be contributing to such issues as kidney disorders, depression, and even cancer.
Furthermore, these products pollute the air in our homes, the outside air, travel through wastewater, and end up affecting ecosystems. The government cannot deal with the effects of these products on our environment. There are enough eco-friendly options available on the market and by professional cleaning companies that there's no longer an excuse for us to say we can do nothing about it. Environmental impact is not something we can control only at the global level or country level. It can be managed at the city, neighborhood, and even home level. It's about awareness. It's about choice. And it's about time we change.