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It could come as a shock, but many cleansing products aren’t so, well, clean. “The overwhelming majority of cleansing products contain highly toxic ingredients, and may result in respiratory problems, skin irritation, nervous system damage, and organ toxicity, amongst other health issues,” explains Green Living host, Lauren Singer (@trashisfortossers). Not to say the plastic packaging they’re often encased in, which is harmful to the planet.
Many cleansing products also contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, that are a bunch of chemicals that may negatively impact air quality, water pollution, and human health, explains Singer. When VOCs are poured down the drain, they will affect viable drinking water and animal habitats. But while there could also be a whole lot of not-so-great cleansing products on the market, there are methods to wash your home sustainably, without all of the harmful toxins and plastic waste.
Limit Your House Cleansing Products
Singer shares that contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a unique cleaner for each form of surface in your home. In truth, one all-purpose cleaner can often get the job done. Consolidating your household cleansing products not only frees up space in your house, but it surely also reduces waste, which is a win for the environment!
You can too use many items you most likely have already got at home to wash. Singer recommends liquid castile soap for floors, dishes, toilet bowls, and your hands! Baking soda can also be great for odor and stain removal. Mix them together and also you’ve got the proper tile cleaner! Need to wash in hard-to-reach areas? Reuse an old toothbrush!
Use Reusable and Refillable Packaging
One other strategy to limit the quantity of waste created with cleansing products is to make use of reusable and refillable packaging. That way, you won’t should eliminate the package after only one use.
Make Your Own Cleansing Spray
Reusable and refillable packaging goes hand in hand with making your personal cleansing products. This not only reduces waste, but additionally gives you control over what goes into your cleansing products and means that you can eliminate harmful chemicals and toxins.
Singer makes her own DIY cleansing spray using a handful of straightforward products: water, distilled white vinegar, dried lavender and citrus peels (or essential oils of your preference), an upcycled spray bottle, and a funnel (optional).
First, fill a jar with 50% water and 50% vinegar. Then, using your optional funnel, fill your upcycled spray bottle with the water-vinegar mixture. Next, put in 20 drops of the essential oil of your alternative. Singer shares that vinegar and essential oils are great alternatives to store-bought cleansing products “because they’ve naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.”
Use Zero-Waste Dish Cleansing Products
For a fast and simple strategy to jumpstart your zero-waste cleansing routine, try the Package Free Dish Cleansing Bundle. It comes with a bottle brush, a pot brush, a dishwashing brush, and copper scrubbers. The products all are available a package-free drawstring bag, and are 100% plastic-free, so that they can all be diverted from landfills at the top of their life through recycling or composting.
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