The global market for natural cleaning products clocked in at $3.7 billion in 2018. With increasing awareness about health, hygiene and environmental impacts posed by toxic chemical compounds, more consumers are gravitating toward green products.
Products containing natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and natural salt are all the rage these days. Sophie Hinchliffe has made a spectacle with her Instagram handle -“Mrs. Hinch” online using the cleaning obsession fodder as grist for the mills. Fans of Hinching flock social media sites with sparkling surfaces and a mountain of cleaning products to deck out their #hinchhauls.
The contagion has spread from the heart of London to the remotest parts of Britain evolving into a full-blown cult.
Obsessed Mrs. Hinch fans trot out products such as Zoflora and Elbow Grease as must-haves. Instagram is awash with photos of cupboards stashed with collections of bleach or kitchen-based sprays.
The Hinch Army egged on by their cleanfluencer claim their miracle products are green, but nothing could be further from the truth!
All the cleaning products contain some harmful chemicals to eat away grime. They also come in plastic bottles destined for the landfill in a week’s time.
With more people frowning on plastics, going the extra mile to protect the environment, the mania to fight dirt like the dickens-and, consequently, purchase tons of plastic-packed cleaning products does not augur well with nature.
S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. christen these connoisseurs “cleaning routinists” and notes they mop up 21% of the market. They putter around up to 18 times a week sprucing up, the company added. “They really enjoy the process,” Beth Simermeyer, vice president of S.C. Johnson’s North America home-cleaning business said. “It’s cathartic.”
If you have a nodding acquaintance of the potential hazards posed by cleaning products, expert advice ensures you get the neatest of all homes without harming the planet. “Apart from the plastic monstrosity, cleaning products also swarm with substrates like bleach and phosphates that threaten ecosystems”, Handy Cleaners from London tells Conservative Daily News. They do agree that unprofessional care can have damaging effects and it is much better than you are informed.
Phosphates lurking in detergents lead to a proliferation of algae colonies, which deplete marine oxygen and wipe off other organisms off the floor of the ocean. Bleach chemicals can react with certain minerals in water producing toxic substances that take years to fritter away. The toxic compounds have a knock-on effect on sea life and humans.
Cleaning ingredients rinsed down the drain stream into water treatment plants that offload them into rivers, lagoons, and oceans. The vestiges of these products bypass treatment centers leaching into natural water sources.
Traces of these ingredients could be a drop in the ocean, but the growing appetite for these products means an increase in contaminants, a deadly blow for marine life.
With the cleaning fervor inciting us to showcase rows of bleach and breezy clean sprays, sticking out in resplendent containers that outshine the entire web, it’s an addiction to kicking the can down the road. The trend sets a higher threshold of cleanliness, suggesting we keep our homes so clean you can eat off the floor and win the hearts of many users online.
Mrs. Hinch has suffered backlash for using cleaning products oblivious to the amount of plastic or their potential environmental impacts. The cleaning craze is an expensive mistake for the planet.
But does that give you the social license to neglect the dishes or your home? Absolutely not.
It’s extremely difficult to ensure zero environmental impact while cleaning frequently has many benefits.
You can’t hang your boots in the cleaning department. Considering the effects of your cleaning solutions and introducing changes marks a step in the right direction.
Go for green, eco-friendly cleaning choices made by environmentally-conscious brands like Blueland, Tincture, and Method. Examine the ingredients used to make the product, shunning phosphates, chlorine, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. The products stand out with words like ‘all-natural’, ‘ECO-certified’ and ‘biodegradable’.
Check the packaging of your stuff, too. Cherry-pick recyclable or biodegradable materials and choose refillable schemes rather than chucking it away for the landfill to garbage down.
Concentrated solutions pack more potency and don’t feel pressured to turn into a neat freak every day. Slash down what you use and recycle where possible-implement these rules into your cleaning plans for earth-friendly hygiene.
But remember the buck stops with behemoth manufacturers that need to wipe away their multitudes of sins.
‘Cleaning product manufacturers must wake up and smell the coffee,’ says Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner. ‘And the government must regulate the industry with stringent policies.’
Don’t go for cleaning products spree. If we abstain from plastic-packaged, toxic products, manufacturers will notice and push out what we need. Jump on the climate change protests bandwagon or join climate activism on social media.
Next time, stash eco-friendly products on your cupboard before sharing your #hinchhaul on Instagram. If we take pride in sparkling bathrooms after some serious scrubbing, we have newly-found confidence to protect the earth.