Individuals, Local Businesses
There has been a big shift away from using cleaning products and methods that contain toxic chemicals to cleaning with environmentally friendly ingredients. This has taken two forms: one is the greater use of green cleaning products available in shops; and the other is that more people making their own cleaning products at home with simple ingredients.
Many ingredients found in conventional cleaning products are toxic for aquatic life, and they can also inhibit the functioning of septic tanks. Conventional cleaning products cause environmental pollution by their manufacture, transportation to the retail outlet and disposal. In addition, some cleaning products on the market contain palm oil from unsustainable sources, petrochemicals, synthetic perfumes and phosphates. Many of these synthetic ingredients can cause skin irritation and can have long-term health concerns.
People can avoid these potentially harmful ingredients and save money by making their own cleaning products at home. Homemade alternatives can be made from simple ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, unscented soaps, vegetable oil, borax, essential oils, honey, beeswax, and lemon juice. There are many books and websites showing how to make these simple alternatives.
A wide range of ecological cleaning products are now available at health food shops and supermarkets including washing up liquid, degreaser, floor cleaner, descaler, toilet cleaner, laundry liquid and fabric softener. Many of these products are made from plant-based ingredients and biodegrade quickly and completely. Many suppliers also offer refill services that help reduce waste and are cheaper.
Eco-Cycle (green cleaning recipes)
David Suzuki Foundation (green cleaning recipes)
Lilly’s Eco Clean Ltd., Park West Industrial Estate, Dublin 12