Getting To Green – How To Tell Which Cleaning Products Are Environmentally Friendly
‘Greenwashing’ is a term that is becoming more and more known every day. Clever marketers present products and services as being environmentally friendly to pander to those who take environmental stewardship seriously, but are only interested in maximizing profits. Among all the not-so-green ‘green’ products, there are products that are legitimately environmentally conscious, but finding them can be tough. Learn the tricks marketers use to trick you, and you can make getting to the real green products easier. Learn how with Ottawa’s Enviropure.
In 2010, TerraChoice, a Canadian Environmental Marketing agency, performed a comprehensive study of the ‘green’ claims of marketers across a wide range of industries. Analyzing more than a thousand purportedly ‘green’ products, they found that an incredible 99.9% made “false, misleading, or unsubstantiated [green] claims” concerning the nature of their products.
It isn’t hard to understand why marketers are doing this. The market for ‘green’ or ‘natural’ products grows year after year, and markets have demonstrated that they are willing to pay significantly more for ‘natural’ products than their ‘non-natural’ alternatives. While it’s unscrupulous, there is significant money to be made by exploiting people’s desire for ecological stewardship in their product purchases.
To the average consumer, this is unfortunate. We want green products, but 99.9% of the time, our trust in the claims of ‘green’ products is violated. How is the average person supposed to cut through the smoke and mirrors set up by marketers, and get to the green products we are legitimately entitled to?
Enviropure has been in the business of Green Cleaning for many years, and in our time we’ve established a few methods to determine the legitimacy of ‘Green’ claims of cleaning products that we’d like to share! Consider these tidbits of wisdom when purchasing cleaning products for the home, and you’ll be significantly more capable of cutting through the false claims of marketers.
Beware The Term “Natural”
There is absolutely no regulation concerning how marketers are able to use the world ‘natural’. As long as they can make a reasonable defense of the claim that a product or service is the product of natural processes, in the unlikely event of a lawsuit, you can bet they’ll advertise products and services as being made of ‘natural’ ingredients.
The problem is that, in a strict sense, nothing is the product of ‘un-natural’ ingredients. While most think and talk about nature in an environmental sense, businesses only have to commit to the formal, scientific meaning of the word. This means that, as long as a product is made of elements existing on the periodic table, strictly speaking, it’s all-natural. Given that every object in the universe is made of elements on the periodic table, there are no legal grounds on which an ‘all natural’ claim can be disputed.
Marketers take advantage of this disparity in meaning. They offer you a product that aligns with your needs, wants, and expectations of environmental friendliness; but sell you something completely different. In order to guarantee that you’re getting the level of ‘green’ you legitimately expect of your products, it’s important to not take a businesses word at face value, and to perform a degree of research into the claims made by any business who’s product you’re interested in
Look for the Canadian EcoLogo
Anyone can make green claims, but substantiating them is something else. Like LEEDS or BOMA for building, Rainforest Alliance or FairTrade for Coffee, etc, there exist certification institutes for cleaning products. It’s important to recognize that a product bearing a sticker or logo for certification does not in-and-of-itself make a product green. Sometimes, these ‘certification institutes’ are owned by the very businesses selling the product you’re considering purchasing. Knowing which certifications to trust and which to doubt is critical to prevent being taken advantage of.
When it comes to cleaning products, Enviropure trusts the Canadian EcoLogo as the de-facto certification for green cleaning. Products bearing the the Canadian EcoLogo stamp have been independently and comprehensively certified to meet rigorous environmental standards that reflect a products entire life cycle. From initial creation, through it’s use, all the way to it’s disposal; a product bearing the EcoLogo is one that you can trust to be legitimately green.
More than just an analysis of the chemical composition of a given cleaner, EcoLogo goes the extra mile to ensure that everything about a product conforms to the values of environmental stewardship. More than just an analysis of chemical composition, EcoLogo analyzes the impact of a product’s manufacturing process, packaging, disposal and more. Trusted by the government of Canada, you can get a more comprehensive understanding, as well as a full list of certified products, below:
Consider DIY Cleaners
When it comes to cleaning jobs around the house, it’s a bit of a misnomer that specialized cleaning products are required at all. Often, the greenest choice you can make when selecting the cleaning products for your home is to use products you probably already have around the house. Specifically, baking soda and vinegar.
The Magic Of Vinegar
Vinegar is a very powerful cleaning material. Acidic enough to be an effective cleaner, but not so acidic as to be harmful to people or the environment, it is a truly fantastic choice for those who want to clean in an ecologically-conscious way. With cleaning power that competes with cleaners you’d find at the grocery store, vinegar (cleaning vinegar especially) is significantly cheaper and ‘greener’ than anything you might find at a store.
Beautiful Baking Soda
While vinegar is great for cleaning hard surfaces, when it comes to cleaning things that are pourus, or require an abrasive, it simply wont do. It’s an abrasive when cleaning the tub or other hard surfaces, giving you the scrubbing power you need to get rid of stuck-on stains and scum. It also has fantastic absorption properties, sucking up stains and smells stuck into carpets. Having some at-the-ready for spills and goes a long way to extending the life of your carpets and time in-between professional cleans. As well, sprinkling some onto your carpets 20 minutes before a vacuum will keep a space smelling fresh and clean, as it absorbs all manner of microscopic detritus in your carpet that contributes to poor air quality.
Don’t Be Afraid To Combine Them!
We all know that combining baking soda and vinegar is a lot of fun, but few recognize the cleaning power of this classic chemical reaction. A powerful carpet stain remover, surface cleaner, tub scrubber, and more; we go into detail concerning the applications of baking soda and vinegar for home cleaning here.
EnviroPure Home Cleaning
EnviroPure is fully committed to green cleaning, and in our years of business have established significant experience differentiating between green cleaning products, and cleaning products marketed as ‘green’.
While we typically stick to industrial green cleaners, the methods and techniques we use are broadly applicable. Learn to be critical of green cleaning claims, know how to find out which ones are true, and recognize that there are alternatives to buying cleaners in the first place, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your home cleaning is as environmentally conscious as possible!
When it comes to deep cleaning, if you’re looking for a cleaning service in Ottawa that you can trust to be environmentally friendly through-and-through, get in touch with Enviropure! Whether its mold removal, carpet cleaning, or the deep cleaning of your home, you can trust Enviropure’s commitment to ecological stewardship to provide services guaranteed to be environmentally friendly.