GREEN CLEANING: NAIROBI’S LATEST CLEANING TREND

Green cleaning has been the trend for some time now and simply put, it’s cleaning with products made from environmentally friendly ingredients designed specifically to preserve health and environmental quality. Surely you’ve heard about it; it’s more than just a trend: it’s a shift in lifestyle that’s proactive and, some might argue, necessary to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the environment.

Green cleaning products offer healthier and safer alternatives to the conventional cleaning products. The truth of the matter is that whether you use green or conventional cleaning products, the more you use the higher the risk of getting ill. The problem therefore arises because we use cleaning detergents almost routinely and we have multiple products for various types of cleans. In the bathroom alone you could use up to 5 different cleaning products. You need to clean and freshen the toilet, scrub and polish the sink, polish the mirror, remove mold and mildew and mop the floor. Such repeated exposure to products (if harmful) can add up over time.

  1. Make Cleaning Easier & Help the Environment

We don’t necessarily need cleaning products to clean however they help the breakdown of soil and particulates so they certainly make it easier. Many green cleaning products are multipurpose so this eliminates the need to use multiple detergents to clean various surfaces. Having few products to work with declutters your house and exposes you to less chemicals as you clean. Furthermore, fewer products means less waste. When you choose to go green you instantly become a green role model. Once you use eco-friendly products and see for yourself how well they work, others are likely to follow suit. You’re making the effort, every day, to use naturally derived, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients. Imagine the environmental impact when millions of people go green; it’s mind blowing.

That’s all well and good but here’s the thing, we’ve got to think beyond ourselves. If conventional cleaning products are indeed harmful (there’s a lot of scientific data to suggest they are) then what’s the probability that, with millions of people using them on a daily basis, they’re also harmful to the environment? Furthermore, are they placed in biodegradable containers? If not what happens to all that plastic?

Image: Wholesome Mommy Wellness
  1. Know What’s in Your Products – Have you ever glanced at the ingredients listed on the back of a product and asked yourself “what the heck am I looking at?”. In the middle of the supermarket you pretend you actually know what you’re reading and you think you’re pronouncing that word correctly in your head. The reality is there are a lot of chemicals in our cleaning agents that we know nothing about. Yet we choose to use them anyway. For example, phthalates, used in virtually everything from household cleaners to cosmetics, they’ve been linked to asthma, breast cancer, and male fertility issues. There is little regulation of cleaning chemicals and also little labelling requirements to let people know what they’re exposing themselves to. Sometimes phthalates will be listed as fragrance in the ingredients without identifying the specific components. In the absence of a comprehensive policy on chemical management, Kenyans are vulnerable to risks associated with chemicals. Manufacturers and users of cleaning products aren’t required to divulge ingredients of their products however some make it their policy to be fully transparent. You can even request Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)from your manufacturer, which give you the information on potential hazards and how to work safely with a product.

Conventional cleaning products also have an impact on water quality. After we use a product, we rinse and it goes down the drain eventually ending up in the ground and surface waters. This certainly doesn’t help with Kenya’s poor drainage system. So enough about the dangers, what are the alternatives. Do green cleaning products actually work, do they get the job done? How much safer are they?

  1. There are Green Cleaning Professionals & Products Available in Kenya: When it comes to following trends, Kenya’s always on track. Many cleaning companies in Kenya operate under a Green Initiative. Many use products and methods to eliminate contaminants and minimize harm on the environment. It is cheaper to hire a cleaning company than to purchase green cleaning products in Kenya. 500 ML detergents can range anywhere from 3000-6000 KES. Professional Cleaning Companies handle both the product and the service as well as having the expertise in handling products.

The majority of green-cleaning products are made from natural, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients, essentially they pose less toxic threats to humans and ecosystems. Some green cleaning companies make their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available. They contain information about the chemicals in the product and how to use them safely. Always remember to check the label and the ingredients to make sure you’re not exposing yourself to anything dangerous. To put your mind at ease, some companies have organic seals meaning they have been tested for toxic chemicals. For more information on the types of chemicals to watch out for, stay tuned for our TOP 10 CHEMICALS YOU DIDN’T KNOW WERE IN YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS.

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