How to choose the best eco-friendly household products
We are delighted to welcome Christina Hawkes, founder of Greenscents organic laundry & household products to guest write our blog on choosing the best ecofriendly household products.
During the Covid-19 crisis, we have become much more conscious of the cleaning products we buy. We all need household products that do not damage our health or the environment but get rid of harmful bacteria and viruses and this is perfectly possible!
So what should we look for from our green laundry and cleaning products?
- No 'greenwashing'
- No toxic ingredients
- Refill options to reduce plastic use
- No animal testing or animal cruelty
- Reusable or recyclable packaging
- Concentrated products to reduce packaging
- Made in the UK to reduce our carbon footprint
- Highly effective results
These are some of the certifications to look out for
We must be sure that the company we buy our household products from can be trusted and that all the eco-friendly reasons they use to attract us to buy that product are true.
How can we do this? There are so many products on the market it is difficult to pick out the authentic brands.
One way that is completely safe is to choose products that are certified by third party organisations. These are often charities and represent particular interest groups such as The Vegan Society, The Soil Association or Cruelty Free International. Look out for their logos on labels.
Eco brands like Greenscents offer a guarantee that certain harmful ingredients are excluded
No toxic ingredients
What’s in the bottle really matters! Conventional cleaning products include ingredients that are harmful to human and animal health as well as polluting our water systems. These include phthalates, PERC, triclosan, QUAT’s, artificial fragrances, ammonia - the list goes on. The Greenscents No Nasties Guarantee offers a list of ingredients we won't put in our household products.
If you read on the label that the product is ‘green’, ‘biodegradable’, ‘natural’ or even ‘organic’ this does not always mean it is non-toxic. Pesticides are now linked to many cancers so it is advisable to buy certified organic cleaning and laundry products. Make sure that you check out the credentials of any new brand on an independent website or better still look for The Soil Association / COSMOS / USDA organic / Ecocert logos.
Choose a company which offers refill options to reduce your carbon footprint
Refill options to reduce plastic
We should all support our local zero waste stores too. Cleaning and laundry products are great for refills so buy a 5 or 20 litre container, depending on how much space you have and get started. It is a very sustainable option to have a refill station at home – and good fun too! Look for schemes where your containers can be reused before recycling as this is always best.
No animal testing or animal cruelty
Essential for those of us who love animals. There are many organisations that campaign for humane treatment of animals and Cruelty Free International and the ‘leaping bunny’ programme is probably the best known. You can see their logo on many products including household and beauty ranges.
If you are a vegan or prefer not to use products with animal ingredients
look out for The Vegan Society symbol. You will find the logo on all certified laundry and household products. Viva! and Animal Aid are also great charities to support if you are against all forms of animal cruelty.
Make sure that the company you choose uses sustainable packaging
Reusable and recyclable packaging
All green companies should be providing this. In the household sector, bottles and large containers should be reusable and recyclable. Look out for sustainable starch fillers, cardboard boxes and shredded paper if you receive your delivery by courier.
To reduce packaging using concentrated products are a great way forward and again it is best to have this verified by an independent organisation. Ethical Consumer is fantastic and rates many types of products and their ethical credentials. It will also compare prices fairly so that you can tell the real price of the goods you buy.
Concentrated household products are better for the environment because they come in smaller sizes. This means that they need less packaging and weigh less when they are transported. After all it makes no sense to carry excess water around!
Made in the UK to reduce our carbon footprint.
Supporting UK businesses is great in many ways but particularly if you want to be environmentally conscious. Look for companies that source their ingredients closer to home and manufacture their products in the UK. Shorter distances to market can lower your carbon footprint when you purchase a product. It’s always worth going the extra mile to research companies thoroughly.
Household products can be kind to the environment and kill germs. To find out more about how to clean in times of Covid-19 and beyond check out the Greenscents guide to reducing the risk of Coronavirus.
GreenScents has also given all BeeBee & Leaf readers 15% off theirs products. Click here to use and enter BEEBEE15 at the checkout.