While our cleaning supplies — the dishwashing detergent, laundry liquid, floor cleaners and toilet cleaners — clean our homes, they have hazardous implications on our environment. After some research, I understood that most of these cleaning products come abundantly packed with chemicals such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and ammonia. These are all great cleaning agents, but once they go down our drains and water pipes, the contaminants in them have a pretty negative effect on water bodies and the organisms that live in them. It is now time for us to make a switch to eco-friendly and natural cleaners.
Most would argue that the water from the drainage first lands up in the wastewater treatment facilities, where the majority of the contaminants are removed, before the water makes its way to the lakes and rivers. But that is far from the truth – a lot of the stubborn contaminants from these chemicals aren’t removed, and eventually build up in our ecosystem, polluting the water bodies and starving marine life of oxygen.
Our waterways are also affected by other toxic and harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as triclosan, phthalates and sulphates. These are known to cause excess growth of blue-green algae, which then trigger bacteria growth in the water, turning it into a slimy and smelly gunk.
In simple terms, the chemicals in our cleaning products cause our water bodies to die a slow and painful death. They cease to sustain marine life, and are neither safe for drinking or swimming.
But, we can help by switching to products that are eco-friendly, and safe for us, our children and our pets. There’s a whole gamut of cleaning range available now that comes with the promise of leaving the planet a little better than before.
These all-natural, organic products biodegrade easily, leaving no harmful toxins behind. The ingredients in them, in fact, are completely safe for our sewer lines, groundwater and large water bodies.
Alternatively, simple and natural all-purpose home-made cleaners also work wonders for light cleaning. Befriend baking soda, white vinegar, natural salt and essential oils till you get your hands on one of these eco-friendly products.
Here’s a Quick DIY for an All-purpose Cleaner:
Mix 1 tsp borax, 1/2 tsp washing soda, 1 tsp liquid castile soap, and essential oils of your choice (lemon, lavender or orange work best) with 2 cups of warm water in a glass spray bottle. Use the concoction as bathroom cleaner, floor cleaner and kitchen cleaner.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)