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Y’all…you know what can be REALLY frustrating?
Trying to find eco friendly products that work.
Seriously, that shindig can be painful if you do it right. Because not only do you have to do research to determine just how eco friendly the brand/product is (you don’t just believe labels, do you?), you then have to either try the product or read reviews (or both) to determine whether the product actually works.
I need a nap just thinking about it.
Lucky for us, I have some tips on making the process of actually finding eco-friendly products easier. And at the end I have a treat that will make picking cleaning products so much easier you’ll wonder how you didn’t see this post before.
You ready? Let’s get on with the tips.
1-) Just say “no” to fragrance
“Fragrances” found in products are flat out unnecessary. They don’t make anything cleaner. Period. You don’t need them. If you look at the ingredients in a product and you see anything regarding fragrance just put it back and move on.
OK, I can hear you saying, “Sheesh, Amanda…that’s a little harsh, isn’t it?”
Maybe. Alright, yes it is.
But really, the term “fragrance” doesn’t mean anything. There is no specific chemical called “fragrance.” It’s a generic term that companies are allowed to put on the bottle without disclosing the proprietary concoction that makes the product smell “mountain fresh” (or whatever other strange scent they design). In other words, it’s completely useless information. After all, most of the time I can tell that something is fragranced if it, well, smells!
On the other hand, just seeing “fragrance” listed also a red flag. There are likely thousands of chemicals that cause negative health effects that can be used to make and stabilize fragrances, including ingredients that can cause nervous system damage, reproductive health issues, and allergic reactions.
I know giving up your beloved floral or apple pie smells can be painful. I used to be a Bath and Body Works junkie myself (not cleaning products, but you get the point). But I promise it gets easier with time. And your health will thank you. So, stick to real lavender if you want your home to smell like flowers, OK?
2-) Products that don’t list their ingredients are not worth your money
Don’t listen to claims that products make about being “natural,” “non-toxic,” or “plant-based” if they don’t provide the hard evidence to back it up (which is why I suggested you don’t just believe the labels!). The more you buy products that do this the more they get away with fooling you. So promise yourself now: no ingredient list equals no financial support from you. If everyone does this eventually these brands will be forced to disclose their ingredients and you can revisit the products in question then.
3-) Learn what ingredients on labels do
I’ve already hinted at this in point 1, but it extends to ingredients other than fragrances too. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great article on decoding labels and will help guide you when choosing products. Use guides like this to decide on your priorities (i.e. do you want to stay away from enzymes? How about phosphates? Will you look for specific seals?) and stick with them when choosing new products to try.
4-) Know that your cleaners don’t have to be blue (or orange or purple….)
Seriously…does cleaning your toilet with the blue stuff actually make you want to clean the toilet any more than you need to? Probably not. Like fragrances, synthetic dyes are completely unnecessary. My personal opinion…aim for the clear stuff.
5-) Consider that brands either value eco friendly living or they don’t
Ok maybe I’m just a tough cookie. But I believe that if a brand is truly committed to eco friendly living they will make the process easy for you. They will actively work to improve their products and always disclose their ingredients. Often they will participate in voluntary certification programs. They will have consistency in the quality and environmental impacts of their products and actively work to build trust with their customers so they know they can always feel good choosing them as an eco friendly brand.
With that being said, it can be hard to find those brands. But I’ve done some homework for you to get started! I compiled a list of 50 (yes…FIFTY! That’s not a typo) brands that claim to be eco friendly, natural, or a healthy alternative as part of their branding and listed out the summaries of their products’ ratings by the EWG.
Want the full list of over 50 brands? Join below to get this resource for FREE!
Want more healthy living help? Head over to our discussions on BPA and how to reduce your environmental impact when you have a baby or a toddler!
I would agree with all of these points, except for the first one – I love that ‘clean’ smell of the house after a good scrub. I have recently started changing my household cleaning products to using essential oils, baking soda, and vinegar. So much nicer.. no chemical smell!
Heather | http://www.heatherleguilloux.ca
Hey Heather, thanks for replying! Essential oils can be great for making your home feel fresh and clean! The real concern is artificial fragrances and stabilizers that aren’t disclosed on labels. With essential oils you at least know what you’re buying and can look into their safety!