Creating A Better Home Environment
In a world that is increasingly conscious of environmental impact, the choices we make in our daily lives matter. Cleaning and decluttering your home is not only a therapeutic process for your mind but can also contribute to a healthier planet. By opting for sustainable and healthy cleaning products, you can create a living space that promotes well-being for both you and the environment.
The Detox Journey:
Cleaning your home is a journey, and the first step is often decluttering. Minimalism has gained popularity in recent years, emphasising the idea that “less is more”. As you sift through your belongings, consider what truly brings you joy and purpose (e.g. Does it bring joy? Does it serve a purpose?).
Donate, recycle, or upcycle items that no longer serve you, reducing waste and making room for a more intentional living space.
The philosophy behind decluttering is about more than just creating a neat and organised living space. It reflects a holistic approach to life that encompasses mindfulness, intentional living, environmental responsibility, and personal growth. By embracing these principles, individuals can cultivate a home environment that supports their well-being and aligns with their values.
Choosing Sustainable Cleaning Products:
Once you have decluttered (I know… I make it sound like an easy and quick process), it is time to clean and the products you choose can make a significant impact. Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both your health and the environment. Fortunately, there is a growing market of sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.
DIY Cleaning Solutions:
But like my grandmother would say, making cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon never prove you wrong as simple and effective options. These natural elements are not only powerful cleaners but are also safe for your family and pets.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Brands:
Many companies now focus on creating eco-friendly cleaning products. Look for brands that use biodegradable ingredients, minimal packaging, and sustainable sourcing. These products are designed to clean effectively without compromising the health of your home or the planet.
Here are some examples of popular eco-friendly brands in the UK:
1. METHOD offers a range of eco-friendly cleaning products with stylish packaging. Their products do not contain Parabens and Phthalates, are cruelty-free and come in recyclable packaging. The "All-Purpose Cleaner" and "Glass Cleaner" are particularly popular.
2. ECOVER is known for its commitment to sustainability. They provide a variety of cleaning products, including washing-up liquid, laundry detergent, and all-purpose cleaner. Ecover states that its products contain no animal ingredients and are made from plant-based and mineral ingredients. Ecover is also certified by Leaping Bunny – a very stringent no animal testing certification.
3. BIO-D is a UK-based company that produces environmentally responsible cleaning products. Their range includes laundry products, kitchen cleaners, and hand soaps. Bio-D is known for using natural ingredients and recyclable packaging.
4. CHEEKY PANDA is known for its bamboo-based products, including bamboo tissue and wipes. They also offer bamboo-based cleaning products, such as kitchen roll and multi-surface wipes, providing a sustainable alternative.
5. While FAITH IN NATURE is more widely known for its natural beauty and hair care products, they also offer a household cleaning range. Their products, such as the "Multi-Surface Cleaner," are made with plant-based ingredients.
Before purchasing, it is a good idea to check the latest product reviews, certifications, and ingredient lists, as formulations may change, and new products may have been introduced to the market.
Refillable and Reusable Options:
Reduce your environmental footprint by opting for refillable cleaning products or reusable cleaning tools. This minimises the need for single-use plastic and encourages a more sustainable approach to household chores.
Here are some examples of popular refillable and reusable brands in the UK:
1. MINIML products are crafted from naturally derived, sustainable ingredients, and they follow a zero-waste closed-loop system that recycles containers.
2. FILL offers a range of eco-friendly cleaning products in refillable containers. While not exclusively refillable, they provide larger-sized containers for some products, reducing the need for frequent repurchasing. All their formulations are 100% readily biodegradable and free from harsh chemicals.
3. ECOEGG provides reusable and durable cleaning pads that can be used with their eco-friendly cleaning solutions. The pads can be washed and reused, reducing the need for disposable wipes.
4. OCEANSAVER offers cleaning pods that can be added to reusable spray bottles. The pods are designed to dissolve in water, providing an eco-friendly and plastic-free alternative. The brand focuses on reducing single-use plastic.
When looking for refillable and reusable cleaning products, consider checking the brand's website for the latest offerings and visiting local zero-waste stores or eco-friendly retailers. Also, major supermarkets and retailers in the UK continue to expand their refill and unpacked options, so it is worth checking with them for the latest sustainable choices.
How to identify good and bad cleaning products:
When choosing cleaning products, it is essential to be aware of the ingredients to ensure they align with your preferences for health and environmental sustainability. Here are some ingredients to look out for, both positive and negative, and tips on how to distinguish eco-friendly from non-eco-friendly cleaning products:
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR
Phthalates: Found in many fragranced household products, phthalates are associated with hormone disruption and potential adverse health effects.
Plant-Based Ingredients: Look for products that use plant-based ingredients derived from renewable resources like citrus, vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.
Triclosan: Commonly used in antibacterial products, triclosan can contribute to antibiotic resistance and disrupt hormone regulation.
Biodegradable Surfactants help break down grease and grime. Opt for products with biodegradable surfactants that break down into non-toxic components.
Ammonia: While effective as a cleaner, ammonia can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. It also contributes to indoor air pollution.
Citric Acid derived from citrus fruits, is effective for cutting through grease and scale. It's also a natural preservative.
Chlorine Bleach: Chlorine bleach releases harmful fumes and can react with other chemicals to form toxic by-products. It's harsh on the environment and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
Baking Soda is a versatile and effective cleaner. It can be used to scrub surfaces, neutralise odours, and more.
Parabens: Often found in cleaning products as preservatives, parabens can mimic hormones and potentially disrupt the endocrine system.
Enzymes in cleaning products can break down stains and grime. They are typically biodegradable and less harmful to the environment.
Artificial Fragrances: Synthetic fragrances can contain a mix of undisclosed chemicals. Look for products with natural fragrances or those that disclose the specific components.
Natural Fragrances: Choose products scented with natural fragrances like essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These surfactants can be harsh on the skin and eyes and may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.
How to Distinguish Eco-Friendly Products:
- Read the Labels: Look for products that transparently disclose their ingredients.
- Certifications: Check for third-party certifications, such as the EU Ecolabel, USDA Organic, or the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Verified mark.
- Avoid Greenwashing: Be cautious of products that claim to be "green" or "natural" without providing specific details.
- Research Brands: Look into the reputation of the brands you are considering. Brands with a strong commitment to sustainability and transparency are more likely to produce eco-friendly products.
Embracing a Greener Future:
As you embark on your journey of cleaning and decluttering, consider the long-term impact of your choices. Sustainable living is not just a trend but a mindset shift towards a greener future. By incorporating eco-friendly practices into your daily routine, you contribute to the collective effort to preserve our planet for future generations.
In conclusion, cleaning and decluttering are transformative processes that extend beyond just the physical appearance of your home. They can have a profound impact on your mental well-being, safety, and overall quality of life. By creating a clean, organised, and sustainable living space, you contribute to a better home environment for yourself and those around you.
Thank you for reading. Even if not necessarily about interior design we hope you found it interesting and it will help to make your home a healthier space. If you need any interior design or home staging advice, please get in touch!
ABOUT MIKA DESIGN STUDIO
Mika Design Studio is an interior design studio on a mission to make a positive and meaningful impact on our clients’ lives; inspire them on the use of creativity and sustainable materials to create authentic interiors that organically evolve with them.
We are based in Royal Leamington Spa (Warwickshire, UK) but also operate online nationwide. We provide Consultation and Home Staging services for properties to sell, Re-design & Styling services for serviced accommodation/buy-to-let properties, and Online Interior Design for single bespoke rooms.
Visit our website to find out more about us.