Are your cleaning products environmentally sustainable? Gary Perkin
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If we like our planet we are going to have to start to do some things differently to keep it. The current projections based on the changing climates and pollutants in the environment do not make for pleasant reading. Unless we change our ways soon we are pretty doomed. Depending on which report you read we either have 10 years to change our ways or 30. After that, we will be at the point of no return. This means that it is up to the current generation to save the world. 

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Pollutants come from nearly every facet of life today. In our search for an extra dollar, we have sacrificed the green way of doing things and just gone the cheap way. You can buy a shirt for $5 in your local shop but it has been shipped from the other side of the world and is simply not environmentally sustainable. The good news is that many consumers are now becoming more green-conscious and are actively seeking sustainable goods. This has led to many small startups trying to offer these sustainable goods and many large companies making some small efforts as well. This gives us hope.

One area that often uses a lot of chemicals are cleaning companies. We all want to keep our homes clean and sanitized yet sometimes harmful chemicals are used to create different cleaners such as bleach, window cleaner, toilet cleaner, shower cleaner, oven cleaner, and more. The ironic thing is that while we are going to strange lengths to create these chemicals to clean there are many just as useful that are easily available.

As fruit and vegetables decompose they often create the chemicals that we require to create cleaning agents. This suggests that there is a simple recycling opportunity here to change an entire industry. One company is following this path. Veles is a household cleaning solution that is made almost entirely from food waste.

The cleaner is made from 97% food waste and 3% natural fragrances. The contents are water, lactic acid, alcohol, and acetic acid. The company that is creating these cleaners is based in Manhattan and has partnered with many rubbish collector organizations to have a steady supply of these food wastes. The company also uses recycled aluminum for the container as well.

There are three reasons that this is great. The first and obvious reason is that they are not using harmful chemicals in the cleaner. The second reason is that they are using food leftovers that are unwanted meaning a reduction in waste. The third reason is that food waste that is left in landfills turns pretty bad and starts to release a dangerous greenhouse gas called CH4 – basically methane.

The biggest issue with these sustainable products is that they are priced highly. The Veles cleaner costs $16 for a bottle and most people can’t afford to spend that much on the product that cleans their kitchen. We need to drive down the price of sustainably conscious goods and this is where the government must step in. Instead of subsidizing oil companies, the government should subsidize companies that are doing good for the environment. This would allow these companies to provide cheaper solutions to the market and compete on a world stage. It would lead to economic growth for the countries that invest in these sustainable products and it would help the environment.

We all need to look at our routine behavior and examine how we can move to more sustainable practices. If we don’t then we are going to pus the Earth to a point that it can no longer be saved. This is just one example of a wide range of brilliant sustainable options that are now becoming available.