If you’re just joining our mini-series for the first time, welcome – and thanks for reading! If you’ve been following along, thanks for dropping in again!
For the last few days, we’ve devoted our blog to discussing how we can all play a part to protect our beautiful oceans, and keep the entire planet healthy. Last time, we made a list of all of the ways that Sweeping Dimensions, as a cleaning company, can reduce our environmental impact when we go out and service our clients’ homes, buildings, and offices.
Just like we take every step possible to present our clients with green, environmentally sound cleaning solutions, there are a lot of things you can do at home to make a change! And that’s what we’re going to focus on here this week.
Protecting the Oceans
Saying all that reminded me of this amazing project, Mission Blue. Have you heard of it?
Mission Blue is a group devoted to inspiring action to explore and protect our precious oceans. In particular, Mission Blue helps to bring awareness to “hope spots” around the globe. These are “special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart.”
There’s a lot you can do to help protect hope spots, and Mission Blue has a great resource guide for getting started here.
In particular, we think it’s worthwhile to know about the idea of hope spots, and bring some of that same way of thinking back to your own home or office.
Think about all of the ways that you can help start conserving and changing your habits at home, to help protect and preserve your nearby waterways for generations to come. What can you do to help protect the whales, the fish, the plants, the water itself?
As Dr. Sylvia Earle, the guiding force behind Mission Blue, so beautifully put it:
“Look in the mirror, consider your talents, and think about how you might use them to make a difference. Some have artistic skills, others are good with numbers or have a way with words. Everyone has power to make a difference as an individual, or by joining the company of others who share a common goal. The key is in knowing that what you do matters, including doing nothing!”
Positive Steps Start at Home
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, our talent is cleaning with an eye for keeping things green – and we’d love to share some of our knowledge with you!
So, that’s what we’ll focus on today – all of the green cleaning changes you can make around the house, to have a lasting, meaningful impact on the planet.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
1.) Opt for Better, More Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
A better world starts at home! And there are all sorts of ways that you can make a difference. One big place to start is to make the swap when it comes to your cleaning solutions. There are all sorts of environmentally friendly ways to stock up your supply closet, and make sure that you get a great clean while also benefiting the earth:
- Buy more concentrated products. Higher strength means you can use less, letting each bottle last longer. This lets you avoid buying and disposing of lots of wasteful plastics. Only buy what works, and you won’t waste money, time, or energy on cleaning “solutions” that only create more and more waste.
- Look for environmentally friendly brands and products. Brands like Dawn tend to use more biodegradable cleaning ingredients, which will cause less chemical runoff into the ocean. Other brands make cleaners that are water-based, or which use essential oils; all of these options are better for the earth, and your family, than harsh chemical cleaners!
- Be considerate about packaging. Is there a product you love that comes in liquid form in a bottle, and spray form in an aerosol can? Have you ever wondered what the purpose of that spray can really was? In some cases, you can buy much more effective cleaners that will last longer if you make the switch from aerosol. Often, buying just one bottle can help you avoid buying 50 wasteful cans.
2.) Only Buy What You Need
Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we believe in cleaning minimalism. That doesn’t mean letting things sit around and get dirty, of course! Instead, it means adopting a philosophy of “waste not, want not.” In other words? Only buy what you need, when you need it.
Why stock up on dozens of cleaners in separate packages, when you could do the same job with one powerful, multi-purpose solution? Why waste your money on “cheaper” products, when they’re just going to cost you more in the long run? A better-quality product is often an investment. These products are often more effective and will last longer, while the “bargain” stuff just makes you keep running to the store to buy bottle after bottle as you burn through your supply.
3.) Go Reusable
There are all sorts of ways that you can make a huge difference for the earth, while saving yourself time and money. Going reusable is a great way to start. There are plenty of wasteful things that we take for granted around our homes, which can easily be swapped out for the better:
- Replace paper towels with reusable microfiber and bamboo cloths
- Replace disposable water bottles with reusable plastic, metal, or glass options
- Say no to plastic grocery bags and use reusable cloth bags instead
Another thing to keep in mind? Instead of throwing everything away, think about ways you can reduce waste by “upcycling.” From turning food waste into compost, to reusing old packaging for storage or arts and crafts, there are tons of options out there for reusing materials that could otherwise just end up polluting the environment.
4.) Dispose of Materials Properly
Besides thinking of the ways that you can reuse certain household products, be considerate of how you dispose of the products that you do need to get rid of.
We have a guide to separating your trash and recycling available on our blog, here. This is hugely important, especially in Chicago! One mistake could compromise an entire batch of recycling, and you don’t want plastics or pollutants to end up in places where they don’t belong!
It’s also very important that you properly dispose of hazardous materials, like motor oil, expired cleaning products, paints and solvents, and more. Look into how to dispose each substance in an environmentally friendly way; if you don’t, these materials could run off into water, which harms our oceans.
5.) Cut Down on Your Energy Use
Finally, remember that what you do every day really adds up. Using lots of energy from fossil fuels around the house or on your daily commute can have a dramatic effect on the oceans. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions can turn ocean water more acidic, leading to the deaths of countless, vital forms of sea life.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to help! Riding a bike, walking, or using public transportation is a great way to avoid guzzling gas with a car. Turn off appliances and lights when they aren’t in use, and consider upgrading to green, high efficiency appliances and fixtures. We’re sure that once you start finding ways to lessen your energy use, more and more unique ideas will start coming to you!
What’s Your Big Idea?
Has something in this article inspired you to make a change around your home? Is there a green, environmentally friendly habit you use, that you think our eco-conscious community on Facebook would love to hear? Let us know! We’re passionate about these issues, dedicated to finding real solutions, and always happy to keep the conversation going.
That’s it for now! Next time, we’ll turn the focus back on ourselves a little bit: What do we do around our office at Sweeping Dimensions to reduce waste and protect the environment?
See you soon!