Eco-friendly is the big buzzword right now in the cleaning industry and manufacturers of cleaning and maintenance products have caught on to this trend, introducing eco friendly cleaning solutions to their products lines.
The main criticism with eco-friendly cleaning services and producs is that it’s a higher expense for something that has the same outcome as traditional cleaning solutions. Overall, it’s easy to wonder if you’re getting bang for that extra buck.
Now, you will see a lot of terms thrown around such as “green” “eco friendly” and “biodegradable” when looking at cleaning products or services. The truth is that companies will grossly exaggerate their green credentials in order to convince you that their products are non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-carcinogenic.
If this is the case, then how do you tell apart the real from the fabricated?
Well, for a start, the Environmental Protection Agency offers an eco-friendly certification called Design for the Environment – which essentially validates any claims to being eco-friendly.
Another way is to look for “Green Seal” certification which, again, will appear on a product’s packaging and identifies the product as fulfilling eco-friendly standards. That said, such certifications are voluntary, meaning that not all products without these certifications are not eco-friendly.
In our experience, super-slick branding and packaging for products that profess to being eco-friendly often turn out to contain ingredients that are chemical-based as opposed to citrus-based solvents, vinegar, natural abrasives and essential oils.
This is mainly down to its parent company responding to the demand without wanting to invest in new product development. We’d suggest that, when all else fails, look for minimal packaging or cleaners that can be refilled from concentrate to cut down on packaging waste – as they often turn out to be the most effective and genuinely eco friendly cleaning solutions.
Now for cleaning companies a way to certify that their cleaning services are eco-friendly is to ask for their green accreditations and for their environmental cleaning policy.