In an era when most of us have roommates for the majority of our twenties, we have likely all been terrorized by a chore chart at one point or another. Some of us find washing dishes, mopping the floor, and scrubbing our bathroom tiles meditative. Others of us find it draining and boring. Either way, these tasks usually get completed with the help of a lot of paper towels and chemical products like Dawn, Windex, or whatever product was on a reachable shelf at the bodega on your block.
However, the chemicals you use to clean your home can have a surprisingly large polluting effect once they make their way into your city’s waterways, and the packaging they come in can create a massive amount of plastic waste, so we’re here to give you a few easy ways to make your cleaning habits more, well, clean.
When buying surface, window, and toilet cleaners, choose brands that prioritize the environment like Mrs. Meyer’s, Method, and Seventh Generation. These companies have all been rated A or B by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that analyzes company’s environmental impact. Mrs. Meyer’s products are all formulated to be totally biodegradable, and their packaging is made from recycled plastic. Method uses renewable energy in their manufacturing plants, and their products are also packaged in post-consumer recycled materials.
If you would rather purchase you cleaning products online, Grove is an online marketplace that curates household cleaning supplies that won’t mess with the outdoor environment or your indoor air quality. They are a Certified B Corporation, which means their efforts to minimize environmental pollution have been recognized officially, they ship in post-consumer recycled packaging, and they purchase carbon offset credits for every shipment they make, which means you don’t have to feel guilty about ordering online.
The other simple way to make sure cleaning your apartment doesn’t pollute the environment is to swap your disposable paper towels for reusable cloth versions. NatureZ makes perforated bamboo towels that can be rinsed and reused one hundred times per sheet. If you want something that lasts even longer, you can buy cotton cloths like these from Skoy, which are totally biodegradable when composted, and can replace up to 15 rolls of paper towels.