(BPT) - You want to change how you clean to be more green, but there is an overwhelming amount of products that claim to be better for the environment. Separating hype from reality can be confusing, but when you look more closely at what's trending, you'll find the best options not only make a difference for the planet, but also help you save time and money, too.
These top trends in green cleaning products are simple ways for you to transform your home and protect Mother Nature:
Trend 1: Glass bottles and containers
Americans use an incredible amount of single-use plastic. You might think it's OK because you recycle at your house, but unfortunately the Environmental Protection Agency reports less than 10% of plastics in the United States get recycled. Some plastics get incinerated, and the majority wind up in a landfill.
Many people are making the switch to sturdy, reusable glass containers that don't contain BPA (an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics). You can make a difference for the planet and your household by using reusable glass hand soap bottles, spray bottles and containers. Silicon sleeves are often added to these items to protect the glass and also provide you with a better grip, so you can clean with ease.
Trend 2: Tablet-based cleaners
When you purchase a traditional cleaning product, most times you're paying for a concentrate mixed with a lot of water. This doesn't make sense from a financial perspective, because you're shelling out a lot for what's mostly H2O, but also from an environmental one — it takes a lot of effort to transport those heavy bottles, which increases pollution in the air and boosts your carbon footprint.
Interest is growing for tablet-based cleaners that allow you to mix your own solutions at home. Take Nature Lake, for example, whose most popular product is a foaming hand soap kit that includes two reusable glass dispenser bottles with non-slip silicone sleeves and four tablets. To create hand soap, you simply fill the bottle with warm water and drop in the tablet. The company also has cleaning tablets formulated for general cleaning as well as cleaning glass, the bathroom, and sandals and clogs.
Trend 3: Reusable cleaning cloths
More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used annually in the United States, according to the Paperless Project, which means more than 3,000 tons of paper towels are wasted every day. Reusable cleaning cloths help reduce this waste and often provide a deeper clean. One eco-friendly option is microfiber cloths that can be used wet or dry. These cloths feature fine fibers that can grab dirt and germs more easily off surfaces throughout the home, and then can be laundered to be used again.
You can also take cues from people in other countries who rarely use paper towels. For example, Swedish dish cloths are typically made of naturally biodegradable cellulose or a combination of wood pulp and renewable cotton. They dry quickly and are superabsorbent, sucking up 10 to 20 times their weight. They can be rinsed, washed and even microwaved to sanitize. Depending how often you use them, these types of cloths can last six months or longer, making them a smart swap for any green home.
Keep your home, family and the planet healthy by adopting these effective green cleaning practices and products. These three trends are a great place to start because they are simple, effective and affordable.