I looked around my home, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt at the sight of plastic bottles and containers for various cleaning products. That was a number of years ago. I worked my way through the product, and I have since gone to refilling. Plastic bottles of liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner were next on my list. Like many of us, I had given too little thought to the impact of my cleaning routine on the environment. Globally, 839,961,218,924 pounds of plastic waste are produced annually*. I had addressed reducing toxic chemicals but overlooked the plastic. As I became more aware of the devastating consequences of plastic pollution on marine animals, I realized that it was time for a change. It was time to adopt sustainable cleaning practices to protect our fragile ecosystems and the creatures that inhabit them.
The Plastic Plague on Marine Life
Plastic pollution is a grave problem that plagues our oceans and marine life. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste find their way into the seas, posing a significant threat to marine animals such as sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and seabirds. These innocent beings often mistake plastic debris for food or get entangled in it, leading to suffocation, injuries, and death. Here are just a few facts*:
- Every year, over 1 million seabirds die from plastic consumption
- Around 33% of all fish captured for consumption by humans contain some form of plastic pollution
- Studies have also indicated that around 50% of all sea turtles have consumed plastic at some point. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, which is one of their favorite foods.
- One study found that approximately 25% of all fish in markets in California contained some type of plastic pollution. This is often plastic in the form of microplastics, which are then consumed by humans.
Diluting to Diminish: The Positive Impact of Cleaning Companies
One of the common practices among cleaning companies that deserve applause is diluting cleaning products. By diluting concentrated solutions, they can reduce the overall consumption of plastic packaging, resulting in less waste finding its way into our oceans. And with the diluting happening on site, there are fewer carbon emissions, another win for the planet. It’s a small step, but collectively, it can make a huge difference.
For the Individual Homeowners: Embrace the Concentrates
If you’re not using a cleaning service that dilutes products, fret not, as there are plenty of alternatives to reduce your plastic footprint. One fantastic option is switching to cleaning products that come in concentrate form. These concentrates can be diluted at home with water and stored in reusable containers, minimizing the need for single-use plastic bottles. Several brands offer eco-friendly cleaning concentrates, and by making a conscious choice, we can be part of the solution.
Beyond Dilution: More Green Initiatives by Cleaning Companies
Apart from diluting products, many cleaning companies are taking other positive steps to protect the environment. Some are adopting eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning agents that are less harmful to aquatic life. Additionally, they are increasingly using sustainable materials for their equipment and packaging, further reducing their ecological impact.
The Power of Collective Action
While individual efforts are crucial, the collective action of cleaning companies can bring about significant change. By adopting sustainable practices and raising awareness among customers, they can drive a ripple effect that extends beyond their immediate reach. As consumers, we can play a part by supporting and endorsing companies that prioritize eco-friendly initiatives.
The Path to a Cleaner Future
Our actions today will shape the world for generations to come. As someone who loves and cherishes the beauty of our planet, I feel compelled to advocate for sustainable cleaning practices. By ditching single-use plastic bottles, embracing cleaning product concentrates, and supporting environmentally-conscious cleaning companies, we can pave the way for a cleaner, healthier future.
Remember, small step counts. As Zero-Waste Chef Anne Marie Bonneau stated, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Let’s work hand in hand to safeguard our oceans, protect marine animals, and create a world where sustainable living is the norm. Together, we can make a difference – for our marine friends and for the future of our planet.
For cleaning and personal care products that support zero waste goals, shop these local stores…
- Sustainable Haus in Summit NJ
- Good Bottle Refill Shop in Maplewood NJ
- *Facts on Marine Ocean Plastics
Ask your cleaning company if they will provide diluted products.