Recently, the environment has seen some major wins: a measurable reduction in air pollution, cleaner beaches, and the rarity of panda bears mating in captivity. In other areas… not so much.
To “help” combat the pandemic, reusable grocery bags are no longer accepted in grocery stores, conventional cleaners with toxic chemicals are saturating homes, and plexiglass barriers that contain harmful methyl methacrylate are going up in restaurants and grocery stores all over the world. Long-term health and sustainability suddenly seems to be a mere afterthought.
However, there are options where sustainability and health can co-exist, and cleaning products are an easy and low-cost place to start.
Spring cleaning may very well be the indoor sport of 2020, with many individuals spending more time inside, more time on home renovations, and more time cleaning. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air in our homes is even more chemically polluted than outdoor air. Many chemicals commonly found in homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities. In most conventional cleaners there are toxic agents such as sulfates, synthetic fragrance, and harmful preservatives.
With the CDC stance shift that COVID-19 is actually spread person to person rather than through surfaces, the urgency to purchase widely advertised toxic cleaners becomes questionable and allows for close reflection on the products we use in our homes.
As research on the negative effects of chemical additives grows, more and more companies are adopting natural and effective ingredients, bringing innovative and conscious brands to the market. A favorite at the fullest, cleancult, uses coconut as their main ingredient, a stone fruit that has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral capabilities. cleancult’s ingredients are disclosed in infographic fashion on their site and packaging, listing natural essential oils in lieu of synthetic fragrance and propanediol (a skin-friendly moisturizer) as a preservative.
As other green cleaners enter the market at a rapid pace to keep up with demand, they tend to fall short of expectations. Creating a business model with an emphasis not only on effectiveness, but environmental conservatism takes passion and commitment. cleancult embraces both by offering starter kits that include glass bottles and by partnering with agencies that plant trees to offset carbon emissions. In addition, they do not use any plastic products and recyclable paper-based refills are sent via mail directly to the consumer. These products focus on the health of not only the individual, but the community and the planet.
A 2017 study by Accenture Strategy found that 62% of consumers want companies to take a stand on issues like sustainability and transparency. With the passing of SB258 in the state of California, ingredient transparency became law and all cleaning products beginning this year must disclose all of their ingredients.
With greater transparency, consumers can be armed with the knowledge to make informed choices about what comes into their home. As COVID-19 appears to be easing in the States, but the possibility of a second wave looms, now is the time to mindfully take stock of what is inside your spray bottles and plastic cleaning products.
We must shift the paradigm one bottle at a time.
Use code THEFULLEST for 25% off your first order of cleancult.
Meagan Ashmore is an Orange County native who finds endless joy and inspiration in the beach cities of the California coast. Find her on Instagram at @orangebohemain_.