Environmentally friendly cleaning products are a slowly growing rage. For those who take an active interest in the cleanliness of their homes, going green is the difference between having a home that smells like an odd sort of toxic lemon, to having a more natural smell.
In either case however, the level of cleanliness is about the same.
The difference between these “green” house cleaning products and their more traditional counterparts, is that the ingredients are more plant-based than the typical Windex or Mr. Clean. Some of these products may have none of the chlorine, glycol ethers, acids or other caustics that obviously kill germs but can also do a number on the way your home smells.
While some households are going green, the organic revolution is more of an underground trend than it is an actual revolution. This is because while Americans are all for a healthier environment on paper, the thought of altering what we are used to in terms of cleaning products doesn’t seem that worth it.
Plus the thought of running around attempting to find green products, doesn’t sit well with most when buying a can of Comet or bottle of 409 is so much simpler. (Although, some retailers have jumped on the bandwagon. Target and Linens ‘n Things both sell some green cleaning products.)
In April of last year, a report by UC Berkeley found that some household cleaners actually do emit unsafe levels of pollutants. However, are the levels enough to really kill us?
You have to factor in the fact that people have been cleaning their homes with traditional cleaners (and by “traditional” this would include products such as Comet, Windex, Lysol) for many years and no one has died or had severe negative effects to their health.
So, is the whole marketing scheme behind green products another scare tactic to make people think that going green with the cleaning will be more beneficial to their health? After all, the marketing for these products is multi-tiered. Not only are consumers told that they are helping the environment, but they also buy into the idea that somehow traditional cleaning products are unsafe.
And the marketing tactic must be working. Windex now produces a version of their traditional formula without ammonia and other cleaning product companies have followed suit.
Obviously, it doesn’t hurt to buy green products, but when people are scared into believing that there is somehow something harmful about what they are already using, there is something wrong with that. It is all so typical of marketing however, that that may be part of the reason why the green cleaning revolution will remain a mostly underground trend.