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Posted by: Maid in Your Hometown on: December 29, 2019

The Switch to Green Cleaning and Environmentally Safe Product

Cleaning the house is not something that many people like to do. The yellow gloves come out, along with several cleaning products, and the scrubbing starts. These cleaning products could consist of bleach, and a scented floor and bathroom cleaner. All are effective cleaning products, but they are also extremely dangerous. Many of these products have warning labels that describe them as toxic, flammable, and may even cause sickness or death. Not to mention, these chemicals are also hazardous to the environment. As society becomes more aware of these dangers, there is a growing movement to shift towards environmentally safe or “green” cleaning products. Using green cleaning products is healthier for people, safer for the environment, and are more cost-efficient.

Health Dangers of household cleaning products

To prove that green cleaning products are better for people’s health, the dangers of conventional cleaning products must be shown.  Many of these products are known to contain chemicals that harm the human body. Ann Evans (2005) states that these chemicals are associated with cancer, harm to kidneys and other organs, and cause issues with the nervous system (para. 8). Also, product labels do not say anything about the “dangers associated with prolonged or long-term usage” (Evans, 2005, para. 6). This is quite shocking as Evans suggests that consumers are unaware that there could be serious long-term effects with continued use of these products. Evans (2005) says cleaning products like glass, bathroom, and all-purpose cleaners are all known to contain chemicals that are hazardous to the human body (para. 17, 20, 23). There are serious health risks associated with these cleaning products that the public is not being made aware of.

Environmentally  Friendly  Cleaning  Products

When  reflecting  upon  the  reason  for  the  shift  towards  environmentally  friendly  cleaning  products, there  are  several  things  to  consider. Are  more  people  concerned  about  the  environment? Or are  people  who  have  previously  been  concerned  about  the  environment  becoming  more  proactive? Or  is  it  a  combination  of  both? Could  this  shift  be  bolstered  by  the  wider  variety  of  eco-friendly  cleaning  products  now  available? Or  is  it  something  else  entirely?

Are  more  people  becoming  concerned  about  the  environment? A  Pew  Research  study  performed  in  2016  showed  that  almost  three  quarters  of  Americans  believe  that  the  US  should  “do  whatever  it  takes  to  protect  the  environment” (Anderson, 2017). According  to  a  Gallop  Poll (2016), concern  about  global  warming  has  continued  to  increase. Revkin (2019) speculates  that  the  increase  in  natural  disasters  may  have  sparked  an  interest  in  environmental  protection  in  people  who  otherwise  wouldn’t  pay  attention. It  is  obvious  that  more  and  more  Americans  are  becoming  concerned  with  environmental  issues. This  could  partially  be  the  reason  for  the  shift  towards  environmentally  friendly  cleaning  products.

Perhaps  there  is  another  reason  for  the  shift  towards  environmentally  friendly  cleaning  products. Perhaps  people  who  have  always  been  concerned  about  the  environment  are  just  becoming  more  pro-active. As  Revkin (2019) points  out, there  is  a  huge  gap  between  awareness  and  action. Perhaps  that  gap  is  narrowing. Reasons  for  this  should  be  considered.

Education  may  play  a  role  in   the  increased  interest  in  environmental  protection.

Going Green: Why Consumers are Choosing Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

What motivates people to “clean green?” On the surface, the answer might seem obvious: people want to do their part to help the planet. However, there are several compelling factors that have enticed more consumers to use eco-friendly cleaning products. Shockingly, a positive attitude towards green cleaning products is only a small part of the equation. For consumers to use green products, a positive attitude towards the products must be combined with a fair perceived cost (Moser, 2015). Perceived cost does not just refer to the actual price of the item; it also includes personal costs like extra time and energy to find and use these products compared to non-green ones. This balance of positive perception versus perceived cost is complicated by consumer belief in the product claim (Tucker, Rifon, Lee, & Reese, 2013, p. 9). Product claim is what a product is advertised to do. In the case of green cleaning products, they are advertised to be less harmful to the environment than other cleaning products, while still getting the job done. Belief in product claim is an important factor for consumers when considering if a product is worthwhile (Tucker et al., 2013, p. 9). Therefore, I argue that consumers transition to eco-friendly cleaning because they see it as worth the cost, due to greater accessibility, overall satisfaction with the product performance, and belief in product claims.

It is likely that consumers are transitioning towards eco-friendly products as the overall costs decrease. Although people commonly believe green products are more expensive, this isn’t the case: researchers have found no significant difference in price between green cleaning products and other cleaning products (Espinosa, Everson & Geiger, 2011, p 12). Further, as green products become more readily available, the time and energy costs of obtaining these products also decrease. When these decreases in cost are combined with the benefit of helping the environment, these products become much more appealing to consumers.

The Superiority of Green Cleaning Products over Regular Cleaning Products

Due to the increased awareness and demand from an ecologically-minded population, there has been an explosion of green cleaning products into the market. The traditional cleaning products have been linked to some illnesses such as respiratory complications as well as environmental degradation (Barbarossa & Pastore, 2015). As such, green cleaning products are seen as a relatively safe alternative. Although the application of these products has been criticized as a marketing gimmick, there is conclusive evidence to show that the benefits to the environment and the health of individuals far outweigh those of chemical cleaners.

The composition of the products ensures that they are healthier for human beings and the environment. Further, these products are safer for the workers in the industries where they are manufactured. Traditional cleaning agents pose safety risks to those who handle them, especially from chemical burns to the eyes or the skin. Barbarossa & Pastore (2015) argue that manufacturers lose an average of $25 million every year from lost time and workers compensation as a result of these injuries. Green cleaning products address the health and safety concerns of the workers. To be certified green, the products must have the requisite safety and health labels with training being available to ensure that the workers use the products safely.

However, critics argue that bio-based products are likely to cause more harm to the environment than conventional products. Research shows that these products damage the ozone layer thereby leading to climate change. There also lacks sufficient evidence on the health effects of the chemicals that are used in the manufacture of green products. Bearth et al. (2017) posit that this lack of data and reliable studies on their health and environmental benefits shows that the use of the products is based on politics and sentiments.

Overall, the benefits that accrue from using the eco-friendly products outweigh any doubt that may exist about their effectiveness. Since virtually every product that human beings buy potentially harms the environment either during the production, use or disposal, it is essential to consider those that minimize the adverse effects. The usage of eco-friendly cleaning products is a step in the right direction towards environmental conservation and safeguarding of people’s health.

References

Barbarossa, C., & Pastore, A. (2015). Why environmentally conscious consumers do not

Purchase green products: a cognitive mapping approach. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 18(2), 188-209.

Bearth, A., Miesler, L., & Siegrist, M. (2017). Consumers’ risk perception of household cleaning and washing products. Risk analysis, 37(4), 647-660.

Espinoza, T., Everson, I., & Geiger, C., 2011. The Real Costs of Institutional “Green” Cleaning.

(Master’s thesis). Retrieved from Research Gate.

Moser, A. K., 2015. Executive summary of “Thinking green, buying green? Drivers of pro-

environmental purchasing behaviour.” Journal of Consumer Marketing, 32, p. 167-175.  

            doi: 10.1108/JCM-05-2015-030

Tucker, E. M., Rifon, N. J., Lee, E. M., & Reece, B. B., 2012. Consumer receptivity to green

ads: A test of green claim types and the role of individual consumer characteristics for green ad response. Journal of Advertising, 41, p. 9-23.

doi: 10.2753/JOA0091-3367410401

Anderson, M. (2017, April 20). For  Earth  Day, here’s  how  Americans  view  environmental  issues. Retrieved  from  https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/20/for-earth-day-heres-how-americans-view-environmental-issues/

Revkin, A. (2019, January 24). Most Americans now worry about climate change—and want to fix it,  Retrieved  from  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/01/climate-change-awareness-polls-show-rising-concern-for-global-warming/

Saad, L., Jones, J.M. (2016, March 16). US  concern  about  global  warming  at  Eight-year  high. Retrieved  from  https://news.gallup.com/poll/190010/concern-global-warming-eight-year-high.aspx

 

 

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