By paraphrasing some popular dictionaries we can find that the environment is generally defined as the external surroundings or external conditions in which people conduct their lives or professions, or the external surroundings inhabited by animals or plants and which have an impact upon their behaviour and development. This is the short and abridged version; there are some extraneous definitions around computer programming and other non-core definitions, but let’s keep the focus simple.
So from these definitions we get the understanding that the term environment can be used to describe your home or office just as easily as it can be used to describe the ecology of the planet. This brings us to the question we’re tackling here.
Which environment should we keep clean? Is there a choice to be made?
Most people understand that it’s important to keep your home and workplace clean. The environment that makes most of us happy and healthy is one that is relatively free of micro-organisms, dirt, and dust. We achieve this state of cleanliness by applying an assortment of chemicals that are toxic to germs onto the various surfaces of our living space. We also collect dirt in mops and vacuums which end up in the sewers or landfills respectively.
However, as alluded to above, there’s a problem with this approach – when we clean our local environment, we pollute the larger environment. The larger environment we’re talking about here is the one we call Earth. The love children amongst us may also refer to this as Mother Earth, or Gaia or some other meta-spiritual term.
Hardcore hippies may also proclaim that one of the solutions to these damaging externalities is that of abstinence. In other words, because cleaning damages the environment, then we shouldn’t do it. Although it may seem noble, there is also an unfortunate flip side to this approach. Namely, that people who refuse to clean their immediate and personally inhabitable environment are also living a dirty, smelly and somewhat antisocial lifestyle.
The good news is that this vision of a dystopian world is one we don’t have to live in. It’s possible to keep yourself and environment clean without polluting the world.
Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Options
Eco-friendly cleaning products
There’s a range of products on the market now that use extracts from plant products such as citrus peel and eucalyptus leaves. These generate a significantly lower amount of damage to our ecosystems than traditional cleaning chemicals such ammonia, bleaches and the various ionising detergents.
Solar power instead of coal power
The solution doesn’t need to be a direct substitute to the problem. Cleaning generally requires electricity, so it’s good to obtain it from the cleanest sources possible. Get some solar cells on your roof – go green!
Consider the broom instead of the vacuum
Do you really need to run the vacuum over hard surfaces? It’s not better than sweeping in terms of getting the surface clean, especially if we are mopping it afterwards. There’s a little more manual effort involved in sweeping over vacuuming but it uses less power and is healthier for you.
There a whole plethora of ideas that people can use to lessen their environmental impact while cleaning their local environment, but we’re sure you get the idea already. The most important thing we want to push home to you, the reader, is to never sacrifice the cleanliness of your living space for the cleanliness of the Earth. Don’t be a smelly hippie. Be a clean, healthy, and environmentally responsible hippy J
For some actionable cleaning capabilities take a look at www.unitedhomeservices.com.au. Or for another take on a similar topic check out Why it is Inherently Unnatural and Antisocial to be Dirty?.