Going Green: Making the Switch to Environmentally Friendly Products

by Lawton Brothers | Jan 28, 2021


Going green and being good to the environment isn’t a new philosophy. While early “green” products didn’t offer much in the way of cleaning, natural cleaning products have come a long way and are now just as effective as, and safer than, traditional cleaners. In fact, since its introduction in the cleaning industry, we have seen an increase in information about the ingredients and effects of all of our products. 

The impacts of a cleaning product can come from any stage of its life, including: material extraction, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, use, and disposal. Chemicals, like VOCs and other ingredients, can contribute to animal die-off and other ecological problems. The EPA has a Safer Choice label to help consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform well and contain safe ingredients. 

Many of our traditional cleaning products are full of chemicals that pose risks to the environment as well as human health. While some cleaning products are obviously harmful, many have side effects that are only visible over time. This becomes a problem where cleaning routines are in place and individuals are exposed to chemicals on a frequent basis. Many detergents and products with fragrances contain endocrine disruptors that interfere with the body’s hormone functions and a large number of cleaners cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Natural cleaning products, however, don’t become more harmful with repeated use. Additionally, natural cleaners can be combined without fear, making them an easy choice.

Start Small

The key to making the switch to green products is starting small. Look at the items that are used most often in your office. Hand soap, paper towels, and your daily cleaner can all be swapped relatively easily. Find out which ingredients are the most important for you to avoid and use that list to narrow down your options. 

Once you’re comfortable with the smaller changes, it’s time to look at your cleaning products. Go through your supply closet or business and make a list of all the products you use, identifying any green products you may already be using (check for an ecolabel or if they are EWG certified) along the way. When finding substitutes for your cleaning product, you can check with the EPA, your current vendor, or your local Lawton Brothers location. On the EPA’s website, you can search by product type as well as product use, and find information about various chemicals. 

Don’t forget that green cleaning goes beyond chemicals – even the items that help you clean can be good (or bad). Toilet paper, light bulbs, and cleaning cloths can all be green! And, even better, these changes are the easiest ones to make. Changing to a high-efficiency light bulb, much like many of your other tasks, is something you don’t have to think about on a daily basis. 

As always, Lawton Brothers is here to help you navigate the cleaning world. If you’re wondering whether your current products are green or how much the switch could cost you, give us a call! Our professionals will provide a free green cleaning audit: 800.432.0813

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