If you are anything like me, the phrase ‘Green Cleaning’ was a concept I was not conversant with. Therefore I decided to conduct a literature review to understand if green cleaning existed in our marketplace and more importantly, does green cleaning have any benefits to our environment?
Firstly, Kaziska (2010, p.24) mentions that approximately 3% of cleaning products currently on the United States market is characterized by ‘green’ cleaning products. Obviously this statistic demonstrates that ‘green’ products are still within an embryonic stage of market growth. Secondly Attlesey (2014, p.8) refers to ‘green’ cleaning products as being ones that attempt to be more friendly to the environment and in particular not containing perfumes. This was certainly news to me, as I did not consider perfumes to be hazardous. Yet according to the Scientific American (2012) perfumes typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. Incidentally, this information may be alarming news to woman who tends to wear a lot of perfume.
Additionally, Ashkin (2013, p.24) argues that an approach to ‘green’ cleaning needs to be more holistic than just understanding the risks of certain chemicals. Specifically, the author refers to need to for a change in culture of employees that use chemicals.
One of the biggest challenges that I unearthed in my literature search was whether ‘green’ chemicals are as effective as traditional chemicals. That is, it would be difficult to drive culture change in industry if productivity was minimized due to less efficient products. The ‘jury is out’ on this topic as the information I found was fairly ambiguous.
Only by using ‘green’ chemicals, one can form an opinion.
Ashkin, S.P, 2013, ‘the future of green cleaning is people’, Environmental Design & Construction, Vol. 16, no.10, p24-25
Attlesey, M,2014 ‘To sustainably clean or not to sustainably clean? Is that the question’, DIY Week, Issue 5751, p8-9
Kaziska, A, 2010, ‘Green cleaning power boosted’ Chemistry & Industry, Issue 11, p24-26
Scent of danger 2012, accessed 13th May 2014, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/toxic-perfumes-and-colognes/