The term ‘greenwashing’ was coined in 1980s to describe outrageous corporate environmental claims. I have realised that I have quite recently been greenwashed which is not good for The Kinder Cleaning Company!
It has always been very important to me that earning a living should not come at a cost to the environment or the people I work with. My customers and staff, rightly, need to be able to trust me and being honest and transparent is crucial.
Below are some photos of ‘environmentally friendly’ cleaning products. All of them are concentrates which is the normal way to buy it if you clean professionally. However 2 of them are NOT environmentally friendly chemicals in my eyes. Can you tell which ones are?
Well I assumed (wrongly) that both these ranges would be suitable to use in my company.
The first range is called Delphis. The bottle with the green label is an anti-bacterial sanitiser which cleans and protects all hard surfaces. The bottle with the red label is a bio washroom cleaner for hard surfaces in bathrooms. The labels are plain and don’t say much other than the name.
The second range is Jangro ‘Enviro’ range. The labels have lovely clean images which feature a beautiful image of a flower. So you would be forgiven for thinking that the ‘Enviro’ range is the best and won’t harm the environment, homes or people. WRONG!!
The ONLY reason that the ‘Enviro’ product is environmentally friendly is because it is sold in bulk concentrate to be diluted to be used into reusable bottles so reducing plastic use. In fact most commercial cleaning products are supplied in concentrate form so by that definition they are all environmentally friendly which is untrue.
So what makes a product environmentally friendly is very subjective and there are no trading standard rules which seem to apply to these claims.
I look for products that do not contain things like chlorine (present on most bleaching products), phosphates, formaldehyde or other harsh chemicals. I want them to not be tested on animals and septic tank safe. They need to be safe for my staff to use and I always look for recycled plastics when I have no choice but to use plastic. It also makes sense to buy products made in the UK in order to reduce my carbon footprint.
Delphis were the first EU Ecolabel (DEFRA) accredited cleaning brand in the UK and their quality gives me the results I need in my cleaning business. I should probably point out at this point that I am not paid by any cleaning product manufacturer.
I will talk more about cleaning chemicals in my next blog but please let me know what you like to use to clean with and whether you have been greenwashed!