How Cleaning With A Modern Mop Can Save the Environment

Can your floor-cleaning choices help the environment? Absolutely. Learn how modern mops are doing the best job cleaning and reducing waste.

Why Use Mops: Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning

Remember those big yellow mop tubs that had wheels on the bottom and a latch to wring out the water from the mop? How about that dirty brown water that you at one point or another, probably spilled all over, making a mess rather than cleaning one up? Seems like ancient times, doesn’t it? This is definitely not what we refer to when we talk about the “good ole days.”

Nowadays, Swiffer is not just a household name, but a household word. Instead of the floors being mopped, they are cleaned with disposable cleaning pads attached to a handle. The popularity of this mop, I think, comes from its convenience. You just slap a wipe on the bottom and clean away. Popular brands are on the environmentalist bandwagon and promoting their products as “green” cleaning products when they are quite the opposite.

Inhabitat.com put one popular brand on blast, calling their “green” marketing campaign - greenwashing, “making an unproven claim about a product or company’s green benefit, when the product in fact has a negative environmental impact.”

So we have been innovative in ways that contribute to our convenience, but not so much to our planet. We went from using a lot of water with traditional mops to being extremely wasteful using flat mops with disposable cloths, using 3 or 4 in one cleaning and then tossing them in the trash.

The fuss that many have been creating over cleaning products that are harmful or wasteful to the environment, has been helpful, however. Innovations are beginning to steer in the direction of eco-friendly designs. Take the Cuban mop, for example. This mop is made from biodegradable natural wood and can be paired with any old rag or cloth that you can reuse over and over again.

How to reduce waste from disposable cloths

One way these new modern mops can help to save the environment is by reducing the outrageous amount of waste that is created from disposable cloths. Americans make up roughly 5 percent of the world’s population but generate nearly 40 percent of the world’s total waste. Shame on us. It’s because of the wasteful products that have become common household items.

For every household that uses a product like this, they are mopping approximately once a week. Each cleaning session would require about 3-6 disposable cloths, depending on the size of the home, that get thrown into the trash and eventually into a landfill. That’s 156-312 cloths going into a landfill every year from each household. JUST FROM MOPPING. Don’t even get me started on paper towels.

How to Reduce the use of harmful chemicals in the household

It’s not new information that most household cleaning products are filled with harmful chemicals. TreeHugger.com has informed us that there are about 17,000 petrochemicals used in different home products. A petrochemical is a chemical product created from petroleum. These are harmful to the environment in a lot of ways.

Because petrochemicals are created through the manipulation of fossil fuels, they contribute significantly to pollution and smog in the atmosphere. They can be damaging to marine life through oil spills, contribute to climate change through the greenhouse gases that are released, and damage local ecosystems.

If that’s not bad enough, only 30 percent of petrochemicals have actually been tested on its exposure to our own health and the effect they have on our home environment.

So, how does the use of a modern mop help to cut back on all of this? Quite simply put, it gives us the opportunity to switch cleaning products. Many brand name mops are meant to be paired with a cleaning product of the same brand. Using a mop like the Cuban, we can start using products made from clean ingredients, or even create our own products at home.

In the average American home, there are 63 synthetic chemical products found. That translates to approximately 10 gallons of harsh chemicals. We can significantly decrease this amount by pairing a modern mop with a clean brand, or by making our own DIY home-cleaning products.

How to reduce waste from plastic parts that frequently need to be replaced

We have all been there. Heading back to the store for a replacement sponge head that has to be the exact brand of the mop. But of course, that brand has updated their model so now you will need to buy a completely new mop, and you may as well buy five refills of the sponges so that this one lasts longer than the one before.

A modern mop such as the Cuban-style mop is made from biodegradable natural wood rather than plastic parts. No more buying replacement parts that end up in a landfill anyway. You are helping the environment and you are saving money. It’s a win-win.

It is worth making the switch to an eco-friendly mop. Don’t worry about the waste you will be creating from throwing away your current, unfriendly mop. You will be preventing tons of waste from being piled up in the future.

Resources: Inhabitat, TreeHugger.com, Sciencing.com

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