Green Mops and Brooms

Finding Eco-Friendly Mops and Brooms for a Naturally Clean House

You know those one-use mop options now on the market - the ones that let you clean the floor and throw away the evidence? Sure, they may be extremely convenient, but they could be costing you a lot more in cleaning costs than you might think, and they’re certainly not healthy for the planet. Read on to learn why you should consider getting a green mob and broom. 

So why are conventional brooms and mops bad for the environment? Here are some stats:

  • Deforestation: Most of these disposable mop products are made of paper fibers, which means you’re requiring the cutting of natural forests to support your habit. The important take-away is that we really do need forests for making oxygen, filtering the air, regulating climate, protecting soil, providing habitat for more than 90% of all land-dwelling species, and more.
  • Financial additive: Consider that if you spend $2 every week on things like disposable mops, paper towels, napkins, sponges, and other one-use cleaning supplies, you are literally throwing away more than $100 every year.
  • Toxic chemicals: It’s not an easy thing to make trees into disposable paper cleaning products. In fact, it takes a lot of toxic chemicals like methanol, chlorine dioxide, formaldehyde, and toluene which are used to process wood pulp into paper products.
  • Bleach and dioxins: Hydrochloric acid (bleach) is used to whiten paper products like disposable mops, which means bleach is flushed into our waterways where it can combine with organic compounds in the environment to form dioxins which are carcinogenic and can cause hormone disruption and immune system toxicity, as well as contribute to a whole host of other health problems including birth defects, increased risk of diabetes and endometriosis. Dioxins also harm animals and aquatic life, poison air, and contaminate water supplies that we drink. Whitening alternatives using ozone or hydrogen peroxide exist and are much safer (see this guide to Avoiding Chlorine in the Paper Bleaching Process).

 

Moving towards green mops and brooms

The best choice when it comes to environmentally friendly mops is always to use a non-disposable option that can be washed and reused over and over again. Microfiber mops are popping up all over the place and are excellent options for their ability to pick up fine particles and disinfect in the process (they’re even used in hospitals by approval of the US Environmental Protection Agency). These two brands offer reliable, high-quality microfiber mop options:

Choosing microfiber will also mean you need fewer cleaning products since they disinfect with just water. So they’re an excellent choice all around! However, if you’d like to go with a traditional mop, then you’ll want to look for characteristics like these:

  • Ensure that the handle is made from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic, wood, or metal, all of which should also be recyclable.
  • Be sure that the mop head can be separated from the mop handle so that if one or the other breaks, you can recycle the offending piece but continue using the one that still works.
  • Spend a little more and choose durable materials that will last a long time so that you don’t have to replace your mop every year.





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References

1 Natural Resources & Sustainability - Paper Chase. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2010, from Ecology Global Network: http://www.ecology.com/features/paperchase/

2 Maine's Dioxin Problem: The Paper Mill Connection. (n.d.). Retrieved June 17, 2010, from Natural Resources Council of Maine: http://www.nrcm.org/dioxin_facts.asp

 

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