Five Most Impactful Cleaning Strategies from Seventh Generation

As a company full of moms and dads with plenty to do, we know it's easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to doing all we can to safeguard our families' health. But we've discovered that we can each have a tremendous positive effect on Planet Home simply by taking five fast and easy steps that trade just a little effort for some very big impacts:

Use natural-formula cleaners made from ingredients like biodegradable plant-derived surfactants, non-toxic minerals, and other safe ingredients. These cleaners won't leave toxic chemical residues around the house or pollute indoor air. And they conserve resources, too: If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 100-oz. bottle of petroleum-based laundry detergent with detergent made from plant-derived sources, we'd save 370,000 barrels of oil—enough to heat and cool 21,200 homes for a year.

Open your windows! EPA research has found that the air inside the average home is typically two to five times more polluted than the surrounding air outside thanks to tight energy-efficient construction that over time concentrates the toxins entering our homes. Flushing out those hazards with fresh air now and then will do a lot to keep Planet Home healthier.

Place welcome mats around doors to help remove particles and pollutants carried inside on shoes?one of the key ways toxins enter our homes. Clean these mats regularly. And consider asking friends and family to remove their shoes when they visit. Remember: if it isn't tracked into your home, you won't have to clean it!

Wash laundry in cold water and hang it out to dry. Approximately 90% of the energy we consume on wash day is used to heat the water we need. Dryers take another 6%. Saving this energy conserves resources, prevents pollution, and fights climate change, three things that make our world—and Planet Home—healthier places to live.

Use microfiber cleaning cloths. Compared to rags and disposable options, their millions of tiny microscopic fibers do a much better job of trapping and removing household soils and dust, the final resting place for many of the toxins that enter our home. With microfiber, you won't kick that stuff back into the air, and you won't need as much cleaning product either!