Over the last few years I’ve made some concerted efforts at becoming a more ecologically responsible person. At this point, everyone with even rudimentary common sense or reasoning abilities or interaction with the world recognizes that our planet is endangered. We also know, pretty widely, that most of the technology to fix this constellation of problems already exists and that we are capable of mitigating the damage. Political will and outright foolish stubbornness are among the enormous obstacles we face. But I’m not here to rant about that.
I want to tell you about the active efforts I’ve personally been making to minimize the negative impact I and my household have on the environment. Rather than give you a long list of things all at once, I’m going to focus on just one effort in each post. Please note that I have NOT received anything in return for my reviews of the products I’ll be talking about. I’m sharing my experience with them entirely because I want to, and because I really do think these efforts are worthwhile.
One criticism that has often been levied at eco-friendly efforts is that it’s expensive to be socially and ecologically responsible. I agree, sometimes that’s true. For example, organic groceries can be significantly more expensive than conventional ones. Getting solar panels on your house can be a lot more expensive than the average new car. (We looked into it. We didn’t bother. More on that some other time.) I want to make it clear that in every instance I’ll be sharing with you, I’ve switched to an eco-progressive option not just because it was the environmentally correct thing to do, but also because it was either cheaper or at least not more expensive than going the conventional route. This is important to note. All the changes I’ve made in my household have been financially beneficial as well as environmentally so.
So with that said, the company I want to highlight today is Blueland. I got their starter kit (the Clean Essentials one) during the first year of the pandemic and have never looked back.
This kit comes with foaming hand soap and three plant-based household cleaners: glass/mirror, bathroom, and multi-surface. The idea is that you get a refillable bottle for each and then add tap water and a cleanser pellet to the bottle to create a full bottle of cleaner. The “forever bottles” escape the perpetual cycle of single-use plastic; the one for the hand soap is actually made of glass. The pellets come packed in paper.
So why are these cleaners worthwhile? For one, they actually work. Like, really well. I tested them against all the major brands of the same products I had from the grocery store, and they all worked as well as or better than the store-bought ones. And they last just as long.
The ecologically friendly part of this is that I’m not putting any single-use plastic bottles into landfills when I use Blueland. (And before you advise me to recycle them, obviously I do, but when those cleaning product bottles have residue in them, they end up in landfills anyway.) I encourage you to browse the FAQ and Mission sections on their website to learn more about their products and their company, which was founded by a woman named Sarah who learned about plastic pollution when she became a new mom.
Finally, one further point to consider is that those cleaning products you buy from the grocery store actually contain a lot of water, along with chemicals. Well, I can get water from my sink. Then I drop the plant-based cleaning pellet into that water, and fizz fizz in a few minutes I have a bottle of household cleanser that works really well and costs a lot less than the chemicals I bought at the grocery store. When I run out of cleanser pellets, I just order a refill, and they come packaged in compostable paper, mailed in a recyclable paper envelope. (In fact, all their shipping materials are recyclable.) I don’t even have to order refills that often.
Blueland also makes other products besides the ones I’ve noted here. For example, they make dish soap, toilet cleaners, and laundry detergent, but I haven’t tried those. They also make body wash, which I have tried and which works perfectly well and has extremely mild scents, but it is actually not less expensive than bar soap, so I don’t know that I’ll be continuing with it. (I’ll post more about body washes and soaps another time.) Blueland’s foaming hand soaps, for what it’s worth, have stronger fragrances, many of which I actually find delightful for the most part. (I’m not personally partial to the iris agave, but their seasonal gingerbread was fabulous.) And the hand soap feels good on your skin while also making it feel really clean — a tricky balance to achieve.
So I heartily recommend Blueland’s cleaners! Have you tried them, or another eco-progressive brand? Have you tried any of their other products? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!