During these strange and uncertain times, staying eco-friendly might be the last thing on your mind. Our first priority is to stay healthy and safe, and part of doing so is making sure your home environment is kept clean and disinfected. That being said, there isn’t any reason why we can’t remain environmentally conscious while staying clean. Here are a few tips on how to clean your house and protect against illness, keeping the environment in mind.

 

  • The first and most important step is to keep washing your hands. Along with your hands, the CDC recommends washing commonly-touched surfaces with soap and water. These surfaces include “tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.” The most environmentally-friendly soaps are usually in bar form, and they often use minimal plastic packaging. The friction from scrubbing in general is enough to break the coronavirus’s protective envelope, which prevents it from spreading, according to Consumer Reports.
  • You also should disinfect surfaces. Natural products such as white vinegar are said to work as disinfectants, however there is no evidence that they protect against the coronavirus, and as such we recommend staying away from them when disinfecting. Hydrogen Peroxide is much more effective in deactivating the virus. Stay away from chlorine bleach if possible, as it requires a lot of energy to produce.
  • Remember that “anti-bacterial” soaps and sanitizers are not necessarily any better in fighting viruses, as they are directed at killing bacteria and not viruses.
  • Do not flush wipes, as they are made from synthetic materials and do not easily disintegrate.
  • When cleaning and disinfecting, the CDC also recommends using disposable gloves. If you want to use disposable gloves, try using compostable ones.
  • Laundry maintenance is also important in keeping a clean and healthy environment. The CDC does recommend using warm water, however it is safe to wash multiple people’s laundry in one load – that includes the laundry of a person who is ill.

 

The most important thing right now is to follow CDC guidelines. Knowing that, these are a few small ways to remain conscious of the environment while doing so. That being said, it might be best to direct our environmental activism elsewhere during this social distancing period. The Cleaner Contra Costa Challenge has many actions available to take right from your home that can protect the environment and the health and safety of your community. Remember to protect yourselves during this trying time; stay clean, stay healthy, and stay safe first and foremost.

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