To be Eco-Friendly, or Effective? That is the question

With so much information gracing our phones and televisions, computers and advertising,  we are constantly inundated with new data, it becomes hard to find a balance. We want to protect our planet, but we also want products that work. Rarely can we find that balance between our passions and beliefs that benefit us, and our families on a daily basis. Especially when it comes to cleaning.

I spoke to two successful working mums with families about their preferences. Each was very passionate about their choices of cleaning products and the reasons why they felt that way. The only topic which they stood in agreement on was that the cleanliness of their home depended upon them. Their partners did not seem as worried as they did about hygiene within the home.

Eco-Friendly Vote

People who are passionate about our planet tend to change their behaviours to make a minimum impact on their environment. The concept that natural is best is a very common mindset, understandable in a society which has so many disasters looming in the wake of climate change. Who feel a responsibility towards making a difference. Candice is one of these women who take seriously the impact she has on the world.

Candice chooses only eco friendly, biodegradable, fragrance free, chemical free cleaning products. She believes that they also have less effect on the health of her youngest child, a daughter who may be afflicted with allergies. Her sister is a naturopath, who has helped her find alternatives to the usual cleaning products, ones that align closer with her beliefs. She uses natural plant extracts with natural antibiotic agents that clean bacteria and germs, but with no harsh chemicals. She empathises with people who make different choices but is so passionate about her own that she refuses to use anything not labeled as environmentally friendly. 

Effective Vote

Suffering the time constraints of a high pressure job, but also passionate about the health of her family, Sarah’s choice of cleaning products runs along a very different line. She prefers to use products with high chemical ratios that clean effectively and quickly. Believing that most disease causing agents should be wiped out in the home before they can sicken or infect her family. While her children are both healthy, she attributes that to the hygienic environment she creates in the house by using products that she researches for effectiveness. She has taught her children to spray and squiggy the glass after their showers, making it a fun game rather than a chore, and they cleaned up after themselves when I visited. They were not subdued, and there was no lack of love or fun in their demeanors, but they did enjoy packing up toys that they’d finished with while I interviewed their Mum.

Sarah had previously worked in laboratories and doesn’t see chemicals as an enemy of the environment, preferring to note that ‘everything is made of chemicals, you can’t really ignore that fact.’ She doesn’t seem to have a fear that they are dangerous or deadly in anyway, nor will affect the health of her family, or the environment negatively. She jokes that killing pathogens (disease causing agents) is more important, and probably better for the environment than not doing so. She doesn’t want her children in a home that has moulds, mites and matter that can cause afflictions. The children seem fine with it too. Happily going about their lives tidying as they go, cleaning up their spills and buoyantly throwing themselves into activities around us, even sharing little surprises and toys with me as I dominate their mothers’ attention for the interview.    

Sarah is sold on cleaning products that work well and work quickly so that she can enjoy more quality time with her family.


Whichever side of the fence you sit, there are pros and cons to each. Like these two influential women, try to be understanding about others choices, but make sure that you prioritise a hygienic home environment for you and your family.