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Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients designed to preserve human health and environmental quality.
Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of chemically reactive and toxic cleaning products which contain various toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory and dermatological problems.
Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed. If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term "green" or "eco-friendly" may apply.
Green cleaning is behavioral as well as simply using healthy and environmentally friendly products. Consumers are being made aware of the ways in which green cleaning is most-effectively used. In fact, more emphasis these days is being placed on microfiber technology which eliminates the need for chemical cleaning supplies, or even green cleaners. Just water alone and a quality microfiber cloth can eliminate over 99% of bacteria from hard surfaces.
Product labeling programs
Among the product-labeling programs is the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment program which labels products that meet EPA's criteria for chemicals. These products are allowed to carry the Design for the Environment (DfE) label. Generally, products which are labelled 'low' or 'zero' VOC are safer for human and animal health in the home as well as the environment.