If when you hear the word "eco-friendly," you immediately let out a wistful sigh and think, "Oh, only if it was cheaper," you are not alone (hello, everyone!). But I have good news: with a few tweaks and research, your eco-friendly products lineup can be cheaper than toxic brands.
As a host, your property's cleanliness can make or break your business, and the quality of the products you use naturally adds to the quality of your property. Whatever jargon you might use to describe it - green, non-toxic, eco-friendly, clean - those ingredients (and the lack of the other kind) are good for the environment and better for your cleaning team and your guests. In our business, eco-friendly cleaning products are a priority, and after much research, I have realized that they can be cheaper than most toxic brands.
What You Paid And What You Got
How is it possible that these natural brands are cheaper than the others? It is all about simple math. I know, but hear me out: oftentimes, the products that are cheaper in price will offer you either less quantity overall or fewer uses - if you follow their suggestion and recommended dosage, of course - and that is without considering the lesser quality or the potential harms from the toxic ingredients.
How Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Might Be Cheaper
For example, let's compare an item used a lot in a short-term rental business: laundry detergent.
Biokleen Free and Clear laundry detergent costs $31.98 for 300 loads, which is about $0.10 per load.
Tide Simply Liquid laundry detergent costs $12.50, which is much cheaper, right?! Nope. Here is the trick: it only gives you 114 loads, meaning each load costs the same as Biokleen, about $0.10.
Now, considering that the cost per load is virtually the same, let's look at each EWG rating*:
Tide Simply Liquid Laundry Detergent has received an F, which per EWG rating standards means: "HIGHEST CONCERN Potentially significant hazards to health or the environment or poor ingredient disclosure." At the same time, Biokleen Free and Clear laundry detergent has received a B which means "LOW CONCERN Limited potential for hazards to health or the environment. At least some ingredient disclosure."
As a host, your property’s cleanliness can make or break your business, and the quality of the products you use naturally adds to the quality of your property.
A quick note about EWG's ratings: While EWG's reports give great insight into what goes into products, we do have to take it all with a grain of salt. I use their ratings to narrow down products because, let's face it, there are way TOO many options for every item out there. Then, I figure out the actual cost using the math I described above and which ones are way out of bounds. Finally, I quickly research to confirm whether they are environmentally clean and effective.
Now, To The Amazon Hack
Regardless if you are buying for your rental business or home, the bigger containers or bulk are usually cheaper (and better for the environment), so if you have the storage, go with that option.
Then, take advantage of Amazon's Subscribe and Save, which can give you up to 15% OFF if you add 5 items to the same delivery. And here is the hack *drumrolls, please*: make sure to automate 5 or more things in one delivery in increments of 2 or 3 months. Wait, what now?
For example, in our business, we have recurring Subscribe and Save every 3 or 6, or 9 months, which means that all of our Amazon big deliveries are every 3 months. Say we go through one bag of paper towels every 6 months or so, but we go through a lot of all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, hand soap, body soap, and dish sponges. So this is what our delivery schedule looks like:
May: paper towels, all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, hand soap, body soap, and dish sponges
August: all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, hand soap, body soap, and dish sponges
November: paper towels, all-purpose cleaners, laundry soap, hand soap, body soap, and dish sponges
When you add all the recurring items you use in your business or home to this cycle, you will quickly get to the 5 items and unlock the maximum savings. After researching other big stores and brands, I still prefer Amazon's Subscribe and Save for its convenience and prices. Our business has auto delivery for basically every supply we need - from coffee filters to cleaning rags.
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly".
Although my approach is nowhere near zero waste, I still love this quote by Anne Marie Bonneau because it offers some relief to the idea of being sustainably perfect to do something about the environment. And that is simply not true. Every little thing you do toward a cleaner world is a win. I strive to do better in what I can, and sometimes the cost may be higher, but avoiding the possible health impacts makes it worth it. That is not to say we do not use chemicals in our business; we do! We have bleach and pine sol and those awful oven sprays because sometimes those are the only items that work, and we must use them to provide a well-sanitized space to our guests. But, our go-to choices for cleaning supplies are still with non-toxic ingredients.
Check out my Eco Cleaning Line Up for all the non-toxic items in our cleaning caddy - Amazon edition with only the best bang for your buck!
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