what is the difference in chemical composition of green product line compared to more traditional cleaning products?.
how are these products produced?
how are they degraded in the environment?
what impact do these products have on the environment compared to the more traditional cleaning products?
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The most immediate difference is the active ingredient. Traditional cleaning products tend to have artificially produced cleaning agents, typically compounds that do not occur in nature. These compounds also tend to be toxic when introduced to nature and don't break down in nature very well. Green cleaning products tend to have naturally occurring compounds, like vinegar or Orange oil, or baking soda; and those that are man-made are biodegradable i.e. they quickly break down into naturally occurring substances that nature can recycle. As a result Green products are less toxic to the environment.
Green products are also produced in more sustainable ways. Instead of using coal or gasoline to power the factory, they convert natural waste products into fuel, e.g. using the methane generated by a landfill to power a factory, or using old palm shells instead of coal. Even when they do need to take from the environment, new sources are planted in the place of what is taken. This generates a sustainable repeating process. They also recycle used products/packaging, and reuse old packaging when possible.
As noted earlier, Green products, even those that do not naturally occur, are biodegradable. Biodegradable things break down quickly in nature and then get recycled back into nature. For example, paper is merely wood pulp, so naturally it breaks down the same way that all wood products do: termites eat it, fungus and other microbes called rot break it down into the Carbon and Nitrogen and Phosphorus compounds the original tree used to grow. The termite excrement, and results of rot become a soil commonly known as compost, which in turn can quickly regrow a forest from which we can get new paper.
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