Washing powders, products for cleaning and disinfecting sanitary devices, dishwashing liquids, window cleaners… Cleaning products are complicated mixtures of chemical compounds (including detergents) with different properties, selected according to their purpose. We buy and use more and more of them without considering their impact on the natural environment and our health.


When detergents enter wastewater, they contribute to the release of toxic substances (including methane and hydrogen sulphide) as a result of anaerobic processes. In consequence, this leads to the disappearance of life in the water reservoir where detergents end up in. Moreover, detergents cause the foaming of water, and foam disrupts the operation of devices in wastewater treatment plants. In addition, phosphates, which are an ingredient of many detergent products, promote blooms of cyanobacteria which lead to the reduction of oxygen concentration in water. This results in the reduction of fish populations and plant overgrowth in water reservoirs. Cyanobacteria produce strong toxins that are dangerous to human health and life.


Let us not forget that all harmful substances which have entered the natural environment reach our bodies with the uptake of water and food. Most often we accumulate them in the liver, muscles or adipose tissue – and our health suffers.


What are alternatives to chemical detergents?


  1. Baking soda. It is a natural and environmentally-friendly, universal “cleaning agent”. When added to washing powders, it improves their effectiveness (even in the fight against greasy stains!). It also works well in cleaning surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs. For this purpose use a thick paste, which can be prepared by mixing soda with water. To deal with unpleasant smell, put a bowl with baking soda in the chosen place, and after a few hours there will be no trace of it. In order to obtain the aroma of citrus freshness, mix soda with water and lemon juice.
  2. Vinegar. Used (as concentrated and diluted solutions) by our grandmothers in household cleaning, vinegar is known for its preservative, healing and cleaning properties. The most popular 6% or 10% distilled vinegar degreases and softens water, and thanks to that it copes perfectly with dirt, scale and greasy stains. Due to its bactericidal activity, vinegar can be used for cleaning kitchen countertops and bathroom surfaces. In addition, it facilitates the removal of sediment from cutlery and fittings. And if we want our dishes to shine, it is enough to add vinegar to water and wipe dishes with a moistened sponge to make them sparkle.
  3. Plant-based soap. Soap without any synthetic additives which is biodegradable and non-toxic can be used not only for maintaining personal hygiene. You can also use it to prepare a natural cleaning or washing agent.
  4. While cleaning, microfibre cloths come in handy too. Thanks to them you can limit the consumption of cleaning agents. Microfibres are synthetic fibres with are much thinner than cotton ones, hence they cope with dirt better and do not need chemical additives.


If you find this topic interesting and want to learn more about environmentally-friendly ways of cleaning the house, please refer to the publication entitled “Eko sztuczki w domu” (Eco tricks at home) published by the Capital City of Warsaw.



Choosing a boiler is an important and not an easy matter. There are various types of boilers available on the market: gas, oil, solid fuel (e.g. coal, wood) boilers. It is also possible to install electric heating. However, before you think about choosing a boiler, check whether you can be connected to municipal or district heating. Consider using energy from renewable sources, such as solar collectors, as well.


Heat pumps have also become more and more popular. However, if you decide to use traditional heating, remember about the following:


  1. Find out about the energy demand of your house, and in this way, about the required heat power of a boiler for heating the house.
  2. When determining the required boiler power, we should take into account several factors: the size and location of our flat, number of rooms and the thickness of walls, heat loss through the roof, floor, windows and doors, as well as the demand for hot water. Have you got any doubts about how to do it? Ask for advice at the municipal office or the Regional Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
  3. Remember about insulating the flat! Appropriate building insulation allows reducing heat loss and decreases heating costs. You will be able to buy a cheaper low power boiler.
  4. Choose a modern boiler of higher thermal efficiency and lower emissions. Thanks to this, you will heat your home effectively, save on fuel and take care of the environment.
  5. Checking the condition of your chimney is absolutely crucial. Remember that all chimneys should be inspected regularly by chimney professionals. Get it cleaned and, if necessary, upgraded. Poor chimney draft can reduce the effectiveness of your boiler and, above all, pose threat to life due to carbon monoxide.



It definitely leads the ranking of the biggest power-consumers at our home. What are we talking about? A fridge, of course. Read the guide and find out what to do to pay lower electricity bills and how to be environmentally-friendly:


  1. Do not put any warm dishes inside. The fridge will use three times more energy to cool them down again. When you take a product out of the fridge, which will get back there again, try to keep it out as short as possible.
  2. Carefully close the fridge door, and place products inside in such a way that will let you access them easily and quickly. Most of the heat entering the fridge from outside comes through the fridge door.
  3. Put food in airtight packaging to reduce the evaporation process. The fridge draws more electricity when it needs to cool humid air. In addition, excessive moisture leads to the formation of frost, and a few millimetre layer of frost can increase electricity consumption by 20%. So do not forget about regular defrosting. When buying a new model, think about the “no frost” solution – it will completely eliminate the problem of moisture and increase energy efficiency.
  4. Location of the fridge in the kitchen is also important. Do not put it next to any heat sources and equipment that heats up (radiator, oven or dishwasher). Lowering temperature in the room where the fridge is located also contributes to electricity saving!
  5. If you are planning a longer trip, be sure to disconnect the fridge and freezer from the power source, keeping in mind to defrost them before.
  6. Temperature in the fridge should not be lower than +6°C and below -19°C in the freezer. Reducing temperature in the fridge, for example to +5°C, can increase energy consumption by up to several percent.
  7. When deciding about buying a new fridge, make sure to take into account energy-efficiency class A++ models. This class of equipment consumes up to 40 percent less energy. Your will get return on investment with lower energy bills. Before making the final decision, compare the parameters of various models available on the market.
  8. Match the storage space of the fridge with the number and needs of your household members – 60 litres per person is enough!