I Love Mrs Hinch But You're Ruining The Planet
I'll admit it - I love Mrs Hinch. There's something deeply therapeutic about watching Sophie Hinchliffe scrubbing her anxieties away on Instagram and inspiring many to do the same.
But there's one thing I just can't get on board with and that I think needs to be addressed and reconsidered. Mrs Hinch uses and puts her powerful Instagram presence behind products that are incredibly damaging to the environment. And with the power she holds, she needs to address that - sharpish.
Like many, I have major concerns about the effect the Hinch Army has on the environment with single-use plastics and chemicals, and with good reason.
Currently, single-use plastic, which some of the cleaning products the influencer promotes are packaged in, equates to 40 per cent of the 400 million tonnes of plastic produced in the UK each year.
While the chemicals used in the household staples can have a considerable effect on marine life after they're flushed down the drain and into water treatment centres. Unfortunately not all chemicals can be removed and thus, phosphates found in detergents and bleach can impact sea life.
With a massive 2.5 million-strong follower Hinch Army, Sophie could have partnered with brands like Method or Ecover, companies which produce plant-based products in recycled and refillable packaging. Instead she uses lots of Proctor and Gamble products which are not known as being good for the environment.
My concern only grows every time I see Mrs Hinch using excessive cleaning products on her daily Instagram Stories, knowing that there's another 2.5 million doing exactly the same. I'm not alone in this thought either.
"I love watching Mrs Hinch but I cannot cope with the amount of chemicals and products she uses," offered one on Twitter.
While somebody else echoed: "It's all well and good that Mrs Hinch has gotten people to clean more and enjoy it BUT encouraging excessive shopping for cleaning products with harmful chemicals in, can be SO environmentally damaging."
Single use plastics:
It's no secret that our planet is drowning in plastic. Each year, 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced with 40 per cent of that single-use, and excessive shopping is only adding to that figure. Mrs Hinch has the ability to sell-out products in just hours, but I can't help but think whether those purchases are genuinely necessary.
While a spokesperson for Mrs Hinch ensures us she recycles all of her empties, it's hard to be certain her Hinchers are doing the same.
A recent post shared on Facebook group for the Hinch Army's favourite cleaning product, Zoflora, questioned members on how long a bottle lasts them. While some suggested that they got through a bottle in a week, others revealed used up one daily.
Meanwhile, another Hincher claimed on social media her 'Minky' cleaning pad was going in the bin after a couple of uses as cleaning had "destroyed" it - in reality, a few threads had been pulled in it and it still would have done the job.
Overuse of chemicals:
While single-use plastics is a big issue, it's also the chemicals that make up the products that have a considerable effect on the environment, especially when flushed down the drain.
Increased levels of phosphates, which are often found in detergents, can cause algae and aquatic plants to grow wildly, which take up oxygen in the water and kill off certain marine life.
Bleach-based products can also be toxic for sea life as they react with other minerals in water to create dangerous substances - but the sea aside, the reaction can also aggravate sensitive skin and allergies.
And let's not get started on how the hydrocarbons in spray cleaners and air fresheners pollute our air.
Although there's nothing wrong with wanting your house sparkling, it's the effect those products have once they get rinsed down our drains and head to water treatment centres, where not all the chemicals from the products are removed, and end up in our water sources.
It makes you think twice, doesn't it?
I want to stress again that I love Mrs Hinch and her influence in helping others who struggle with anxiety cannot be knocked.
But some of the Hinch Army really needs to take notice in their use of chemicals and single use plastics, especially with great safe, plant-based alternatives you can now use for the home, such as Wilko's Eco-Cleaning range, British plant-based brand Tincture and Ecover's multipurpose products, which are available at Sainsbury's.
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In general, look out for words like 'biodegradable', 'ECO-certified', and 'plant-based' when stocking up on your next round of cleaning products and start small by swapping one product for a more earth-friendlier option.
You see, it is possible to be a loyal 'Hincher' and also environmentally-conscious.
When PRETTY 52 approached her reps for comment in regards to the article, they reaffirmed Mrs Hinch's promise to recycle her finished products, while encouraging her followers to do the same.
Her spokeswoman also added that Sophie hopes there will be more "environmentally friendly options available from the brands" that she uses soon.
"Sophie recycles at home and encourages her followers to do the same, knowing that if we all make small changes, people can work together to improve the situation," her spokeswoman told us.
"Sophie is aware of the difference between single use and recyclable plastic and uses refills where she can. She hopes that there will be more environmentally friendly options available from the brands that she likes to use very soon.
"Sophie donates products to Kicks Count who have partnered with TerraCycle, RB and Febreze to create a free recycling programme for dishwashing, cleaning, air freshener, home care waste and fragrance flexible packaging."
But, if you're looking to swap your chemical-laden products for more environmentally-friendly replacements now, we've taken the time to find the perfect alternatives to Mrs Hinch's favourites that won't cost you.
1. LoofCo Cleaning Pad, £2.95
Forget about everyone's favourite Minky Cloth and try the LoofCo Cleaning Pad, a sustainable cloth ideal for cleaning work surfaces, chopping boards, baths and sinks. It's biodegradable and a great substitute to plastic brushes and spongers.
2. Method's Multi Surface Spray, £3
Mrs Hinch is a fan of Stardrops 4-in-1 Disinfectant Spray but for a chemical-free, plant-based alternative buy Method's Multi Surface Spray Pink Grapefruit. The spray, which is available in most major supermarkets, can be used any room of the house without worrying about fumes around children or pets.
3. Tincture Iona Washing Up Liquid, £4.99
Tincture Iona Washing Up Liquid is a great replacement for the cleaning influencer's sinkside stalwart, Fairy Liquid. The British brand uses essential oils with active silver to wash the dirt away safely. The product comes in a recycled and recyclable bottle. Adding to it's environmentally-friendly rating, customers can top up their bottle with glass refills for only £3.99.
4. Green Scents Creamy Polish, £2
If you're like Mrs Hinch and like you're home smelling fresh, Green Scents Creamy Polish is the eco-friendly wood polish for your home. The product comes in either a lavender or citrus fragrance and is a plant-based replacement to Mr Sheen's Multi-Surface Polish. The Soil Association-certified polish mixes both jojoba and organic olive oils.
5. Ecover Ecological Dishwasher Tablets, £6 for 25
And should you be blessed with a dishwasher, swap your usual tablets for Ecover's ecological dishwasher tablets. Made from plant-based ingredients, the dishwasher tablets are tough enough to cut through your greasy baking trays but still kind on the environment.
You see, it is possible to be a loyal Hincher and also environmentally-conscious.
Featured Image Credit: itv