Hygiene and Cleanliness Essay

Hygiene is very important to us. Failure to uphold some level of hygiene can have serious health hazards to us and the people around us. This is because health and hygiene go hand in hand like butter and bread. It is highly unlikely therefore that you can be healthy with poor hygiene. Being social creatures, it is up to us to maintain high levels of cleanliness. And it is not a matter of choice, but our responsibility – just like paying taxes.

Basic hygienic behavior is more effective if it is inculcated from childhood. Children who are taught the value of hygiene, grow up to be hygienically sound adults than those who are not taught from their formative years. Hygienic routines can be introduced into kids’ lives and reinforced continuously, until they are registered into their minds and become part of their lifestyles. Parents should however preach what they do, because children are more susceptible to follow what their parents do than what they say. So, parents have to be role models and lead by example.

Hygiene can be grouped into two, personal and environmental hygiene.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene refers to practices that keep our bodies and our immediate environment clean. Most of these practices are done on a daily basis, because of the tendency of our bodies to get unclean easily. When it comes to our bodies, they should be bathed at least once a day with clean water and detergent soap. We should also brush our teeth twice a day- in the morning to have fresh breadth during the day and in the evening, because bacteria are usually active at night when we are asleep.

The toothbrush should be recommended by dentists, because most of these cheap brushes have hard bristles and they tend to damage gums. Our nails should be clean and well-trimmed. For those who like to keep them long, ensure that they are well kept and clean also.

Our clothes have to be clean all the time. How we choose to store them is also an issue because keeping them in dump places with poor aeration will make them stink. They can be folded well in suitcases or hanged in closets. Furthermore, we should avoid recycling clothes and just wear them once, before we wash them – especially our undies. Our hairs should also be taken care of. Whether we choose to keep them short or long or whichever style we like to make them, they should always be neat and clean.

They should be washed with shampoo regularly, so that they do not stink or loose luster and flexibility. We are also required to shave our bodies, either by waxing or using a blade. In addition, we have to monitor our body odor by using cologne (for men) and perfume (for women).

The next part of personal hygiene is to keep our environment sparkling clean as our bodies. It would be absurd to be extremely smart body wise, but living in a completely dirty house. Our immediate environment is reflected to us. It does not matter how many showers you take per day, if your house is dirty, then you are also dirty period. Houses should be dusted, vacuum cleaned and mopped on a regular basis.

Windows should be washed so that they are crystal clear. Tables, panels and flat surfaces should be wiped regularly and washed. Walls can be repainted and carpets washed once in a while. Our garages and storage rooms are usually the dirtiest, because we tend to dump things in them. They should also be cleaned, arranged nicely and all the extra garbage thrown away to be on the safe side. The houses should be well aerated with open windows to allow fresh air during the day. Air freshener may also be used to keep the house smelling lovely. The lawns should be watered daily and trimmed well.

Once in a while, the houses can be sprayed with insecticides and pesticides to ward off insects and disease causing vectors. Crevices on walls should also be filled to keep insects away. Unbeknownst to most people, the two places that have the highest prevalence of bacteria, fungi and insects are kitchen and bathroom. They are therefore the places that need thorough cleaning. Kitchen surfaces should be spotlessly clean.

The cabinets should be cleaned regularly to keep cockroaches and spiders out and opened once in a while for aeration. Also, the lower cabinets should not be dump. Clogging and leaking sinks should be fixed and garbage bins should be emptied at least once a day to prevent the house from stinking. In the bathroom, the toilet bowl and the bathtub should be cleaned on a daily basis with a detergent. The surfaces should also be wiped to prevent dust build up.

Advantages of Personal Hygiene

One of the benefits of good hygiene is disease prevention. Our bodies come into contact with a lot of germs, especially on our hands. A good example is money, which is one of the dirtiest things on earth. It is imperative that we wash our hands constantly, because most germs get into our bodies through the mouth.

So, by maintaining high levels of hygiene, we are preventing our bodies from coming into contact with disease causing vectors. This will in turn save us a lot of suffering and medical costs. Furthermore, we feel more confident knowing that we look good and smell lovely. Our self-esteem is boosted and our spirits rejuvenated. Cleanliness actually increases our desirability among our peers, which improves our score in the social rankings.

In addition, cleanliness comes with respect. People treat us the way we treat ourselves. So, if we treat ourselves with respect and dignity, then we will be treated the same. It is no wonder that smart people are naturally admired and respected by everyone. Being clean actually gives us a peace of mind. When we are clean, we are not worried about how we smell or look or how people think of us. We become comfortable in the midst of people, which makes us feel good.

Another shocking fact is that sweat and generally uncleanliness keep us fatigued and restless, which reduces our efficiency. After a shower however, we tend to feel rejuvenated and energetic. There is nothing so refreshing like getting into a bed with clean sheets or spending hours in the bathtub with some music playing in the background.

Environmental Cleanliness

This is cleanliness and reclamation of the environment and is done at the community level. Most people do not indulge in this type of exercise, because they assume the responsibilities of keeping the environment clean to the government, after all they pay taxes, don’t they? While this may be true, it is actually prudent that we do not participate in environmental pollution or degradation, just because we pay the government to clean it. Most people are actually ignorant to the effects of pollution and the risks they pose to the future generations. So, instead of acting selfish, we should put their best interests at heart and live in such a way that the environment is preserved for the coming generations.

We can start by using proper disposable methods. We should ensure that all garbage ends up in litter bins and not on the streets. Furthermore, we can recycle items to reduce over production, which is the main reason why there is too much garbage heaps all over the world. This is especially true for plastics, which have poor degradation rate.

We can also join or form organizations, whose sole purpose is to keep the environment clean. Apart from cleaning and reclaiming polluted lands, we can also organize seminars and environmental workshops to educate and sensitize people on the importance of safeguarding the environment.

Advantages of Environmental Cleanliness

The first advantage of keeping our environment clean is that we preserve it for the future generations. It will be unfair for them to inherit a world that is so polluted that it exposes them to a lot of health risks. Secondly, a clean environment is actually good to look at. Nature was created beautiful, it is human activities that destroy it. By preserving the environment, we are also preserving wildlife and marine animals. Land and sea animals are the most affected by pollution, because garbage is quickly getting into their habitats.

Whoever coined the phrase that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” was spot on. Hygiene is very important and should be part and parcel of our lives. Even animals, who cannot be compared to humans in the least bit understand hygiene and take a dip once in a while in rivers and lakes. So, if animals can do it, why not us?

The issue of hygiene should not be debatable. Every sane person is mandated to be clean with the exception of mad men, who are mentally challenged. Unhygienic lifestyle exposes us and the people around us to a lot of risks and we can easily avoid all these risks, if we all took showers daily.