Winter is Ending! Time to Start a Fresh New Season!
With Spring’s official arrival, you may be looking around your house with an eye toward spring cleaning. It’s that time of year again: time to declutter, open the windows to let the fresh air in, and give the house a floor-to-ceiling scrub down. Spring Cleaning is a cathartic, healthy thing to do every year, but it can also involve a lot of chemicals and other elements that aren’t necessarily great for the environment. With the new green of Spring soon to arrive, think green and eco-friendly as you go through your Spring Cleaning ritual. Here are some helpful green cleaning tips that will help this Spring and beyond.
Try a New Cleaning Product
Heading to the store to re-up your cleaning supplies? Instead of purchasing a traditional cleaner, which are often laden with toxic chemicals that aren’t always biodegradable or earth-friendly, consider picking up a cleaner made from an environmentally-conscious brand. While there used to be a time when natural household cleaners could only be found in specific grocery stores or at extra expense, that is no longer the case. Start small by swapping out just one of your favorite traditional cleaners for a new one and see what you think.
Interested in foregoing the store-bought cleaners all together? There are plenty of DIY recipes for chemical-free cleaners out there. Many employ simple white vinegar and baking soda, while others use Borax or liquid castile soap. Essential oils, found online or in many stores, can give your home that freshly-cleaned scent you are looking for without adding anything harmful to your home or environment.
Less Paper, Less Waste
Reduce your paper waste by doing away with costly and wasteful paper towel rolls and investing in fiber cleaning cloths instead. Microfiber and cotton are particularly popular, but there are cloths made out of all sorts of different materials and also come in many different styles. For particularly dirty, unglamorous work, old t-shirts and other clothing too worn for donation can be recycled into rags as well!
Don’t forget that paper waste can come from your disposal mop and other cleaning tools as well! Convenient as they may be, mops and dusters that use disposable paper attachments create a lot of unnecessary paper trash. Consider purchasing a microfiber dust mop and a traditional wet mop (new models are light-weight with helpful features) instead.
Make a Little Room, Do a Lot of Good
As you begin to declutter, be sure to set aside gentle used clothing, coats and even toys to donate to local charities. This is a great time to be honest with yourself about what you really want and need, and then to be thoughtful about how some of the stuff in your home could use a second life with someone else. Make it a family affair by having your kids label the boxes and help sort, then bring them along when you make the donation. This is a wonderful time to teach the lesson that the giving spirit does not have to be confined to the holiday season.
Have a Little Room? Take on Something New This Year
If you have a backyard and you are thinking about new ways to use it this Spring and Summer, consider reducing your food waste by starting a compost pile or reducing your energy use by building a clothes line. The compost pile (or bin) is a wonderful way to reduce your contribution to the landfill while also providing wonderful nutrients for your garden beds and other plants. A clothes line reduces your need for the biggest energy user in your house (your dryer), gives you another excuse to be outside in the awesome weather, and gives your clothing the best possible scent while it dries!
This is a Great Time for an Energy Audit
Are there lightbulbs that need to be changed? Air-filters that need to be swapped out? As you are dusting and mopping, take a look at your energy habits. Take advantage of sales to purchase energy-efficient bulbs for the indoor and outdoor spaces of your home. Don’t forget to clean out your air filters for better efficiency as well as cleaner air. Thinking about other ways to improve your home during the warm months but need some ideas? Consider getting a consultation from Revise Energy or similar entity to come to your home and give you concrete plans for how to make your home more energy efficient. Likely, they will also have financial incentives to help you take on your projects as well!
Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to feel temporary! Following these green cleaning tips can set up habits and changes significant enough to last for the rest of the year and the years to come. Don’t just kick the dust out of your home this season. Spend a little bit of time making small, but meaningful changes that will stick with you and make a difference for your budget, your space and for the rest of the planet.
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