Spring is a season of stirring anticipation. As the ground thaws and flowers start to bloom, house-dwellers get eager to throw open the windows and embrace the warming air. With that comes a sense of renewal that’s most evident in the annual tradition of spring cleaning. Cleaning out your home can be a great way to expel clutter accumulated over the winter, but if you want to do it while being environmentally friendly, you’ll need to take stock of your current cleaning habits.
Picture Credit- madamenoire.com
Going green when cleaning doesn’t require a drastic overhaul of your current cleaning approaches. Rather, you only have to make small adjustments, and in some cases this simply means investing in new products. Here’s a list of steps you can take to go green as you spring clean.
Use washable cleaning rags
Paper towels are a convenient cleaning resource, but they’re wasteful. Instead, use cloth cleaning rags that can be washed and reused. It’s a little extra laundry, but that’s preferable to adding to the contents of your local landfill.
Toss out chemical-based cleaners
The chemicals in many cleaners may actually pose a health risk to you and your family, in addition to being harmful to the environment. You don’t need those chemicals to enjoy a clean home. With a few simple ingredients, you can make your own all-natural, 100 percent safe cleaners. For example, a solution of one part vinegar and one part water does a great job of cleaning windows and mirrors. Or, conversely, you can choose from a wide variety of all-natural cleaners at the store.
Open your windows
The fresh breeze through an open window can clean your indoor air and bring a freshness to the space that’s hard to replicate when the windows. That’s not to say you shouldn’t dust or vacuum at all, but an open window can make these other cleaning tasks less frequent—and the feel of fresh air isn’t something you can fabricate.
Invest in green disposables
Biodegradable trash bags and other disposable items can be a great way to minimize your impact on the environment. To some degree, disposables of some sort are hard to cut out of your routine. A more practical alternative for many people is investing in trash bins, cleaning materials and other products made from recycled or biodegradable materials, giving your conscience some relief.
Start your own compost bin
Many families can significantly decrease the amount of trash they send to the curb by setting up their own compost bin. Composting is a great way to reduce trash volume while getting a second use out of your food waste. Once organic materials are allowed to biodegrade in your compost bin, you can use the resulting matter as fertilizer in your garden or landscaping.
Getting rid of old clothes and forgotten junk is a big part of spring cleaning. But instead of sending these items out with the trash, give them a chance at a second life by donating them to a local second-hand store. Plus, donating them means you can use these items as a write-off on your taxes.
When you’re just starting out on your path to a greener lifestyle, don’t overwhelm yourself with drastic changes right from the get-go. Instead, take time to make this transition gradually and only bite off what you can chew. As you get comfortable with these changes, you can push yourself further to become more eco-conscious and to create a smaller carbon footprint.
Lindsey Harper Mac is passionate about the environment and helping people live a more ecologically friendly lifestyle.