Spring is here, which means flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. There’s no better time to clear out clutter and do some spring cleaning around the house. Nature’s prettiest season also offers us a vibrant reminder to do our part to protect the planet.
Therefore, as you launch into your annual spruce up, follow these easy tips for doing sustainable spring cleaning.
Make Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Many products in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store contain toxic chemicals. You can make your own eco-friendly cleaners that will help your home sparkle without any harmful ingredients. Essential natural cleaning ingredients include baking soda, lemon, and vinegar.
Doing a quick Google search for DIY cleaning product recipes will give you lots of ideas, from glass cleaners to all-purpose cleaners and even eco-friendly laundry detergent. An extensive list of natural cleaning recipes can also be found at livingthenourishedlife.com.
Turn Clothes Into Cleaning Cloths
When you’re cleaning out your closet, set aside t-shirts and other items you can cut up and use as cleaning cloths. This eco-friendly option is better than using disposable paper towels, as it also reduces waste being sent to the landfill.
Purging items you no longer wear or use is a popular spring cleaning task. Clearing out clutter sustainably is easy. Instead of tossing out what you no longer want or need, donate clothing, toys, tools, books, and other items to local charities, such as the Salvation Army. Or, hold a neighborhood swap event and trade items with your neighbors.
Recycle Home Office Items
It’s amazing how fast paper piles up in a home office. Instead of pitching things out, be sure to recycle any paper piles. Also, mark out important private information like bank account and credit card numbers or run these kinds of papers through the shredder.
Contact your nearest recycling center or township office to find out how and where to properly recycle non-working office equipment such as laptops, printers, or flat screen monitors. You can also enter your zip code on the Consumer Technology Association’s Greener Gadgets page to see a list of nationwide electronics recycling centers.
Conserve Water Usage
It’s important to be mindful of how much water you’re using while cleaning. There are lots of ways to conserve water as you go. For example, fill a bucket once and use the water for as long as you can. Leaving a hose or faucet running is one of the fastest ways to waste water. So, be sure to turn the water off while you’re scrubbing. Outside, be sure to turn off the garden hose when you’re done with it.
Spring is also a popular time to plant flowers and clean up your landscape. Tips for sustainable landscaping include planting drought-tolerant plants like sage, agave and lavender, collecting rainwater to water plants, using compost (such as fruit and vegetable scraps, twigs and more ) to help retain soil moisture and reduce water usage, and using an eco-friendly, electric mower to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline-powered mowers.