It’s that time again to say goodbye to winter and to usher in the warmer weather with a good spring cleaning. If you have, however, been wanting to create a more environmentally friendly home, spring cleaning provides the perfect opportunity to get on track with your green-living goals. Here are some green tips for spring you may want to try out this year.
Deep cleaning to remove dust and dirt has traditionally involved toxic chemical cleaners which can be more harmful, in some cases, than the particles they were designed to remove. Instead, you can opt for cleaning solutions that are environmentally friendly, and you can now find them in many mainstream grocery stores and retail outlets. To take it a step further, you may also make your own cleaning products using basic items already in your cabinet or refrigerator such as lemon, baking soda and vinegar. You can find instructions for making your own green-living cleaners online.
Most of us gravitate toward paper towels, but you can eliminate waste and save trees by simply using washable cleaning cloths. They’re available in a variety of fabrics, including cotton and microfiber. Better yet, as you declutter your closets, convert an old t-shirt or sweatshirt into washable cleaning cloths. When you’re washing clothes, use natural detergents and be sure to hang your laundry to dry. The environment will thank you for it, and so will your clothes (drying them this way extends the life of your clothing). If you or your neighbors find clotheslines to be an eyesore, retractable versions are available.
Before you vacuum, sprinkle baking soda as a natural carpet freshener. If a new vacuum is in your plans, consider a HEPA filter vacuum. They remove more dirt and allergens than traditional vacuums while improving overall indoor air quality. Adding plants will not only beautify a room, it also doubles as a natural air filter. The best air-filtering varieties include English ivy and spider plants.
Finally, if you’re considering painting this spring, opt for the eco-safe varieties. You’ll have to check the labels for Volatile Organic Compounds, but many manufacturers offer VOC-free paints to minimize indoor air pollution.
Following these simple green tips for spring can help you create a safer, greener home for you and your family!