Seasonal change comes with renewed energy and the desire for a fresh start. When the snow starts to melt, the first blooms usher in a new season: Spring. For most of us, that means making adjustments to help us feel comfortable in the new season, and that includes organizing and deep cleaning our living spaces.
Spring cleaning may be satisfying for the home and the mind, but not always for the planet. This is because some common cleaning practices often violate the environment, making it unsafe for everyone. However, there are a few tweaks that you can incorporate into your spring cleaning routine to make it more eco-friendly. In this article, we will look at some of these tips and how they can help conserve the environment.
Before you start cleaning, take stock of what you're using and research the best ways to phase out wasteful products that you can't reuse. For instance, paper towels seem convenient, as you just grab, wipe, and toss them away, but they come at a price to the environment. Instead, opt for reusable towels are an excellent eco-friendly alternative. They are strong, absorbent, and washable, meaning you can reuse them.
You can also recycle and reuse clothes that are too old or stained to be donated for cleaning supplies. Moreover, worn-out socks make for great cleaning gloves instead of plastic ones.
Though you need to get the most out of it, spring cleaning should not be the time to bring more chemicals into the house. Instead, it should be about getting rid of harmful toxins and making your home cleaning more environmentally conscious and make an ecologically sound difference in your home.
Not only do these toxins damage the environment, but you are also breathing them as you use them. Furthermore, they damage your skin if you handle them directly. Today, there's a variety of effective, high-quality cleaning products that will help to get the job done. Additionally, this calls for creativity to make non-toxic cleaning products using ingredients you already have at home.
For instance, coffee grounds are a great way to deodorize your fridge, while baking soda, vinegar, and water make a great oven cleaning mix. Want your wood to shine? olive oil and lemon juice are an eco-friendly alternative to the toxic furniture spray most people prefer. These and many other recipes come in handy to reduce the number of chemicals released into the environment during spring cleaning.
Backyard hanging lines may seem out of fashion and are even banned in some neighborhoods as they are regarded as eye-sores. However, whoever introduced them was on to something when they hung every load of laundry outside to dry. Firstly, line drying conserves energy and saves the environment by reducing the number of fossil fuels used. Studies show that this helps to reduce the carbon footprint byup to 90%.
Secondly, hang drying reduces the amount of energy you use when you dry clothes in the dryer. When the sun is shining and the spring breeze is blowing, take advantage of the weather and dry all of your bedding, clothing, and towels outside instead of in the dryer. After all, who wouldn't appreciate that small cut on utility bills and the disinfectant effect of the sun’s ultra-violet rays?
If you feel the shame that something good is going to waste whenever you throw away items, you can get the most out of them by reusing them. Firstly, you can use an old toothbrush to scrub off stubborn stains on the floor, and in corners where you can hardly reach. This will significantly reduce the amount of plastic that you throw away every three months in form of toothbrushes.
As stated earlier, old clothes that can't go to the donation box can all find some use during spring cleaning. Old scarfs and socks can be used for dusting, while towels and old t-shirts can be transformed into rags and kitchen towels for drying the floor or utensils. Moreover, you can also wear the old clothes during spring cleaning and reuse them later to avoid getting your nice clothes wet or dirty. If you are willing to get creative with repurposing items around the house, the possibilities are endless.
Sometimes our indoor air can be more polluted than the outdoors. When the time comes for spring cleaning, it presents the perfect opportunity to air out the home. And if you want to air out in an eco-friendly way, forget the air fresheners. This is because the scent alone is also a form of indoor pollution, not to mention the chemicals they release into the air. Instead, open the windows as you clean, as the fresh air adds to the final impression of cleanliness.
Secondly, you can use essential oil diffusers to bring a breath of fresh air to a room. This is the best option if you'd like to add a nice scent to your indoors. Additionally, indoor plants can purify the air and make it more conducive for you. All these are effective natural solutions that you can embrace instead of toxic air fresheners.
While you are doing spring cleaning, ensure that you are wary of how much water you use. Cleaning up doesn't necessarily mean that you have to use a lot of water. Firstly, you can save water by ensuring you don't leave the taps running while you clean. Additionally, using buckets to mop and wipe surfaces will save you the excess water that flows down the drain when you use running water. Besides, it will reduce the risk of flooding the floor.
You can also reuse greywater for other purposes around the home. For example, greywater from doing laundry or utensils can still be used to mop floors, then water plants indoors and outside.
If you’re into gardening or even keeping a couple of potted plants, you know how vital it is to have high-quality soil to grow your plants. Compost adds nutrients to the soil and is a natural alternative to fertilizers. One of the materials that make good compost is food scraps. These could simply be fruit and vegetable peels, leftovers or even expired foodstuffs.
As you do your spring cleaning go through your pantry and find any food that is too old to eat. Compost the food scraps to avoid adding anything to the landfill. Additionally, if you find any food that is almost expired and you won't need, you can donate it then use the containers to store other foodstuffs. This way you can conserve the environment while helping others.
Spring cleaning is not only a chance for you to deep clean your home but also a chance to make amends with the environment. And when it comes to the environment, it's the small things that matter. The tips that we have discussed above may seem like little things but they would be a major step toward reducing the carbon footprint and generally leading an environmentally conscious life.