9 Eco-friendly spring cleaning ideas
Meaghan Weeden | March 22, 2022 | 5 min read
9 Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Ideas Anyone Can try
In many parts of the world, the snow is melting and the sun is shining, ushering in warmer weather, new beginnings and a chance to shed our heavy winter layers. With this seasonal change comes renewed energy and a desire for a fresh start. For many of us, that means organizing and deep cleaning our living spaces, taking stock of our physical environment and making adjustments that can help us feel less encumbered in our day to day lives.
In other words, it's time for some good old fashioned spring cleaning! But before you drag out your trusty mop and sponges, you may want to take stock of the chemicals you may be spreading around your home.
According to research by the Environmental Working Group that surveyed 2,000 common cleaning products, the toxic chemicals that many contain can cause everything from asthma, allergies and respiratory issues to birth defects and cancer with prolonged exposure. In addition, single-use products like bleach wipes, paper towels, plastic trash bags and disposable gloves have a significant waste footprint.
Fortunately, there are simple changes that you can make today to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and your environmental footprint — and get your house sparkling clean to boot!
sustainable spring cleaning is easy: 9 simple ways to green up your clean up
1. Ditch single-use cleaning tools
Take stock of what you're using and research the best ways to phase out wasteful products. This could mean anything from trading in your paper towels for bar mops, microfiber cloths or old t-shirts to making your own reusable disinfectant wipes with clean rags or hand towels, rubbing alcohol and essential oils, gloving up with reusable, fair trade and certified natural rubber gloves, and more!
2. Switch to clean, green products
Today, there's a wealth of high-quality, effective cleaning products that will get the job done without polluting your home environment. Look for products that are well-rated, and bonus points if the packaging is recycled or biodegradable.
3. Hang your clothes out to dry
You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by air drying your clothes whenever possible. On days when the sun is shining and the spring breeze is a' blowing, clip your clothes up on a line strung across your porch or between two trees to take full advantage of those fresh air dried vibes. Don't have a yard or a porch? You can still air dry your clothes indoors with a few wooden drying racks.
4. Make your own cleaning products
Blend your own cleaning solutions, which you can customize with everything from lemon to vinegar, rubbing alcohol, essential oils and other scented ingredients based on your needs and sensitivities. Invest in a few glass pump and spray bottles to house your concoctions, and you'll reach green queen status in no time!
5. Learn how to Recycle Properly
Spring cleaning isn't just about cleaning, but setting better habits for the months ahead. Improper or "wishful" recycling can cause entire batches of recyclable goods to get dumped into landfills. Read more on how to recycle properly or check with your municipal waste treatment facility and follow their guidelines to ensure that your recyclables will be sorted properly.
6. Reuse old clothing
Make cloth rags out of old clothes that cannot be donated and use them in place of paper towels for deep cleaning projects around the house. If you need more than your closet can provide, check out a local thrift store, as some will make and sell bulk rags from un-salable donations. It's a great way to save money, reduce waste and extend the life of fabrics.
7. Set up a compost system that works for you
When thrown in the garbage, food scraps fill up your trash bags, making it necessary to purchase them more often. It's also a missed opportunity to produce free, nutritional fertilizer for your plants. Get our free compost guide and learn how to reduce food waste at home!
8. Say no to junk mail
As you're sorting through the dreaded pile of mail and papers, make note of the bills that can be switched to paperless, and the junk mail who's lists you can be removed from. Also remember to opt for digital receipts any time this is offered, as receipt paper is often coated with toxic BPA and BPS.
9. Increase your energy efficiency
Small tweaks can drastically improve your home's energy efficiency. This is your cue to get that leaky faucet fixed, check the filters on your appliances, seal up windows and duct work, start washing your laundry in cold water, and more!
So there you have it: 9 simple ways to green up your clean up! Is that sweet spring air leaving you inspired to make an impact that will last for generations to come? Plant a tree today!