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 

tools for sustainable cleaning

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! 

woman cleaning glass cooktop

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. 

woman and girl hanging clothes on clothesline

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. 

ingredients for homemade cleaning products

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!

woman recycling plastic bottle

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.

woman scrubbing floor

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. 

vegetable scraps in compost bin

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!

pile of junk mail

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.

man repairing home appliance

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!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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