5 Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips
Days are getting brighter, warmer and longer, which for some people are the first signs that it’s time to get going on their annual spring cleaning. In pursuit of sparkling floors, tidy shelves and cleaned out closets, we may unknowingly use products that do more harm than good. This season, before you dive elbow deep into disinfecting wipes and chemical bleach, try these a eco-friendly tips for freshening up your home.
1. Hang-dry your laundry
Drying your laundry in an electric or gas dryer is hard on both your clothes and the environment. Use natural laundry detergent when washing, and install a clothesline in your backyard for drying. If space is an issue, look for a retractable clothesline which takes up almost no space when not in use, or a small clothes rack that can be put away between washes. If weather and space permits, line-dry your clothes outside to reduce pollution, while also cutting your energy bill, enjoying the fresh air and extending the life of your clothes.
2. Add a little greenery
We’ve said it before, but houseplants can serve as living air filters. That means you can step up your decor and freshen up the air at home at the same time. Spider plants, English ivy, rubber plants, and peace lilies are some of the most efficient air-cleaning houseplants.
3. Ditch the paper towels
Save trees, cash, and landfill waste when you buy specially made, washable cleaning and dusting clothes, available in all types of fabrics – from cotton to microfiber. Go a step further and use what you already have to give an old piece of cloth, like towels, sheets, pillowcases and even old clothes, new life. Simply cut or tear your old, worn-out items into small squares. Pop them in the washing machine with your laundry to clean after each use, and you’re good to go.
4. Swap out your Swiffer
Rather than continually buying expensive single-use mop pads, invest in a reusable mop. Visit your local health food or general stores, and look for mop heads that can be washed in your washing machine. Hang dry (see Tip 1) and use again and again.
5. De-clutter your wardrobe
Donate gently worn items to a local charity organization to pass them on to someone else, and as suggested in Tip 3, turn over your torn and stained clothes to your rag collection, where they’ll replace wasteful paper towels and get a second life. As you’re packing up your winter sweaters for next season, replace stinky mothballs with a better-smelling, DIY version: stuff a lonely unpaired sock with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and whole cloves, tie it at the end, and voila!