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Monday, March 16, 2009

Greening Your Spring Cleaning

Spring is just around the corner.  It's time to start pulling out the tee shirts and putting away the sweaters, which means - it's time for spring cleaning!  Before contributing to the mass of junk destined for landfill eternity or increasing the chemicals and toxins in your home, plan to go green with your spring cleaning and improve the health of your family as well as the planet's.
From scrubbing to decluttering, the methods you use to clean can have a big impact on the earth.  These green cleaning tips will benefit you, your family, and the planet - and will probably save some time, as well as money!
  • Recycled rags - Trade in paper towels and disposable cleaning wipes for old tees, retired sheets, and other items that would otherwise head for the curb as garbage.  Not only will you reduce your waste, you'll save a few trees as well.
  • Natural cleaners - Instead of taking a chance on the latest green cleaning solution, take advantage of the things you already have at home.  Oranges and lemons have a variety of cleaning uses and smell great; vinegar is even more useful; and baking soda delivers its share of cleaning power as well - all with no toxins, chemicals, or harmful fumes.
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle - Before throwing out your clutter, take the time to separate anything that could have a better ending.  Spring cleaning is the perfect time to start a household recycling program if you haven't already.  It's also a great opportunity to look at ways you can reduce waste in the future.  Donate anything still in usable condition to save it from the landfill.
  • Deep clean and save energy - Filters, drains, pipes, and electrical components accumulate dust and dirt that can hinder their performance.  Pull out the fridge and clean off the coils, check dryer and heating vents, and pay special attention to appliances and electronics that could use a bit of extra cleaning to optimize their performance.
  • Breathe - Finish your green spring cleaning ritual by adopting a few new houseplants.  Peace lilies and rubber plants are easy to care for and help to naturally clean the air within your home. 
Tell us about your favorite natural cleaners and share your best green spring cleaning tips in the comments!  
Recycled art 'Miss No Housework' image by urbanwoodswalker via Flickr.

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