Now that winter is behind us and the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to begin the Spring Cleaning journey! Whether you are looking to have a deep clean or just wondering what you can do during social distancing, seize the opportunity to refresh your home. Staying clean and organized is not only good for our health but also helps us feel better about ourselves. Researchers have shown that cleaning can be therapeutic and it helps us reduce emotional weights. If you think of it, doing housework can also be a good form of exercise, so get ready and start moving. There are many eco-friendly ways to clean and you absolutely don’t need to overload your house with chemicals to do that. Here are 5 easy tips to have a greener spring clean this year:
- Freshen Up The Air
Home ventilation is very important to maintain proper indoor air quality. Without proper ventilation, indoor air becomes stagnant and the concentration of pollutants resulting from our indoor activities becomes higher. If you are still using air fresheners that contain harmful chemicals, consider tossing them this spring. To keep the air flowing, simply open the window and let the fresh air in. You can also use natural freshener such as essential oils.
If you love fresh fragrance, invest in a houseplant. NASA discovered that houseplants can absorb toxins from air and they recommended putting 2-3 plants in 8-10 inch pots for every 100 square feet. Some of the recommended plants are spider plants, dracaenas, golden pothos, areca palms and chrysanthemums. Not to mention houseplants are also good elements for decoration, get yours from amazon.ca and give your house a fresh look!
- Tidying Up – Reduce, Reuse/Recycle, Donate
Tackling down all the clutter in the house sounds terrifying, but it will definitely be worth it. Start going through your winter gear and any pile up you have around the corner, get rid of everything that you don’t need, use or want anymore. Don’t be afraid to get rid of something you don’t need because it will be wasted regardless. Just remind yourself to make better shopping decisions next time. Once you gather all your unwanted stuff, try to go through it again and see if there is anything you can reuse, recycle or donate to local thrift shops.
- Use Natural Earth-friendly Cleaners
As you may know, many commercial cleaning detergents have nasty chemicals that will end up polluting rivers and streams. Long term exposure to those nasty chemicals can cause eye irritation, headaches, respiratory problems, infertility and cancer. That’s why we must switch to eco-friendly cleaners that are made with natural ingredients.
There are few natural ingredients that you should keep in mind: vinegar, baking soda, salt and water. Yes! It’s that simple. Vinegar is a true hero when it comes to cleaning. You will find that it can replace most of the cleaning detergents. Many big cleaning projects such as floors, surfaces and windows can be easily cleaned by a solution of vinegar and water.
For stubborn mold, use baking soda and mix with a bit of water and apply it to affected areas as a gentle abrasive. Try to make your own cleaning solution using natural organic ingredients and use them as much as you can. In fact, you will be surprised at how much money you have saved by doing so.
- Clean with reusable cloth pieces and tools.
No matter how natural the cleaning solution is, using it with a paper tower will only end up as trash that adds burden to the environment. Instead, use reusable cloth pieces or rags that can be made from your unwanted clothes. For removing crud from cracks and crevices, use old toothbrushes. If you have a wet sweeper with disposable pads, consider changing it to a mop with a washable pad or simply use a broom. Some sponges are infused with Triclosan, a banned antibacterial agent from hand soap or detergents. Greener options for this include natural sponges made of wood-pulp cellulose or biodegradable cloths.
- Say No To Paper
Take the time to go through all the junk mails, direct marketing, credit card bills and catalogs that you signed up before. Go online and search if you can opt out of all the unwanted junk mails. Set up your bank accounts for online billings. Also keep in mind to use less paper when you are working from home. In this way, you will have less paper to keep while reducing waste. More importantly, those practices will save a lot of trees from being cut off.
Written by Maria Chen