Spring Cleaning with a Side of Green

Dreading cleaning out the closets, wiping out the cabinets and sorting through that mound of papers you’ve stuffed into your secret kitchen drawer? No one likes to do it, but as Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.” Keeping our planet in mind while clearing out the clutter is also a good thing.  Here are some tips to help you “clean green”:

  1. Switch to green cleaning products that don’t contain toxins. Earth-friendly cleaners are available, but you can also make your own. 8 Ways to keep housecleaning nontoxic, offers cleaning recipes with short ingredient lists.
    • When getting rid of the harmful chemicals to make room for your eco-friendly formulas, be sure you don’t flush, drain or toss them. Polluting the water can come back to haunt you. Waste Management offers responsible solutions you can use.
    • The EPA’s Safer Choice label program can steer you in the right direction as you navigate the aisles of household cleaners searching for options that keep your family and the environment safe.
  2. Donating unwanted or unused items helps others in need and frees up space in your home. You’ll also score environmental brownie points for tagging them for REUSE.
  3. Cloth always prevails in the cloth vs. paper showdown. Deem yourself high class and use cloth napkins at every meal. And be sure paper towels get the ax, too. Old washcloths, pillowcases and towels can be used instead of paper towels.
  4. Store-bought air fresheners don’t stack up against the air-freshening scents you can produce yourself at home. Boiling cinnamon, cloves or any other of your favorite herbs can give your home a wonderful aroma. And don’t forget how delightful freshly baked goods like cookies, pies and cobblers smell.
  5. Stock up on planters because houseplants can clean the air in your home. Spider plants, English ivy, Aloe Vera and rubber plants are just a few of the efficient air-cleaning houseplants.