In the spring when the temperatures start to warm up, the urge to clean hits many of us, whether this be in the form of physical cleaning, decluttering, re-organising or a combination of all three.
Are you ready for a bit of spring cleaning when the
seasons start to shift? Why not try some of these eco-friendly spring-cleaning
tips to give your space a refresh in an environmentally friendly way as we wait
patiently for summer.
A big piece of eco-friendly spring cleaning for many people starts with decluttering. Getting rid of things we no longer need frees up space and reduces the stress of keeping everything organised and under control. It’s important to be mindful of how we dispose of things we no longer want and make sure that we don’t have a negative impact on the wider environment.
Too often, perfectly good items end up in landfills. Even donating to a local charity shop, while usually well intended, can cause waste. Most thrift shops are overrun with donations and can’t accept all that comes in. Many donated items end up in the rubbish or sent to third-world countries, unfairly turning our excess waste into someone else’s waste problem. Our waste doesn’t “go away”.
As you sift through your wardrobes and cupboards
during your spring cleaning, be thoughtful about how you dispose of your items.
Can you pass things along to other families that can use them instead? Can you
repurpose items or find organisations in your community that can use
Facebook has local ‘Free pages’ where you can list
items that neighbours can pick up from free – one man’s trash is another man’s
Donate unwanted toys and books to nurseries, care
homes, schools or community centres in your local area.
Dedicating a little extra time and effort to make
sure your items are passed along responsibly can go a long way in keeping
things out of a landfill.
to eco-friendly cleaners
Many conventional cleaners are harmful to the
environment and our health. Switching to non-toxic and DIY cleaning products
can be a great way to make your spring cleaning more eco-friendly (and maybe
even save money).
Vinegar and water is a versatile and budget-friendly option for general, all-purpose cleaning. Some people like to add essential oils or other infused elements to add a personal favourite fragrance and make the product smell nicer.
Switch up your cleaning cloths
Ditching your single-use paper towels is an easy
eco-friendly spring-cleaning swap. Not only will you save money by giving up
your paper towels, but you will also reduce the amount of non-recyclable
rubbish you produce on a regular basis.
Combine your spring-cleaning efforts with
decluttering your wardrobes. Upcycle stained or holey children’s clothes, old
towels or bed sheets, or any other textiles that you no longer need but aren’t
in good enough condition to do anything else with.
Upcycle cleaning tools
Before rushing out to buy new cleaning tools, take
a minute to think about what else you can use instead. Do you already have
something else that will work, saving you shopping time and money?
Here are some ideas for items you can replace by
upcycling things you already have into cleaning tools. We’ve included just a
few ideas though the list is endless. Get creative to benefit your bank account
and the planet.
- Dusters: old clothes, rags, old socks, or towels
- Swiffer pad: old t-shirts or rags
- Scrubber: old toothbrushes for precise scrubbing, for places like
crevices and grout
- Mirror cleaner: use newspaper for a streak-free shine!
Reduce your vacuum usage
Instead of vacuuming your rugs and mats, consider
shaking and beating them outside for an eco-friendlier spin on the task. Not
only can you save on energy, but you also benefit from that fresh, spring air.
Use the moment as an opportunity to listen to the birds, look for any
pollinators, or simply enjoy the sunshine.
Open the windows
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to
freshen up the air quality in your home, ditch artificial air fresheners and
open the windows. Opening your windows is not only an important factor in
improving indoor air quality and removing indoor air pollutants, it also helps
brighten your mood and lift your spirits as the sounds of nature come flooding
into your home.
This is obviously dependent on the quality of your
local outdoor air, but even if you live next to a busy road you could still be opening
the windows, just wait until the evening, or a time when there is less traffic
to do so.
Many of us do some sort of cleaning in the spring
which can produce more waste than we would like. But with a little foresight,
we can make changes towards an eco-friendlier spring-cleaning routine. The best
part? Doing so not only benefits the planet, but also our health and budget.