Winter is officially over, which means spring cleaning season is here. While cleaning your apartment rids it of dirt, grime, bacteria and clutter, spring cleaning can actually take a toll on the environment.
Go easier on Mother Nature this year by following some eco-friendly tips while you scrub and freshen up the space you call home.
As you prepare your apartment for spring cleaning, think about ways you can create less clutter over the coming year. One way most apartment dwellers can do this is by going paperless. How do you go paperless? Start by updating your account settings with banks, insurance agents, university accounts, and just about any other agency, institution, or organization from which you receive mail frequently. Another idea is to opt out of receiving a physical phone book. Going paperless will lead to less physical clutter in your apartment plus it will save trees. It’s a win-win.
Swap Chemicals with Natural Cleaners
Many cleaning agents contain chemicals that are terrible for the environment, your skin, and your health. Natural cleaning agents can be purchased pre-mixed or made on your own, with ingredients you may already have in your apartment. Just about every cleaning task you use a strong chemical-based agent for can be achieved as effectively with all-natural products.
Beware of Air Fresheners
Spring cleaning inspires many to freshen up the air in their homes with chemical air fresheners. Used in nearly three-quarters of American households, chemical air fresheners have been linked to several health concerns. Instead of splurging out on a manufactured scent that sounds and smells nice to you, search for non-toxic air fresheners or make your own eco-friendly ones. If you’re not up for making your own, you don’t have to. Baking soda neutralizes strong odors and essential oils can make a room smell like vanilla, roses, lavender, mint, or citrus.
Green Up Your Laundry Habits
Most households do significantly more laundry while spring cleaning than they do at any other time during the year. While you’re washing the dust- and lint-covered clothes you find in the closet or dig out of storage, try to wash only full loads and use eco-friendly washing detergent.
An eco-friendly spring cleaning regimen should be driven first and foremost by practices that save water and energy, and protect the environment. However, you should also think about the energy you exert throughout the cleaning process. Unless your apartment is already clean and relatively free of clutter, don’t plan to do all of your spring cleaning in one day. Most people do a better and more thorough job if they break it up into a couple of segments, organized by task or room.
Reuse and Recycle
While going through your cabinets, closets, and cupboards, you’re sure to collect more waste than you do in a typical weekend. Keep an eye out for recyclables, and dispose of them accordingly. Also, keep an eye out for items that can be reused for a different purpose. Mismatched socks and old t-shirts you’ll never wear again, for example, can be used for dusting and as wash rags.
Now that you’ve covered the basics of eco-friendly spring cleaning, what are you waiting for? Make a to-do list, a shopping list, and a spring cleaning schedule. Pick up or make any cleaning products you need. And make your apartment look, smell, and feel fresh and new.
Do you have any eco-friendly spring cleaning tips? Share them in the comments below.
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