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Are there ways to be more eco friendly when you clean? It really amazes me at how much waste we dispose of as a country and a world in general. When I drive down streets in our town on garbage pick up day, I’m dismayed at the bags and bags of trash and recycling in front of each home. Much of the trash we leave out will sit in landfills for years before it decomposes. While recycling is better than throwing things away, recycling uses a number of resources as well, and there is always some amount of waste left over. Since spring cleaning is right around the corner for most of us, I thought I would share some of my favorite ways to be more eco friendly.
15 Ways to be More Eco Friendly When You Clean
For me, spring cleaning involves both decluttering and cleaning. I tend to declutter first to remove things from my home that I no longer need. This frees up space for me to clean so that I can do a more thorough job.
- Donate first. When you are decluttering, instead of throwing away things that you no longer want or need, consider donating them to your local thrift store instead. Many charities like battered women’s shelters or homeless shelters welcome donations that are in good condition. This keeps things out of the landfill.
- Go bagless. When selecting a vacuum cleaner, choose one that does not use a bag to collect the waste. With a bagless vacuum, you can simply empty out the dirt and dust from a reusable plastic container. Then wash the container and replace it. There is no added waste caused by the vacuum bag.
- Make your own. You’d be surprised at the number of types of household cleaners you can make yourself including things like oven cleaner and cleaning sprays.
- Buy in bulk. If you cannot make your own cleaners or don’t want to, buy your own cleaners in bulk or by refilling reusable containers. Our food coop allows us to bring in containers to fill with dish soap and floor cleaner. This cuts down on the number of plastic bottles used.
- Eliminate toxic scents. You shouldn’t be breathing in toxic scents from artificial air fresheners for health reasons. Open the windows up and begin scenting your home with essential oils like this homemade Febreze spray. This is a great suggestion when spring cleaning bedrooms.
- Buy reusable products – Instead of toilet brushes and dusters that are single-use, choose products you can wash and reuse. Choose air filters and furnace filters that can be washed and reused. The only exception I make for this is when cleaning something that is truly dirty like the oven or picking up cat messes. In those cases, I will use paper just for the yuck factor.
- Conserve water. Don’t leave the water running when you’re cleaning. Turn it on while using it and then turn it off. If you must leave the water running to get it to the proper temperature, catch it in a bucket to use at another time.
- Clean the indoor air with plants. There are houseplants that help remove toxins in the air. You can see my favorites here.
- Dispose of things properly. If you do have old toxic cleaners, batteries, or leftover paint supplies, make sure you dispose of them properly rather than throwing them in the trash. Most areas have a yearly toxic waste drop off time.
- Disinfect with tea tree oil. Ditch the anti-bacterial products. They aren’t good for you. Instead, disinfect surfaces using tea tree oil. I use it with my homemade wipes recipe.
- Reuse your containers. Don’t throw away or recycle empty plastic and glass bottles and jars. Instead, re-use them to hold your own homemade cleaning products.
- Make your own rags. If you have t-shirts, old blankets, or torn towels, turn them into cleaning rags instead of throwing them away.
- Buy local. If you do need to purchase new products for cleaning, look for local suppliers. Homemade soap works wonderfully when grated into warm water for cleaning.
- Hang it. When you wash your comforters, blankets, and curtains, hang them to dry on the line outside instead of putting them in the dryer.
- Teach your children. What better gift to the world than another generation that tries to be more eco-friendly? Involve the kids in spring cleaning.
Do you have any ways to be more eco-friendly when you clean that I’ve missed? Check out these tips to reduce plastic use.
For more great spring cleaning content, be sure to check out these awesome posts written by my fellow Chosen Chix bloggers:
- Spring Cleaning Checklists – Free Printables by November Sunflower
- 5 Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Fun by The Mommy-Files
- 7 Simple Spring Cleaning Hacks by Family Review Guide
- Declutter Your Makeup Bag in Five Steps by The Afropolitan Mom
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.