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Three Earth-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Monday, Apr. 29, 2019

It’s that time of the year again when the weather warms up and everyone is ready to shed their winter sweaters and slide into the ease of our flip-flops. But before we get into our summer-time faves, we must first tidy up our homes. Enter, spring cleaning and all the joy it entails.

Not everyone thinks of the environmental impact of millions of people all cleaning their homes and workplaces around the same time, but it is a hefty one. The average American produces roughly 2,000lbs of trash a year. That’s a scary amount of trash.

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That infographic is super long, right? But really take a moment to read each item on that long long list and try to see where you can cut down on some of your waste.

What do you do if you want to do a massive spring-cleaning but you also don’t want to increase the amount of waste you’re sending to the landfill? Follow these five tips to help reduce your clutter but not by increasing your waste.

Don’t Throw Out Old Textiles

If you have clothing that can be given to second-hand stores or to charity, that’s a great way to start the textile purge. Lightly used clothing and shoes can be donated to all kinds of organizations. But what about that shirt you used to paint the house in? Or the pants you only wear to mow the grass? If the material is absorbent, cut them up into smaller rag sized pieces and use those in lieu of paper towels to clean your house.

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If the material isn’t absorbent, you can find textile recycling centers near your hometown to take them to so they can be broken down appropriately. Check out this great list of places to take your different kinds of textiles (and yes, even your old underwear!)

Buy a Reusable Mop

Those Swiffer mops may be super convenient, but the amount of waste they produce is astounding. Those paper and polyester blended pads don’t break down in landfills and often times turn into microplastics in our oceans. You see the chemicals they use to make our houses smell “spring fresh” and keep the dirt locked into the pad are the same things keeping them from being able to be recycled.

Take some of your new “rags” and attach those to the end of the Swiffer and ditch the dreaded pads altogether if you like the idea of the convenience of the Swiffer style mop. Just make an extra step and wash the rags out when you’re done using them. You’ll be saving the environment and saving yourself money at the same time!

Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

Ditch the plastic store-bought cleaners altogether, you don’t need them! Chances are, you already have everything you need to clean your entire house all in your kitchen. Save some glass containers from your next grocery store visit and mix up some great cheap cleaners that won’t make you, your family or the environment sick.

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Check out this great article by Good Housekeeping on how to make your own homemade household cleaners.

This video does a great job of explaining how polyester doesn’t really break at all.