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Mother and toddler daughter high-fiving each other while cleaning

Sustainable Spring Cleaning!

I know, I know, it's not quite spring yet, but I'm already thinking about how I'm going to clean my space. I don't even want to think about how much more stuff I've accumulated over the past year. From ordering everything online to deciding that a new hobby will make me feel better and ordering everything for that. The first official day of Spring is March 20th, but who says we can't get ready now? A deep spring cleaning is a great way to assess how much stuff you actually have, how much you don't need, and reassure yourself that you've recently dusted the tops of your bookshelves. 

One thing I don't always like about cleaning is how non-eco-friendly it can be. Most cleaning products are in plastic bottles, contain harsh chemicals, and are wiped up by paper towels, which is just wasteful. Here are some tips for us about how to approach spring cleaning this year and clear the dirt and clutter that accumulated over the past (awful) year, while keeping the planet in mind. 

  1. The biggest one for me has been switching out paper towels for rags. I mostly just use old bath towels and rip or cut them up into smaller pieces. That way you can wash them when you're done and use them over and over instead of wasting multiple rolls of paper towels.  You can also use old dish towels that have gotten too stained, even old t-shirts can work! 
  2. Try to find a company locally that offers to refill your cleaning products. I found a company that delivers sustainable products to my door, so I have a glass bottle with a pump for my laundry detergent and I can get refills delivered. I do the same for dish soap as well. Some grocery stores will offer a similar service where you can bring in your own containers and refill them. 
  3. Use what you already have in your house! 
    1. White vinegar is good at disinfecting and loosening dirt.   
    2. Lemon juice disinfects and can cut through grease. 
    3. Olive oil picks up dirt and polishes wood. 
    4. Sprinkle baking soda on your rug and vacuum it up for a simple carpet sprinkle. 
  4. Skip the Febreeze and other air fresheners in your home. Aerosol cans are really bad for the environment and can be unnecessarily pricey. If the weather is goon in your area, keep the windows open for a little while during the day to keep the air in your house from getting stale. Another tip is to get a plant! It's a quick way to make the space cozier and more aesthetically pleasing while purifying your air at the same time! 
  5. I've also been able to find green alternatives. There are so many greener products available. I'll give some examples. Next time you need to replace your sponge or dish brush you can opt for a wooden brush instead of plastic or a sponge that can go in the washer and be reused. Instead of buying more dryer sheets when you run out, get a few dryer balls. You can use a few drops of essentials oils, like lavender, on your wool dryer balls to make your clean laundry smell even better! 

Whether you're dreading your spring cleaning or itching to get started, there are plenty of ways to keep the planet in mind. Something that's really helped me when trying to be more sustainable is not being too hard on myself. I wasn't able to make all these changes at once, they were things that I slowly changed and adapted to overtime. So, if you only apply one sustainability tip to your cleaning routine, pat yourself on the back! Happy cleaning!