How To: Spring Clean Sustainably
May is giving us a sneak peak of prolonged, cloudless sunny days which means it's time to put the heavy Winter gear away and get our spaces ready for Summer; cue Spring cleaning.
(Image sourced from Pinterest)
This year, we challenge you to do it differently, better...sustainably. I know for some sustainable equates "not really clean" since the heavy chemicals are what breaks down dirt and provide a deep clean right? Actually, not necessarily. There are several ways of deep cleaning your space and maintaining it bacteria free (for the most part) while also protecting our environment.
Bamboo Paper Towels
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, growing up to 3 feet per day while absorbing massive amounts of carbon during its growth! Bamboo reaches harvest maturity in just three years, and unlike trees, bamboo does not need to be replanted after it is harvested as the bamboo will continue to grow.
Large, traditional toilet paper companies source their softest toilet paper from old-growth forests. These forests are essential for preserving ancient eco-systems and storing enormous amounts of carbon. Switching to bamboo keeps these forests in-tact! We recommend Cloud Paper. They have different memberships and delivery options for every household size.
(Image sourced from Cloudpaper.com)
Homemade Lemon & Vinegar Cleaner
Skip the expensive store-bought surface cleaners and make an all-purpose homemade cleaning solution using vinegar. Just mix one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a squeeze of lemon juice. This homemade cleaner works in the kitchen, bathroom and on floors. Bonus points if you use a glass spray bottle versus plastic.
(Image sourced from Pinterest)
Baking soda is not just for baking! It's a must-have multi-purpose ingredient for earth-friendly cleaning.
You can use it to brighten your toilet bowl. Put a cup of into the toilet bowl and leave for at least an hour. Add the same amount of white vinegar and leave for another while, before flushing. Any nasty stains and discoloration should get washed away. You can also use baking soda for getting rid of pongs in your fridge. Put an opened box of baking soda at the back of your fridge - and just keep it there. The baking soda will soak up all the bad smells and all you need to do is change it every three months. It's also great for cleaning drains, removing mold from walls and for laundry. The possibilities are endless with this one.
Wool Dryer Balls
Some people love the scent, but unfortunately, dryer sheets can contain harmful chemicals that adhere to clothes, vent into the air, and rub off on your skin. These chemicals can cause health problems because they can mimic estrogen and trigger asthma. Wool dryer balls are not only a sustainable alternative to dryer sheets, but they also reduce drying times and wrinkles on clothing. We recommend the Blueland Dryer Ball set because of its sustainable and plastic-free design. The set also includes three dryer balls that are compatible with both towels and tees.
(Images sourced from Blueland.com)
Reuse and Repurpose
There will be some places that are so dirty, you know that rag will never be usable again. For that, spare your bamboo paper towels and instead raid your drawers for an old pair of socks, ripped or stained t-shirts, worn out sheets and/or an old toothbrush. Give these items a second life as a cleaning help before you toss them. The cotton items can be used to clean windows, dust and mop floors while old toothbrushes make great scrubbers for small spaces.
Yup, that's right. There are some smells insects and small animals can't stand and a strategic placing of plants can help you get rid of them. Spiders don't like citronella oil so add a few drops to any essential oil burners where you're having a spider problem. Mice on the other hand, really don’t like peppermint or spearmint. Install a few herb pots with mint where you’ve got a mice problem or add some drops of peppermint essential oil to cotton wool balls and insert them into the holes and cracks where you think they're getting in.
(Images sourced from Pinterest)
The idea is for us to make small changes in our cleaning habits so we can decrease harm to our environment. If you're new to this, like me, this post details some easy affordable ways to begin. Sustainable cleaning is easier and more attainable than you may think. Happy Green Cleaning!