In the spirit of spring, many of us spend time cleaning and refreshing our homes. Today’s post is dedicated to sustainable cleaning practices that you can use for spring cleaning, or better yet, year round!
- Transition to non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products. Most cleaning products contain toxic ingredients, so this transition is not only better for the environment, but it is also better for you! Keep an eye out for these brands: Method, Seventh Generation, Common Good, Ecos, Puracy and Mrs. Myer’s. Common Good is especially awesome because they have refill stations so that you can simply refill your bottles. If you’re interested in creating your own cleaning products, click here. If you are going to create your own products, make sure that you use ingredients that are pet-friendly as some essential oils can be poisonous to animals!
- Ditch paper towels and wipes. Although they seem convenient to use, they create a lot of unnecessary waste. The good news is, there are many easy alternatives. You can use old towels, t-shirt rags or purchase reusable paper towels.
- Use reusable mops and mop pads. Today, many of us use Swiffer products rather than classic reusable mops. If you still use a reusable mop, then great! If not, you can actually use reusable mop pads for Swiffer-like products. This will help put an end to purchasing disposable wet mop wipes and dry sweeping cloths every few months. Plus, you can pair the reusable mop and sweeping clothes with your new non-toxic cleaning solutions.
- Switch to biodegradable sponges and brushes. Check out the Life Without Plastic Shop for cleaning products which range from plastic-free toilet brushes to dish washing brushes. Amazon also has a wide variety of biodegradable or reusable sponges.
- Thrift: When I’m cleaning out my closet, I always try to sell my clothes to thrift stores before donating them. You can pocket the extra cash, or get store credit so that you can help to build your sustainable wardrobe by thrift shopping.
- Donate: Make sure to research the organization that you are planning to donate to because sometimes your clothes will end up in the landfill instead. I recommend donating to local organizations. If you have women business attire, considering donating your clothes to Dress for Success. If you have men business attire, considering donating to Career Gear. These organizations help provide low income individuals with business attire so that they can feel confident when interviewing.
- Repurpose: If you have old t-shirts or towels that you no longer want to use, you can repurpose them into cleaning clothes. This will help put an end to your paper towel use. Also, if you are feeling creative, you can restyle your old clothes into new pieces. For example, I had a pair of black jeans that significantly faded so I stopped wearing them. Rather than donating the jeans, I turned them into distressed jeans and now wear them regularly!
- Clothes Swap: To help motivate you to clean out your closest, plan a clothes swap with your friends. Have everyone bring a bag of their unwanted clothes, prepare some snacks and have fun trading wardrobes with your friends!
- Go paperless! Save paper by signing up for E-Statements and electronic news. Also, unsubscribe from any companies which send you paper magazines or ads that you don’t end up reading. This will quickly help to get rid of all the paper clutter and save a lot of trees.
- Replace your room sprays and air fresheners with more natural alternatives. A lot of room fresheners actually have toxic ingredients. You can make your own potpourri blends, buy an aromatherapy essential oil diffusor or purchase an eco-friendly reed diffusor instead. If you are going to use essential oils, make sure that they are pet friendly!
- It can be difficult to determine if a product is eco-friendly or not. If you don’t want to spend time researching, make a trip to your local natural grocery store, such as Whole Foods, Sprouts or Trader Joe’s. They support natural alternatives so finding sustainable cleaning supplies will be easy!