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Three things I love about Spring: The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and it’s (almost) flip flop weather. What else does Spring mean? Time to get your spring clean on and get your home feeling fresh and shiny.
Here’s some tips on how to clean greener:
1. Use reusable materials instead of paper towels and disposable materials. Cotton washrags work well for cleaning windows, mirrors and furniture. Choose natural bristle brushes instead of supermarket sponges which only last a few uses. Go through your drawers and cut those old t-shirts that never get worn into squares, and keep them on hand for dusting.
2. Make your own household cleaner. Many products you have lying around the house can be used for non-toxic cleaning solutions. Baking soda, distilled white vinegar, borax, tea tree oil, salt and lemons can all be used for eco-safe cleaning. Solutions made from these products are an alternative to traditional harsh, toxic commercial products. Go here for more info on creating a complete non-toxic cleaning kit.
3. If you must buy shop smarter. I commend those brands that are making an effort to use environmentally friendly ingredients in their products, but as consumers we have to know what to look for. Just because a product is marketing itself as “green” doesn’t always mean it is. Read the packaging on products and look for some key words like nontoxic, biodegradable, chlorine-free, phosphate-free, vegetable oil based, fragrance free and no dyes.
4. Don’t run the water while cleaning. Instead of running water while you clean-up the sink, shower or wherever – fill a bucket with water and a general-purpose cleaning solution. Scrub down completely before rinsing. For example, to rinse shower walls fill a watering can with h20 & soap, and pour water along top of walls letting it wash away nasty soap and grime build-up.
5. Dry naturally. If you have a backyard or deck area skip the dryer and save energy by setting a clothes line outdoors. Alternatively, you can lay out clothes in a warm, dark area of your home. I often use my shower rod to air dry delicate items.
6. Freshen your home naturally. Instead of using store-bought air fresheners (which are made with harsh chemicals to make them last longer), make your own potpourri. Boil cinnamon and cloves, then combine with dried flowers or lemons (very spring-like!) and oranges stuck with rinds. Enclose the mixture in a bottle or drawer and wait for a delicious, homey smell.
Don’t forget to check out this handy cheat sheet on what to donate, trash and recycle!
Posted by Beth
Green Philly Blog
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