Spring Cleaning in a Greener Way
Posted on April 5, 2016
With spring finally here, are you feeling that need to get into corners and crevices and doing a little spring cleaning? We're here to help you get organized, de-clutter and get your house feeling as light as your steps these days. Here are some tips to stay green (and healthy!) while you spring clean:
1. Upcycle: The first step to cleaning is often pulling everything out of cupboards, drawers and off shelves to decide what you don’t need anymore. Look out for items that can be upcycled, or turned into something useful or beautiful again!
2. Donate: If someone else can use what you don’t need, donate it. Organizations such as Good Will or the Calgary Inter-faith Furniture Society take furniture and smaller household items. The Women in Need Society also collects (and will pick up) gently used clothing, household goods like dishes, pots and pans, and gently used furniture.
3. Recycle: The City of Calgary has a great waste guide, so you can send the least amount as possible to the landfill.
4. Make your own cleaners: When you’re ready to get scrubbing, try making your own all-purpose cleaner from a recipe found on our online Green Cleaning tip sheet. Or you can purchase a green cleaning recipe book from our EcoStore for just $5 (with recipes we've tried & tested).
5. Use non-toxic cleaners: There are brands out there, such as Nature Clean and Aspen Clean that make natural and healthy cleaning products. You should be able to find a few green brands at conventional grocery stores (but watch out for green washing!) and local stores such as Community Natural Foods and Sunnyside Market have a great selection. The EWG also has a database of over 2000 products, so you can look up brands right on your smartphone while shopping!
6. Hire help: If you have a cleaning service, you can ask them to use natural products. Aspen Clean is also a great residential cleaning company that specializes in natural cleaning. Looking for commercial green cleaning services? Contact Vanguard Cleaning Systems for Industry-Leading Janitorial and Commercial Green Cleaning Services in Calgary.
7. Hang dry: When you’re washing fabrics try to air dry them (in the spring breeze of course) to save energy. If you need to use the dryer, avoid conventional dryer sheets. Use the sensory mode instead of over drying with a timed dry (which creates static), and choose non-toxic options like dryer balls and Static Eliminators.
8. Reusable mop and cloths: Instead of using cloths and mops that have to be thrown away every time, try making your own. You can rewash cloths made from scrap fabrics, and same goes for mops, or “Swiffer” pads. Or consider getting a microfibre cloth (our Ecostore now carries one made in North America) that just needs water and can be used over and over again instead of paper towels.
9. Houseplants: Reduce the toxicity of your home with house plants! Here’s a list of the best ones to clean up the air.
10. Air quality: You can also invest in an air quality assessment, or look up some tips to maintain good air quality in your home.
11. Minimize: Some questions to ask yourself before you buy are: Will I really use it? Will it really make me happy? Can I borrow it? Can I find it used? Thinking through purchases will save money and keep things from piling up again!