Spring has arrived, and it’s the perfect time of year to wash away winter and create a clean slate and space at home. With a little elbow grease, toxin-free cleaning products and a little help from your kids, spring cleaning can be easy-breezy and eco-friendly. In honor of Earth Day, here are seven easy steps you can take today for a greener, cleaner home.
1. Cut the clutter. Give each family member two giant garbage bags – one for items to be donated and one for items to be recycled – and assign each a room to clear. Everyone must fill up both bags. Make a game of it and reward the first person to fill up both of their bags with a treat.
2. Just say no to paper towels. As you clear out your linen closet, gather any shabby or stained towels and wash cloths and cut them into reusable rags. Newspapers work wonders when it comes to wiping down mirrors and windows.
3. Make your own all-purpose cleaning spray. Mix half a cup of vinegar with a quarter cup of baking soda in a half-gallon spray bottle. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils and your toxin-free cleaning solution will do double duty as an air freshener.
4. Clear your fridge and pantry. Toss any expired products and wash the surfaces down with distilled white vinegar, a food safe disinfectant.
5. Clear the air … with houseplants. Plants work 24/7 and battery free, filtering the air of 87 % of common pollutants while continuously releasing oxygen and moisture in the home. Add a fresh new plant to each and every room of your home.
6. Wash and line dry your linens. Place those heavy winter blankets into hibernation for the summer, and refresh your spring linens by washing and drying them the old-fashioned way: on a clothesline in the backyard. You’ll save energy and that ultra-fresh smell will keep you coming back to the clothespins throughout the spring and summer.
7. Switch to a greener energy option with your local utility provider. Many utility companies now let you purchase renewable energy at a slightly higher premium; Call your local provider, inquire and make the switch. Then enlist your family members in an energy-saving challenge: use the money your family saves each month by turning off lights and appliances and put it towards a round of bowling or a pizza night out.