Spring Cleaning, Sustainably

It’s just about that time of year again–let the Spring Cleaning begin. 

When the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and the trees begin to show the first signs of leaves and blossoms, many of us take it upon ourselves to declutter and deep clean. 

Spring is the perfect time to reorganize and reset–in more ways than one. But have you ever thought about how to carry out this annual practice sustainably? If not, we have some green cleaning inspiration for you. 

Clearing Out

A big part of Spring Cleaning involves taking a look at all of your belongings and deciding what is essential to us and what is no longer serving its purpose. This is a necessary step in terms of tidying up–and can even have a positive impact on our mental health. The only problem? It has the potential to create a lot of waste. 

Our planet’s landfills are filled with gently-used household items and barely-worn textiles that take decades to decompose. The fact of the matter is, they don’t need to be there. The first thing to do is decide what you can donate. Many people are in need of essential items like kitchenware, furniture, and clothes. Find a local charity or thrift shop near you and help out a neighbor while helping the planet, too. 

Have items that are too damaged to donate? Don’t worry–there is a way to repurpose these too. A stained t-shirt can become sustainable cleaning rags. That old candle you’ve been hanging onto is the perfect vase or decorative storage piece. Wood from broken furniture may find a new and improved use in your garden. With a little bit of creativity, the opportunities are endless.  

Cleaning Up

Now that you’ve decluttered, it's time to deep clean. Many household cleaners are filled with toxic chemicals that can have a negative impact on our planet and our health. Not to mention, they often come in plastic packaging that find their way into landfills. These products may be convenient, but they aren’t necessary. Especially when you realize just how easy it is to make your own highly effective cleaning products. 

The core ingredient of many at-home cleaners are products you probably already have on hand: white vinegar, baking soda, and alcohol. All of these can be bought in bulk and/or glass containers to cut down on additional waste. What else will you need? Lemon–what you don’t use can be eaten or composted and deliciously-scented, all-natural essential oils. 

Create an all-purpose surface cleaner by combining white vinegar, which naturally disinfects, water, lemon rinds, and your favorite essential oil scent. Glass and bathroom cleaner? Follow the same steps but substitute vinegar for vodka. For greasy countertops and carpet stains: baking soda and another household essential you already have on hand: dish soap. All of these products can be used in various combinations to create more cleaning products like floor cleaner, room sprays, and even laundry detergent. 

This spring, you can clean your entire house from top to bottom without putting strain on the planet or your wallet.