Green Spring Cleaning, Part 1
Here at Kendall-Jackson we are celebrating Earth Day all month, and with it, some of the things that we all can do to make our daily lives more sustainable. We’re starting off the month, we’re celebrating the advent of spring with some tips on how to make your spring cleaning more green!
As the weather is beginning to get warmer, you may feel the urge to throw open your windows, air out winter’s accumulated dust and clutter and spruce up your home from top to bottom. If you are relying on conventional cleaning practices, however, some of those habits may be harmful to your health and the environment. Before you begin your spring cleaning, here are some easy things you can do to make your cleaning process healthier and more green:
1. Eliminate aerosol spray cans
Whether used for cleaning products or personal care products, aerosol spray cans are a big contributor to air pollution, as well as bad for your health. Aerosols, the microscopic particles that are expelled from an aerosol spray can, are so small and lightweight that they remain suspended in the air for hours, becoming harmful air pollution for anyone who breathes them in. By finding alternatives to aerosol sprays for some of your cleaning products, you will not only be helping the environment, you will be doing your body a favor as well.
2. Switch to all-natural cleaning products
One of the easiest ways to make your cleaning process greener is to switch to green cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products often contain toxins that are bad for your health, and the process of manufacturing them can create all sorts of environmental problems, from air and water pollution to toxic waste. The fact that cleaning product formulas are currently considered government-protected trade secrets can also make it difficult to know exactly what chemicals are being introduced into your home. To avoid the most hazardous products, leave the ones with warning labels that say “poison,” “toxic,” or “danger” on the shelf. Or, to be even safer, look into purchasing natural, cleaning products. These often disclose all of their ingredients, and focus only on plant-based materials, avoiding some of the more harmful ingredients found in conventional cleaners.
Seventh Generation, Ecover, and Naturally Yours are some products that are frequently recommended as green alternatives, but for a longer list of green cleaning products that have been recommended by a third-party, take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (link: http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners). Or, for more tips on greening your cleaning product selection, check out the EPA guide to purchasing green cleaning products (link: http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/cleaning.htm).
3. Use reusable dusters and floor mops when cleaning
Single-use dusters, cleaning cloths and floor sweepers don’t do a better job of cleaning than reusable dusters or mops, and end up in our shrinking landfills. By using washable rags and conventional mops and dusters, you may find that the materials you are using are not only better for the environment, they are cheaper, too!
4. Donate Gently-Used Items to Charity
If you feel like cleaning out your wardrobe or house this spring, donating gently-used clothing or household items to charity is a great way to de-clutter while also doing something for others and the environment. And, if some of your articles of clothing are too stained or worn out to find a second life in somebody else’s wardrobe, adding them to your collection of rags and dusters is a great way to reuse and cut back on throwaway cleaning supplies as well.
5. Line-Dry Your Clothes
The clothes dryer is one of the most energy-inefficient appliances in the house, so cutting back on the amount of times you use it can really cut back on your energy bill. Air dry by putting up a clothesline or a rack in your home, or, now that it is spring, take advantage of that nice warm weather by line-drying outside! You’ll get the advantage of a natural fresh breeze scent, as well as a longer life for your clothes, thanks to the gentleness of air-drying. Be careful with dark items, though – placing these in the sun cause them to fade.
Happy green spring cleaning!