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Spring Cleaning (Sustainable Version)

The first day of spring falls on Tuesday, March 19th, and what better way to refresh your home than to commit to sustainable cleaning practices? Cleaning products can get into our water bodies, and some of these chemicals can be harmful for wildlife as well as affect our drinking water supply. We know that it’s difficult to separate “clean” products from greenwashing, but there are a few tips or tricks that we have to help you on your cleaning journey this spring.

Read more on Greenwashing here

Look for accountability within brands. The brands that want to be sustainable are transparent about how they are doing it– usually, they have reports about their environmental impacts available on their website. Product labels should detail ingredients and any relevant source information. Most often, the shorter the ingredient list, the better!

In addition to how you clean, you can make small changes to your lifestyle that make a big difference. Look for local stores where you can refill your food staples (check here). Try to buy your produce from farmer’s markets or check out your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). If you prefer the grocery store, opt for reusable produce bags. And, as always, recycle! Make sure you are recycling only accepted materials according to your provider.

Challenge yourself to talk to two people about your sustainability habits. It can be your child, a friend, or a coworker. These conversations open the door to ideas, habitats, and accountability.

Other Tips & Ideas

~ Check out new cleaning products like reusable cloths, natural cleaning (and refillable) products.

~ Try to reduce your water usage as you clean. Turn the sink off when you’re not using it, soak pesky stains, and keep an eye out for leaking faucets to fix.

~ Donate old items, don’t throw them away! Ask your local shelter, hospital, and other organizations if your unused or unwanted items could be useful for them. Reducing waste is a great way to be sustainable.

~ Learn proper recycling habits: head to your waste disposal agency’s website and read their guidelines for recyclable materials. Typically, recyclables should be clean, unbagged, and include only the accepted materials listed.

~ Hang dry whatever you can! Especially if you are washing all the linens in your home. Save electricity and use the weather to your advantage to reduce your carbon footprint.

~ Go paperless with that stack of bills you’re tired of pulling out of the mailbox. 

~ Try your hand at composting. If you don’t want to set up a composting system in your yard, you can always ask around and see if any friends or local farmers are interested in your composting for their use. Sharing is caring, even if it’s your old food.


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