Spring is in the air! Thanks to the milder temperatures, sunshine, and the vibrancy of the blooming plants and flowers, the season is often associated with a sense of rejuvenation and freshness. As a result, spring cleaning has long been a popular practice for many people. With sunny spring days ahead, it’s the perfect time to clean your home, declutter/simplify, and temporarily say goodbye to the winter season.
While spring cleaning is certainly satisfying, it must be done mindfully to minimize its impact on the planet. Common cleaning activities often involve using single-use wipes/paper towels, releasing harmful toxins into the air, and utilizing liquids and sprays that come in non-recyclable bottles.
Luckily, there are plenty of simple modifications and adjustments you can make to make your spring cleaning more eco-friendly. Here are our favorite tips and must-haves for your spring cleaning checklist:
1. Regularly Swap Out Your Heating/Cooling System Filters
Show your air conditioning system a little TLC to ensure it runs efficiently and safely throughout the season before the temperatures start to warm up. In addition to replacing your filters, be sure to also check refrigerant levels and clean your coils. If it’s been a while since you’ve had one, you may want to consider scheduling an inspection from a certified HVAC technician who can help troubleshoot any issues before they become inconvenient and unexpected expenses. How often you clean your filters depends on several different factors, such as the type of system/filter you have, the size of your home, your location, whether or not you have pets and allergies, and more. Check out this useful guide by Home Depot regarding your filters.
2. Sweep, Rather Than Vacuum, When Possible
Sure, it’s tempting to reach for the vacuum when you see dirt on the floor, but remember that running a vacuum utilizes energy. Most floor cleaning jobs can easily be done with a broom, which requires no electricity! Brooms with natural handles and bristles (made out of corn or bamboo, for example) aren’t just eco-friendly, but they are very successful at collecting debris. You can take mats and rugs outside to shake them free of dirt.
3. Ditch Paper Towels
Use what you need and throw them away, easy enough. Yes, paper towels are convenient, but they come at a cost to the Earth. Single-use items like paper towels can cause more problems than you may realize. A great alternative is to use old t-shirts and rags for cleaning instead. There are plenty of companies that also offer reusable paper towels as well, like this one from Bambaw.
4. Thoroughly Dust Your Living Areas
You want to ensure you dust throughout your home, including all light bulbs, electronics, refrigerator coils, and vents to help them run at maximum capacity. Dusty electronics, vents, and refrigerator coils cause our electronics/appliances to work overtime when covered in dust, so be sure to remember these items as you’re dusting throughout your home. Every little bit of energy you can save adds up.
5. Avoid Toxins, Opt for Natural Cleaning Products
A critical part of keeping both you and your family healthy involves maintaining a clean home and keeping germs under control. This is especially important during the time of a pandemic. While cleaning and disinfecting our homes is necessary, so is keeping our planet healthy. Unfortunately, the majority of store-bought, chemical-based cleaning products can have negative effects on the environment. The good news is – there are plenty of effective, all-natural alternatives you can leverage to keep your home clean, your family healthy, and the planet green. Check out our blog post on the best environmentally conscious cleaning alternatives.
By focusing on small changes, like implementing certain green practices into your spring cleaning checklist, you can rest assured that you’re helping care for the planet as well.