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Sustainable Spring Cleaning: Small Changes for a Greener Home

March 3, 2024

Sustainable Spring Cleaning: Small Changes for a Greener Home

Spring is here, and that means it’s time for the annual spring cleaning ritual! As I survey my home with fresh eyes, I’m struck by how much waste our daily habits generate. This year, I want to make changes to reduce my environmental impact. Here are some tips for sustainable spring cleaning that can lead to a greener home all year long.

Replace Disposable Products

Single-use paper towels, plastic bags, and disposable cleaning wipes may be convenient, but they produce a lot of waste. This spring, I’m replacing disposable products with reusable alternatives.

  • Instead of paper towels, I’m using reusable cloths and rags. I have a basket of cleaning rags cut from old clothes and towels. For dusting and gentle cleaning, I use microfiber cloths that can be washed and reused.

  • Plastic grocery bags and small garbage bags are hugely wasteful. I’m switching to reusable shopping bags and compostable garbage bags. For storage, I bought reusable silicone bags and beeswax wrap to replace disposable plastic bags and cling wrap.

  • Pre-moistened cleaning wipes are incredibly wasteful and often contain harmful chemicals. This spring, I’m making my own reusable cleaning cloths by cutting up old towels and T-shirts. I moisten them with a spray bottle filled with natural cleaning products.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

Many conventional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that are bad for health and the environment. This spring, I’m replacing harsh chemical cleaners with natural DIY alternatives.

  • For all-purpose cleaner, I mix distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. The natural acid in vinegar disinfects surfaces without any chemicals.

  • Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that cleans and deodorizes. Mixing it with water makes an effective scrub for appliances, sinks, and bathtubs.

  • For windows and mirrors, I mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Newspaper makes a streak-free natural window cleaner.

  • Essential oils like lemon, lavender, and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial and cleansing properties. I add a few drops to vinegar spray or DIY soap for disinfecting.

Use Energy and Water Efficiently

Saving energy and water is one of the most impactful steps I can take. Here are some easy ways I’m reducing utility use this spring.

  • I’m replacing all lightbulbs in my home with LED bulbs. They use a fraction of the energy of incandescents and last for years.

  • I installed low-flow faucet aerators on all sinks. These simple devices reduce water flow while maintaining pressure.

  • I’m using cold water instead of hot for washing clothes whenever possible. Heating water is energy intensive, so washing in cold water saves energy and keeps clothes looking new longer.

  • I’m scheduling a professional HVAC inspection to ensure my heating and cooling system is operating efficiently. Replacing air filters and sealing ducts reduces energy waste.

Declutter and Donate Unneeded Items

Spring is the perfect time to declutter and get organized. Instead of tossing unneeded stuff in the trash, I’m donating usable items to charity.

  • I’m going through closets and storage areas and gathering clothes, housewares, books, and other items I no longer use. My local shelters and charities accept donations of used goods in good condition.

  • For tax purposes, I’m keeping a donation log to record items I drop off to charity. Non-cash donations are tax deductible up to a certain limit.

  • I’m listing quality used electronics, furniture, and other larger items for sale on Craigslist and Facebook. This keeps usable stuff circulating in my community instead of ending up in a landfill.

With a few simple swaps and new habits, I’m on my way to an eco-friendly home. This spring cleaning season, small changes add up to a greener lifestyle and reduced environmental impact. What sustainable swaps will you be making this spring?

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