A Guide to a Squeaky Clean Green Routine
Open your cabinets and you may find a plethora of polishes, a surplus of sponges, and a bounty of brushes. It’s time for your annual spring cleaning! And while you love a sparkling sanctuary, how green is that sheen? You probably know you should use natural cleaning ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice whenever possible. You may even already use old T-shirts and socks as rags instead of those wasteful paper towels. Great! You’re on the right track! But, if you’re looking to step up your game, here are a few best practices carried out by our building’s janitorial service and a few extra decluttering tips for fun.
Ditch Waste Bin Liners
Use fewer or no trash bags if you can. You may have noticed the waste bins at CalEPA headquarters are not lined with plastic bags. Although some waste bins may require a plastic liner, you might be able to skip them in bins like your office wastebasket that collect dry materials. This will save money in addition to preventing more plastic waste.
Scrub Your House in Natural Light
Clean during daylight hours if possible. It’s easier to see your mess, and it will reduce the amount of energy you use to light your entire house for a late-night cleaning.
Embrace Mother Nature’s Natural Cleaning Products
And, if you haven’t done so already, go chemical-free when it comes to cleaning products, perhaps using the aforementioned natural ingredients. Check out the Environmental Watch Group’s website to learn about the risks associated with using traditional chemical-based cleaning products and for recommendations on safer cleaners.
Save Time by Making a Cleaning List
Now it’s time to do some actual work. Start with a list of cleaning projects. This will save you time and energy, and you’ll feel more accomplished as you cross each task off the list. When you create your list, make sure to include those often-forgotten spaces like the attic, basement, porch, and garage. Consider annual cleanings like a check-up for your home: Not only is it time to do some deep scrubbing, but it’s also a good time to inspect your home for inefficiencies. For example, unserviced air ducts can lead to poor air quality and can affect how efficiently your heating and air system function and waste energy.
Find Joy by Decluttering
Decluttering goes hand in hand with annual cleanings. You probably know what can be thrown away and what needs to be recycled, but do you know how to find new homes for items that are gently used, but unwanted? If you’ve decided to give your items a new life, try out apps like LetGo, OfferUp, and Poshmark. You also can make some extra cash and prevent those items from ending up in the trash. Make money from clothes that are sitting in your closet by listing them on eBay or Poshmark.
Gather Your Recyclables and Hazardous Waste
Once you’ve cleaned your home from attic to basement with all-natural cleaners, and you’ve fixed your leaky faucet and donated or sold your extra clothes, it’s time to check the often-neglected garage for any odds and ends like oil, paint, and old electronics that can be recycled at a facility that specializes in household hazardous waste disposal. You may even be able to bring your old conventional cleaning products there, too.
After your home has been rid of every last dust bunny and box of unwanted items, you can sit back and enjoy your squeaky-clean green home knowing that you scoured, wiped, and polished it the environmentally responsible way.