Responsible House Cleaning Practices
Sure, they call it “spring cleaning,” but if you haven’t gotten around to a yearly cleanse of your house, don’t worry: it’s never too late to clean up and maybe even add some environmentally safe practices to your cleaning routine.
- Open your windows when you’re cleaning out the house. Houses are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing, as far as saving energy is concerned). But opening your windows lets fresh air in, and allows toxins to get out. And even if you use “green” products when you’re cleaning (and you should!) it’s good to have air circulating through your house when you’re using cleaning products.
- When replacing your cleaning products, or getting rid of other toxic materials (like paint) don’t just throw this stuff out in the trash. If something is too toxic for your home, it won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Most communities hold toxics/electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply.
- After cleaning, lots of people enjoy using air fresheners to keep the house smelling clean. But store-bought air fresheners often are filled with unnatural additives that can reduce air quality, even if they smell good. Try a natural version instead. Boil cinnamon, lemon, or any other plant you like and wait for that all-natural scent to waft through your home.
- Try to reduce the amount of things that you throw away: some of the items in your closet or your kitchen that you no longer want, or no longer use, might still be of use to someone else. Instead of just throwing them out, consider donating them. Several organizations, including your local Goodwill, the Salvation Army and Volunteers of America, might take your items and get them into the hands of people who want and need them.
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