For a green spring cleaning
Spring is knocking at the door, spurring many to start their annual deep house cleaning. Here are 7 green spring-cleaning tips.
1. Apply the 4Rs
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada leads the world in per capita waste generation. Every Canadian produces 1 tonne of waste per year.
Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and reduce this unsustainable statistic.
How? By applying the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover).
The ‘best’ waste is that which is never produced.
Become an eco-friendly shopper. Assess your actual needs before each purchase.
Rely on criteria such as shelf life and amount of packaging to decide if you absolutely must buy an item.
Gather all the things you no longer need. Plan a garage sale (spring is a popular season for that), sell items online or donate to a local charity.
Think about how you can give a second life to things you no longer use.
Recycling is a greener option than dumping in a landfill. However, keep in mind that it is preferable to reduce overall consumption and reuse.
Recovery means refusing to throw out materials that can be used again in other ways. Composting is a great example of recovery.
2. Go paperless
Say no to snail mail when there is a paperless option!
Ask to receive electronic communications from any organization that currently sends you communications via regular mail.
Use online services instead of traditional paper forms.
Register to receive your bills online instead of getting them in the mail. You can also add your name to the Canadian Marketing Association Do Not Mail Service and reduce the amount of junk mail you find stuffed in your mailbox.
3. Green household cleaning products
Use reusable cleaning materials when it comes time to clean. Now is the time to recycle an old t-shirt or stained sheet as dust rags. An old pillow case would be perfect to dust the blades of your ceiling fan.
Say bye-bye to disposable cleaning wipes and buy reusable ones.
Make your own cleaning products to enjoy a greener home. Not only do they cost a fraction of the price you would pay for store-bought , they also work efficiently and contain no toxic ingredients.
4. Greener cleaner
Spring cleaning is an annual deep-cleaning marathon.
Why not take this opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint?
Pick eco-friendly products, such as biodegradable detergent and traditional soap to remove stubborn stains.
Wash your clothes in cold water and hang on the line to dry instead of throwing load after load in the dryer.
5. Non-toxic paint
Springtime often means paint time, interior and/or exterior.
Choose products containing no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
You will avoid breathing in more than 300 chemical and toxic compounds. Some of them are filled with toxins that only evaporate six years after application.
6. Dust your household appliances
It is shocking how much dust accumulates over time… to the point of impeding the proper functioning of your household appliances.
Bend with the knees to shift your fridge forward. Remove all the dust and debris you find blocking the back grill. The fridge will operate more efficiently.
Also regularly clean your dryer’s lint trap. This will reduce the risk of a dryer fire.
7. Know when to window clean
Avoid cleaning your windows when the sun is shining bright.
Direct sunlight speed dries cleaning products on your windows, leaving streaks in its wake.
Who likes doing the same job twice?