How To Keep A Clean AND Green Home

Maintaining a clean house is a challenge of its own, but when you decide to do it in an environmentally conscious way, it may feel even more challenging. Between your work schedule, taking care of your family, and squeezing in a bit of relaxation, you probably feel like you don’t have the time or energy to worry about being an eco-conscious cleaner. But the good news is that cleaning with the environment in mind is easy. Here are a few simple ways to clean the house without hurting the earth.
Throw away less. Trash ends up in landfills, which of course is bad for the planet. Look for ways you can divert as much as you can. This means recycling all paper, cans, and bottles. It may mean composting all your organic waste (all food scraps, coffee filters, etc.), but not all municipalities offer composting services. It can also mean donating anything that can be reused – including clothes, furniture and books. The less you put in the garbage, the less goes to the landfill.
Buy less. If you buy less food at the store, you will have less to throw away when it doesn’t get used. Think about how much food you end up tossing into the garbage when you clean out your fridge – should you be buying less food? Buy smaller quantities when you can and less food will go rotten and need to be thrown away. You’ll save money this way too!
Recycle your electronics. When you clean the house you probably come across a whole bunch of old electronics stuffed away in drawers and never thought about again. But there is no need to throw these away – just because you’ve upgraded to a better cell phone doesn’t mean the old one can’t be used. Stores like Best Buy have trade-in programs, and if you want to make a little money, try selling them on eBay.
Involve your kids in greening activities. If you have a family, it can be hard to get the kids interested in being less wasteful. So involve them in your own green routines. Explain why you use canvas tote bags instead of disposable plastic ones at the grocery store. Don’t just tell them to turn off the lights when they leave a room, explain the reason why. If your kids develop their own appreciation for the environment, they will be less wasteful and make cleaning easier for you. Their participation will also reduce the amount of pests in your home as well, a clean home is a bug free one.
Make your own cleaning solvent. Store bought cleaning products usually come with a slew of chemicals in them. Sometimes that is all they really are – chemicals in a solvent. These chemicals are very harmful to the environment. So try mixing some vinegar and water for cleaning the windows – you’ll be surprised what a good job it does.
Read labels at the store. Do you buy sponges, trash bags, and air fresheners that say that are “green”? A lot of people do, but many do not bother reading the labels to see if the marketing claims are really true. You do not need to be an expert to read a label and see if the ingredients are natural or synthetic. Before buying something – usually more expensive – that claims to be eco-friendly, peruse the label and see what you find.
About the Author: Karen Miller has been a leading writer covering green cleaning for over 5 years. When she is not writing, you can find her working on freelance reporting for companies dealing with pest control services like Terminix.