Ah, springtime! The time of year when flowers start to bloom, the sun sets a little later, and—most importantly—the chance to take on the age-old ritual of spring cleaning! One of the best ways to welcome the new season is to freshen up our homes, declutter, and make room for the new. Before reaching for those spray bottles and garbage bags, you should consider using sustainable cleaning methods this season.
Cleaning sustainably is becoming increasingly important as we strive to reduce our impact on the environment. It’s vital that we take steps to reduce waste, minimize our carbon footprint, and adopt environmentally friendly practices in and around our homes. When it comes to cleaning sustainably, there are a number of things you can do to make a positive impact. By following these tips, you can clean your home, inside and out, sustainably and help protect the planet at the same time.
For starters, look for products that are eco-friendly and free from harsh chemicals. These products are not only safer for you and your family, but they also reduce the amount of toxins that are released into the environment. Additionally, many sustainable cleaning products come in packaging that is recyclable or compostable, which helps to further reduce our carbon footprint. Below are some examples of sustainable cleaning solutions and how they compare to traditional cleaning products.
- Vinegar is a popular natural cleaner that can be used for everything from disinfecting surfaces to removing stains. It’s a great alternative to harsh chemicals and has the added benefit of being biodegradable and nontoxic.
- Baking soda is another versatile natural cleaner that can be used for a variety of tasks. It’s effective at removing odors, stains, and grease, and is much safer than traditional cleaning products.
- Castile soap is a gentle, plant-based soap that can be used for everything from hand soap to laundry detergent. It’s biodegradable and doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, making it a great choice for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.
- Essential oils can be used to add fragrance to natural cleaning products or to create your own DIY cleaners. They’re a great alternative to synthetic fragrances, which can be harmful to both the environment and our health.
You should also consider using reusable cleaning tools such as microfiber cloths, mop heads, and dusters. These items can be washed and reused, reducing the amount of waste created from disposable cleaning supplies.
When working in the yard, it is important to consider where your waste is going. The best place to bring branches, leaves, and other organic materials is to a composting facility to be repurposed into compost or mulch. The SMSC Organics Recycling Facility offers a FREE yard waste drop-off program to residents of Shakopee, Prior Lake, and Savage on Sundays in April and May (excluding April 9 and May 28), from 8am-2pm. Participants just need to bring their ID with to drop off items.
New this year—participants will receive a coupon for 10% off residential bulk compost and mulch products to be used only on days that the drop-off program takes place, making it the perfect time to stock up on all of your garden and landscape materials!
As we welcome in the sunshine and warmer weather of spring, be sure to think about the environment when looking to refresh your spaces. By following these simple steps, your home will sparkle and the planet will thank you. Enjoy the process and have a happy spring!