Green Living: Making Cleaning Green

We all feel that cleaning is supposed to be a clean activity. If we’re making the living room look lovely, surely it’s a good thing to do, right? Surely it can’t do any harm.

Not necessarily. A lot of cleaning products and techniques may get our homes feeling fresh, but they’re not good for the environment. In fact, some things we do for the sake of spotlessness are downright bad for the ecosystem.

Not to worry though, because there’s a lot of simple things you can do to make cleaning truly clean and green. (Thanks to Earth911.com, HowStuffWorks.com, and Heloise for the great tips!)

Dispose of the Disposable Disposition
Life is full of “disposables.” Disposable paper towels, disposable mop pads, and disposable dishes all make our lives more convenient, but they add up to a lot of trash fast.

To make your cleanings greener, drop as many disposables as you can. Turn to cotton or microfiber towels, cloth napkins, an actual mop instead of pads, etc.

Washed Out
This is a simple but important tip: don’t use the dishwasher or washing machine until you’ve got a full load ready. Doing smaller loads may be slightly more convenient, but it means you end up wasting a significant amount of water and energy.

Make Your Own Solutions
The grocery store is just absolutely jam-packed with cleaning chemicals of every variety. Unfortunately, many of those sprays and powders are anything but green.

Thankfully, you can make safe and effective cleaning products with eco-friendly products at home. Heloise at GoodHousekeeping.com has put together a stellar list of DIY cleaning products that includes everything from glass cleaners to brass cleaners!

Keep Landfills Less Full
Over time, we all end up with more stuff than we need: extra dishes, old clothes, and miscellaneous odds and ends. You may be tempted to toss some of this stuff and put what you can in the recycling bin, but there’s something you should do first: donate.

There are countless charities out there that will gladly take what you don’t need. Even odd things like an old sink can find a home through Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Program! You can also use programs like Freecycle to find people in your area who might want those old dishes and spare cleaning products.

Hopefully, these tips make your cleaning efforts more eco-friendly. Thanks again to Earth911.com, HowStuffWorks.com, and Heloise for the great tips! Check out their sites for more great information.

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