Tips and tricks to make spring cleaning more eco-friendly

April 3, 2019 by  
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When the spring cleaning season comes around, many homeowners turn to their favorite cleaning products to tidy up. But not all of your go-to cleaners are good for the environment. Many products on the market feature harmful chemicals that leach into the ecosystem, causing harm to people and the environment alike. If you are looking to get into spring cleaning mode without potentially hurting your health, here is a quick guide on what chemicals to avoid and how to clean with the environment in mind. Chemicals linked to health problems Cleaning chemicals may eliminate harmful bacteria from your home, but they also can lead to serious health problems. This includes irritating eyes, skin and respiratory systems. The most obvious health issues that arise are due to skin contact with toxic chemicals that are absorbed by the body. According to AcuuWeather , harmful chemicals can also enter the air and cause respiratory problems. Individuals who clean on a daily basis are more susceptible to these issues, especially when it comes to long-term health concerns. Identify harmful chemicals There are a number of different chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deemed volatile. According to SF Gate , this includes ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus, all of which are commonly found in household cleaning products. For example, most dishwasher detergents contain about 40 percent phosphorus, while nitrogen is a common ingredient in glass cleaner. Related: How to decode confusing labels on common household cleaners Keep chemicals out of the water Many of the chemicals you use in the spring cleaning process end up in the sewage, whether they are rinsed down the sink or flushed in the toilet. Fortunately, the majority of chemicals are filtered out in sewage plants before the water goes to rivers and lakes. That said, nitrogen, ammonia and phosphorus are not removed in treatment plants. Instead, these three chemicals usually end up in waterways, where they contaminate larger bodies of water like lakes and oceans . Once they enter freshwater environments, they can wreak havoc on aquatic life and plants. These chemicals can also contaminate water supplies if they are dumped in large concentrations. Avoid air contamination As noted earlier, harmful chemicals in household products can enter the air and cause respiratory issues. If you open windows while cleaning for better ventilation, you are simply pushing these volatile chemicals into the atmosphere. In fact, the EPA has found that cleaning chemicals contribute to pollution and smog, which is why some are restricted in select locations, such as California. Ventilating the harmful chemicals outside may be better for the indoor air quality , but it is more harmful for the environment in the long-term. Although using harmful chemicals has major side effects, there are plenty of ways you can keep your house clean without harming yourself or the environment. Use eco-friendly cleaners The best way to avoid harmful cleaning products is to look for non-toxic chemicals. These products are usually equipped with an eco-friendly or biodegradable label. You should also avoid buying products that are known to irritate skin or are flammable. Related: Truman’s wants to reduce single-use plastics in the household cleaner industry You can also make your own eco-friendly cleaning products with a few household staples. Ingredients like lemon, vinegar, baking soda and glycerine are great at combating dirt and grease. A mixture of soap and water or water and vinegar can easily remove tough stains while eliminating germs. You can also add a little baking soda for some added abrasion. Get rid of paper towels You can burn through a lot of paper towels during spring cleaning, which is not great for the environment in the long run. As an alternative, try buying reusable towels to clean. You can pick up some affordable towels at your local grocery store or cut up old T-shirts. Using old clothes will also keep waste out of the landfill. Clean up the laundry There is no denying that dryers are a big convenience of modern society. But, according to Planet Aid , you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by hang-drying your clothes on a regular basis. Dyers consume a lot of electricity, so only using them on rainy days helps the environment and puts some money back in your pocket. Related: Get ready to use soapnuts for everything from cleaning to self care When it comes to washing, look for detergents that have an eco-friendly label. Although these cleaners used to be expensive, the costs have come down considerably, and you can usually find natural alternatives at competitive price points. You can also purchase cleaners in bulk to save even more money. Reuse household items for cleaning Instead of throwing away old clothing items or toothbrushes, use them for cleaning. Toothbrushes are great for reaching tight corners, and even an old sock can be put to work dusting. If you are really creative, you can even sew together old towels to create a makeshift mop cover. Once you are done with these items, you can either wash and reuse them or put them in the recycle bin. Images via Public Domain Pictures , Fotoblend , Pasja1000 , Alex and Stevepb

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Tips and tricks to make spring cleaning more eco-friendly

INFOGRAPHIC: Your ultimate spring cleaning guide

April 6, 2015 by  
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Never underestimate the mental benefits of a clean home. A fresh space can leave you feeling mentally clear as well. If you struggle with your annual spring cleaning, check out this infographic that will help make the process more manageable by breaking things down into a straightforward process and have your home sparkling in no time. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: Your ultimate spring cleaning guide Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: decluttering , decluttering tips , DIY , DIY cleaning , hoarding , home cleaning , home spring cleaning , infographic , spring cleaning , spring cleaning infographic

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INFOGRAPHIC: Your ultimate spring cleaning guide

Spring Cleaning: 6 Green Tips to Organize and Simplify Your Home

March 21, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Spring Cleaning: 6 Green Tips to Organize and Simplify Your Home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: DIY cleaning products , green cleaning products , green cleaning tips , green spring cleaning , organization tips , spring cleaning , spring cleaning tips        

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Spring Cleaning: 6 Green Tips to Organize and Simplify Your Home

HOW TO: Steer Clear of Toxic Chemicals for Greener and Healthier Spring Cleaning

March 16, 2014 by  
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Image via Shutterstock Spring cleaning is supposed to help preserve a healthy and happy home, but disturbing discoveries about toxic household cleaners make us wonder if our annual ritual actually does more harm than good. Even worse, a 2012 study by the Silent Spring Institute revealed that avoiding harmful chemicals can be near impossible because our everyday products are often mislabeled. But fear not–we’ve created a list of ways to help you stay green while keeping your house squeaky clean. Follow the link below for tips on how to stay away from those nasty chemicals for a healthier and more natural spring cleaning season. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: green cleaning , greener spring cleaning , household cleaners , Inhabitots , Silent Spring Institute , spring cleaning , toxic chemicals , toxic household cleaners        

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HOW TO: Steer Clear of Toxic Chemicals for Greener and Healthier Spring Cleaning

How Your Spring Cleaning Can Benefit Charitable Causes

April 3, 2013 by  
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If you’re planning a bit of spring cleaning this season, why not use your throw-aways to benefit the causes that mean most to you? In an effort keep e-waste out of landfills while supporting those in need, Planet Green Recycle is calling on…

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How Your Spring Cleaning Can Benefit Charitable Causes

No Time to Grow Food? Company Will Plant a Garden for You

April 3, 2013 by  
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You know that saying, ‘Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime?’ This sentiment is pretty fitting for a new service available in the local food and gardening movement. Farmyard, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based…

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No Time to Grow Food? Company Will Plant a Garden for You

Start Your Spring Cleaning by Donating Your Old Phones to Verizon Hopeline

March 26, 2012 by  
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Want to give your spring cleaning new meaning this year?  HopeLine from Verizon is an easy way to get rid of old wireless phones and chargers cluttering your home. The program refurbishes donated phones, batteries and accessories, and provides them (loaded with free minutes) to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Phones that are unable to be used are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. To find out more about HopeLine, donate a device or get involved, visit  www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline . + Verizon Hopeline The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following  this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: domestic violence , donate your old phone , e-waste , help victims of domestic violence , hope line , hopeline , hopeline verizon , how to recycle your cell phone , prevent domestic violence , recycle cell phone , recycle electronics , Recycled Materials , recycled phones , spring cleaning , verizon

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Start Your Spring Cleaning by Donating Your Old Phones to Verizon Hopeline

Win A $300 Electrolux Vacuum in Our Spring Greening Giveaway!

April 18, 2010 by  
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Spring is here and you know what THAT means… It’s time for SPRING CLEANING! While the process can be tedious and tiresome, there’s nothing more satisfying than sitting in a sparkling space that’s just been freshly cleaned … right? Okay, so you’re still not sold on the prospect of picking up a dustpan? How about if we throw in an amazing Arm & Hammer Spring Cleaning Supply Package to get your spring-cleaning mojo going?! This week we’re giving away FIVE of these awesome packages (worth $72) to FIVE lucky readers to get their clean on! AND if the dust bunnies align, ONE grand prize winner will also walk away with a $300 Electrolux Vacuum ! ENTER THE CONTEST HERE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: arm & hammer , arm and hammer , cleaning supplies , design competitions , electrolux vacuum , free cleaning supplies , free stuff , giveaways , Inhabitots giveaway , spring cleaning

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Win A $300 Electrolux Vacuum in Our Spring Greening Giveaway!

Win a Pair of Neuaura Luna Camel Vegan Sandals for Spring (Worth $89)!

April 18, 2010 by  
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Last week we asked you Inhabitants to tell us which  Neuaura foot candy you’d most want to slip your ten toes into. The polls have closed and what a choice! We couldn’t think of a better way to frame your freshly painted, warm weather toes than with these luminous  Luna Camel vegan sandals  (worth $89)! Courtesy of  Nimli and yours truly, one lucky reader will get to add these  sexy sandals  to their shoe collection for the spring/summer season! Enter to win today! ENTER TO WIN AT ECOUTERRE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco sandals , eco shoes , free stuff , giveaway , green sandals , green shoes , Neuaura giveaway , spring sandals , summer sandals , thong sandals , vegan sandals , vegan shoes

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Win a Pair of Neuaura Luna Camel Vegan Sandals for Spring (Worth $89)!

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