By Alice Roberston, Guest Blogger at Tidy Home
When our homes are messy and dirty, it can make life feel chaotic and negatively impact our self-esteem. When we take steps to clean and declutter, the health benefits abound, not the least of which are reduced stress and increased self-confidence. Furthermore, if you take care of the mess in eco-friendly ways, you get the added benefit of knowing you are doing your part to care for the environment! If your home (and life) are due for a deep clean, here are some environmentally-conscious methods to get you started:
Keep It Green
You’ve probably heard of green cleaning. Using green cleaning products not only benefits the environment but also helps ensure your household is safe from the harmful health effects associated with commercial cleaning products.
A simple vinegar (a gallon can be purchased for under $3) and water mixture makes a great solution for cleaning bare floors. A lemon juice and olive oil mixture can thoroughly and safely polish your furniture. If you need an eco-friendly way to clean your mirrors, use rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or a mixture of lemon juice and water. There are many safer ways to clean every inch of your home — check out this article from HowStuffWorks for more eco-friendly ideas.
If time is an issue or you need help getting the deep clean you really want, look into hiring a cleaning service. You can even request that they use green cleaners. Most homeowners in Evergreen can budget to spend between $116 – $242 for this service.
Know Your Recyclables
We all know that recycling is good for the environment. Sadly, of a US waste stream that is 75 percent recyclable, only 30 percent is actually recycled (the average is less than 12% in Colorado). A big reason for this is simply because people are unaware of what can be recycled. To keep in line with our eco-friendly advice, here is a brief list of some of the household items you can recycle at anytime:
- Clean plastics #1-7 from the kitchen (except PETE 1 Plastics)
- Unsoiled paper and cardboard (cereal boxes, magazines, office paper)
- Aluminum cans
- Glass jars, bottles, and containers
Here are a few things that shouldn’t be thrown in the recycling bin:
- Plastic shopping bags
- Styrofoam cups and containers
- Soiled food containers and paper products
Recycle the Large Items
Larger items are even less recycled than smaller household items. While you can’t fit your old TV and mattress in the recycling bin, you don’t want them to end up in the landfill either. It’s best to sell or donate any unused electronics you have lying around (and we all have some) if they are in good working order. If they’re broken, taking them to an electronics recycling center is the best option. When it comes to purging clothes that are in good condition, consider throwing a yard sale or donating them to an organization like the Salvation Army. Likewise, books, CDs, and DVDs may be gifted to a local library or school.
Scan Your Photos
If you have stacks of physical photo albums, there are now ways to hold on to them while creating more space in your home. You can scan your photos and store them digitally. For instance, one small external hard drive can store hundreds of thousands of photos. Perhaps the safest way to store your photos is by using the cloud. The cloud refers to online services that enable you to store and share your photos on a server that can be accessed basically anywhere and anytime there’s an internet connection. These services are constantly backing up their data, which means your memories are safe from harm, no matter what happens to your device.
It’s Worth It!
Reduce your stress and boost your self-confidence by deep cleaning. Look for green cleaning products and methods that will help keep your home safe and comfortable. Learn which items to recycle and not to recycle, and don’t forget to take larger items to recycling or donation centers. Finally, digitize your photo albums and store them on an external hard drive or in the cloud. Creating a clean living space the eco-friendly way can make you feel lighter in many ways!
Photo Credit: Pexels