After a long winter, spring is the perfect time to clean out your home and make room for new, green habits. If getting green was one of your New Year’s Resolutions, and you haven’t been able to find the ways to get it done, here are 12 tips to add some green to your spring.
1. Green Spring Cleaning
The onset of spring always motivates us to get down and scrub the floors and remove the cobwebs from the corners. This year, use green products instead of harsh chemicals for cleaning. Lemons and baking soda can be used to clean and freshen kitchen counters, showers, tubs, and sinks. Use vinegar and warm water for floors and to remove the sticky, greasy dust that builds up in the kitchen on walls, top of refrigerator, and corners. Clean windows streak-free with old newspaper and 3 tablespoons of vinegar in 1 gallon cold water.
2. Clean Air Ducts
Make your spring cleaning last longer by cleaning your air ducts. Clean air ducts will also lessen the amount of dust, pollen, and other pollutants that circulate around your home as outdoor plants come to life. Air Duct cleaning will decrease allergens & improve the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
3. Buy Air-Cleansing Plants
Naturally freshen the air after your air ducts have been cleaned with air-cleaning house plants like English Ivy, chrysanthemums, and spider plants. If allergies and asthma are a problem in your household, these plants may be able to help keep the air clean. Plus, healthy green plants bring spring indoors.
4. Home Improvements
Spring is a great time to do energy-saving home improvements like replacing windows, adding insulation, and repairing leaks and drafts. Before the heat of summer sets in, make sure to perform home improvements that will keep the heat out and air-conditioned air in. This is also a good time to service your AC unit and replace filters.
5. Plant a Garden
Instead of adding landscaping, why not plant a garden? Your beautiful plants can also provide delicious, nutritious food for your family. Check seed packs for the best time to plant in your area and dedicate a few square feet of your yard to food-producing plants. Make sure to keep food healthy by not using chemical fertilizers and instead, use organic plant foods
available at most garden stores.
6. Start To Compost
If you already recycle and still want to reduce the amount of waste you produce, start a compost pile. There are many ways to compost and you don’t need to buy an expensive plastic unit to do so. You can just dig a hole in the ground and add compostables. Stir with a pitch fork once a week and cover with leaves or a tarp. You will be amazed at how much “trash” you can compost and use in your garden.
7. Replace Bulbs
Replace incandescent bulbs in your home with energy efficient CFL bulbs. There are now many warm tones of light available. You can also add outdoor solar lighting to your garden or walkway. These lights recharge in the sun and can be set to automatically turn on when the sun goes down.
8. Replace Old Appliances
Replace your old appliances with energy star rated appliances. You will save energy and money and help reduce the strain on energy needs over the summer. Also, hang your laundry outside to dry in the sun. It will smell fresh and save lots of energy while the weather is nice.
9. Ride Your Bike to Work
Now that the weather is improving, why not make the commitment to ride your bike to work at least one day a week? The exercise will help you trim up after the winter, improve your health, and increase energy level. If biking is not an option, then use public transportation, carpool, or walk. The first few weeks may seem an inconvenience, but you will soon look forward to the exercise and time spent outdoors.
10. Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Support local farmers by shopping at farmer’s markets. Most areas have a few, and one will surely work for your schedule. By shopping at farmer’s markets you will eat healthy foods that are in season, get some exercise by walking around, and support your local economy. It is a great way to get green.
11. Recycle your Old Stuff
While you do your spring cleaning, gather up all your old clothes, toys, and furniture that is still usable and donate it to a local charity that helps families in need. The economy has likely affected families in your community, so give you old stuff to people that can use it. There is no sense in throwing anything away that can still be used.
12. Green Beauty Products
Since you will be showing more skin now that its spring, bring going green into your skincare regimen. Buy lotions and other products that contain natural ingredients that haven’t been tested on animals. Many make-up companies now offer organic lines that are better for your skin and the environment. Look for items that aren’t overly packaged with plastic, can be refilled, or reused.