Odds are, in the past year you’ve become intimately familiar with the inside of your home. In addition to the traditional spring cleaning, you might have in mind some larger projects to make your space more clean, comfortable, and efficient. If you want to add “healthy” to that list, here are five easy tips to make the process extra eco-friendly.
Kick Chems to the Curb with Homemade Cleaners
Ever heard of triclosan, 2-butoxyethanol, or phthalates? We hadn’t either, but they’re just some of the potentially-harmful chemicals that are found in common household cleaners! A healthier DIY alternative is to make your own non-toxic home cleaning solutions. Here’s some recipes to get you started:
All-purpose cleaner: Combine 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water in a spray bottle.
Glass and window cleaner: Use 2 teaspoons vinegar in a quart of water.
Scrubbing paste: Mix baking soda with a little water and soap to make a scrub for tubs, sinks, and pots.
Local Tip: Don’t care to make your own products? Portland’s own Green Clean by G sells 100% organic household cleaners that are ecologically responsible and safe for your family and pets!
Say Goodbye to Single Use
While we love convenience as much as the next Yelper, we don’t love knowing that our single-use cleaning products waste money and end up in a landfill. Rather than relying on paper towels, consider using materials you already have at home such as newspapers (great for windows) or even stained towels, retired sheets and pillowcases, or t-shirts.
Local Tip: Restaurant supply stores such as Rose’s Equipment & Supply are excellent sources of sturdy cleaning supplies that stand the test of time. With products designed for heavy use, you can feel confident that they’ll serve your needs for years to come.
Plants: Nature’s Air Fresheners
There’s a difference between “smelling clean” and being healthy. Instead of masking odors with commercial air fresheners, consider letting household plants do the job! NASA studies have demonstrated that indoor plants are excellent at reducing harmful pollutants from the air, including pathogenic viruses and bacteria!
Local Tip: The top 10 plants for air filtration are all available for sale at Portland Nursery: areca palm, philodendron, rubber plant, peace lily, dracaena, snake plant, Boston fern, aloe vera, pothos, and spider plant.
Give Unwanted Goods A New Life
It’s a simple fact that the less stuff you have, the easier it is to keep them well-organized. But where to start? Decluttering your house doesn’t have to be daunting, and breaking it down by room, drawer, or closet will relieve stress and help you to complete the task. While donation pick-ups are likely postponed due to COVID-19, there are countless local organizations that’ll accept your unwanted clothes, furniture, and housewares.
Local Tip: Scrap PDX is a creative reuse center that collects discarded materials from the public that can be reused and given new life through craft. Check there extensive list of acceptable donations here!
Once you’ve successfully decluttered and donated what you can, it’s time to dispose of those unwanted items that can’t be rehomed. You might be surprised at what types of items can be recycled rather than clogging up a landfill. Styrofoam, electronics, and paint can all be recycled if taken to the correct facilities.
Local Tip: Looking for a green way to freshen up a room? MetroPaint sells previously recycled and color-matched paint at the wallet-friendly price of $14 a gallon.