Spring is here and now is the time to consider your home environment and how to spring-clean the eco-friendly way. Rory Murray, Marketing Director at Tuffy Brands offers some eco-friendly spring-cleaning tips:
The first thing you need to remember is that spring-cleaning is more than just dusting and straightening up and involves a whole process. It can help lighten, brighten and freshen up your home more than you might imagine.
Get rid of clutter
Before you start, get rid of all the clutter. Decide what you are willing to let go of and recycle and go through each room and figure out which items you don’t really need or use. Put them into two major piles: trash (to be recycled) and giveaways or items to sell.
Once you have gone through each room, get rid of the trash at your nearest recycling centre. Visit http://www.mywaste.co.za to find your nearest one and either sell or donate the remaining items left in the pile.
While you are going through this process, a good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in six months, you don’t really need it so use the spring-clean as a good opportunity to ditch the old and unused.
Once you have removed the clutter and you’re in the spring-clean mode it’s time to open your windows, air out your home and use some tough elbow grease. Ensure you are getting rid of the dust and dirt without adding more toxins to your home.
You don’t have to go out and buy expensive and harmful chemicals to get your household environment clean. It is easy enough to create your own eco-friendly cleaning kit using natural cleaners.
The eco-friendly cleaning kit
An age-old trick is to maximise the use of baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda absorbs odours and is a mild abrasive. Distilled white vinegar removes soap scum and grease. Mix either one with water, and you’ve got your kitchen and bathroom cleaning products covered.
Other essential eco-cleaning items include; vegetable-oil based liquid soaps,lemon juice, lavender and Tuffy refuse bags, which are 100% recycled of which 70% is from post-consumer waste.
The home made all-purpose cleaner
Dissolve four tablespoons baking soda in one litre of warm water and add 1/2 cup vinegar to one litre of warm water. Mix ingredients for each recipe in a spray bottle. Use for cleaning everything from floors and walls to countertops, carpet and upholstery.
Home made furniture polish
Mix one teaspoon olive oil with 1/2 a cup of lemon juice. Or, mix a 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and a few drops of food-grade linseed oil, jojoba or olive oil. Rub with the wood grain using a soft cloth. Buff with a clean corner of the rag. Be sure to use recycled cleaning rags – e.g. make your own using old T-shirts, socks, towels etc.
Home recycling centre
Once all the clutter and cleaning is out of the way it is time to instil some future green home recycling and purification practices.
If you haven’t already got a recycling centre, now is the perfect time to set one up. Purchase four bins and label them with plastic, glass, metal and paper and get yourself some clear recycled refuse bags, most recycling collectors and centres prefer if the refuse is in clear bags so they can easily identify it as recycling materials.
Natural air purifiers
Houseplants are great for purifying air and getting rid of unwanted smells. Other suggestions to purify the air include:
Aloe is great for a sunny kitchen and helps clear the air of chemical-based cleaners. The Spider plant is resilient so can be placed in most rooms and it combats carbon monoxide.
Add a Gerber daisy to your bedroom or laundry room to filter out trichloroethylene, which is found in detergents and dry cleaning. A Snake plant is the best known for filtering our air pollutants and formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper and personal care products, place one of these in your bathroom.
Place a Golden pathos in your garage; they cascade from a hanging basket and combats car exhaust fumes. It is a great plant because it remains green even when kept in the dark.
For your home office, put a Chrysanthemum which not only brightens a home office or living room, but the blooms also help filter benzene which is found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. It requires bright light so place on a sunny windowsill.
These tips should help you through your eco-friendly spring-cleaning. Get organised and use the time to de-clutter and freshen up. Happy cleaning!
(Tuffy press release)
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