How To Declutter While Helping The Environment
This piece is brought to you by guest writer, Alice Robertson reached out to share her tips on cleaning your house while also being mindful of the environment. So sit tight and learn more about decluttering your house just in time for spring cleaning!
By: Alice Robertson
Getting rid of the extra stuff you have is a great way to clean up and breathe more easily in your own house. If you’ve ever had the urge to purge, be careful about what you do with your clutter. Some household items, such as clothing and textiles, can adversely impact the environment by creating greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s how you can declutter without hurting the earth.
Start with the big stuff
1. Work with your local recycling center on big-ticket items
Your big-ticket items, such as your microwave, larger appliances, bed, and tools don’t have to go straight to the dump. Instead, you can contact a recycling center to help you out. Recyclingis usually handled by a mix of local government and private businesses. Finding your local recycling center isn’t hard with a little online searching. They can take your old items, whether that means picking them up or having you drop them off.
2. Recycle your bed
According to the Seattle Times, mattresses are bulky and occupy a large portionof landfills. You can find nonprofits and other green companiesthat are dedicated to taking your mattress off your hands and turn it into a variety of other things. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, look for one that’s been made with fewer toxic chemicals and petroleum products. Maintain your mattress with care to make it last as long as possible.
Digitize in a green way
1. Give electronics a new home
Don’t throw your old cell phone away! There are nonprofits and charitiesyou can donate to that will give your items to people in developing countries to help reduce the global digital divide. You can also donate old laptops and other computer parts to be reused for electronic purposes.
2. Scan your photos and documents
You don’t have to worry about losing precious photos, because if you scan them and upload them to a cloud server, you can look at them whenever you want. Plus, they never lose their quality that way. You can also scan important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and even driver’s licenses.
1. Use lightweight cleaning appliances
After you’ve cleaned the house, keep it up. An easy way to do this is by investing in a good vacuum. Using lightweight household appliances, like vacuums, is a good way to literally lighten your chore load, because they’re accessible to everyone in the house and they store in convenient, small places.
2. Clean with nontoxic items
We know that some household cleaners aren’t gentleon the environment. Wet wipes can be dangerous for marine life and don’t disintegrate. Antibacterial soap isn’t always necessary and can even hurt your immune system. Aerosol cans contain ozone-destructive gases. Instead, turn to natural cleaners. You can use vinegar and lemon juice as part of your all-purpose cleaning regimen. Baking soda is also great for neutralizing bad odors and cleansing grease and grime. Castile soap is also a good all-purpose cleaner.
Keep the clutter down
1. Stop clutter before it starts
Once you’ve made a dent in your decluttering, it’s important to not fall into sloppy habits again. Stop shopping as frequently, or make a rule to only buy what’s on your list. If it wasn’t on your list when you got to the store, then you don’t need it.
There are some items you may have never even touched and don’t know what to do with. You might be given something you know you’ll never use. Now’s the perfect time to give that gift to someone who will actually use it. Take it to weddings, white elephant parties, or a friend’s birthday party.
Decluttering is great for your mental health. Tidying up your house will help you focus more on the important relationships in your life. You won’t have as much of a to-do list, and you’ll be helping the environment. As long as you keep the house clean and the clutter down, you’re well on your way to a tidier way of living.