Spring is approaching rapidly and your messy kitchen, cluttered bedroom, and the smoothie splatters on your ceiling may be telling you that a good ol’ fashioned spring cleaning is in need. Due to the dramatic increase in awareness of human’s detrimental impact on the environment, people are taking a different approach to spring cleaning this year. With knowledge about the effects of harmful chemicals and packaging from cleaning products on our planet and our health, many spring cleaner’s are making more environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to the products and materials that are used in the home.
VOCs, volatile organic compounds, are emitted gases from certain solids or liquids. They are frequently found in cleaning products and they can affect indoor air quality and can also contribute to pollution outdoors. VOCs can have short and long term health effects. They can cause eyes, nose, throat irritation, liver and kidney damage, allergic reactions, nausea, and cancer among other effects.
In addition, handling, storage and disposal is difficult for many cleaning products that classified as hazardous and toxic. Many of these products don’t biodegrade, and can end up in our water supply and even our food.
By buying or making less hazardous cleaning products for your home, you can help reduce negative impact on the environment and the health of you and your family. Choose products that biodegrade, have reduced packaging, have low or no VOCs, are low in toxicity, and have a low lifecycle energy use.
Given the benefits of green cleaning products, try some of these spring cleaning tips this year:
- DIY Laundry detergent:
- 1 bar Fels Naptha soap
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup borax powder
- Directions for DIY ecofriendly laundry detergent
- DIY eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner:
- Place orange peels in a quart glass and fill the glass with vinegar. Let stand for 10 days, then strain liquid into a spray bottle for easy cleaning
- Homemade organic all purpose cleaner:
- 1 Cup Warm Water
- 1 Cup Organic White Vinegar
- 4 TBS Organic Lemon Juice
- 30 Drops Organic Tea Tree Oil (it’s really not that much)
- 15 Drops Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil (Optional for Scent)
- Directions for homemade organic all purpose cleaner
- DIY eco-friendly bathroom cleaner
- 1 2/3 cups baking soda ½ cup liquid soap ½ cup water 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
- Directions for DIY eco-friendly bathroom cleaner
- DIY green window glass cleaner
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups warm water
- Spray bottle
- Directions for DIY green window glass cleaner