by TORI MORRISON

You stepped into 2015 with a few resolutions – most likely including the promise to clean your house for spring. Start off fresh this year by making a conscious decision to invest yourself into green spring cleaning. It’s much more environmentally friendly and safer for you and your loved ones. Here’s a list of eight ways you can reduce waste, use fewer toxic chemicals, and create a healthier living environment all year long. So put on those microfiber gloves and let’s get that house squeaky clean and green!


1. Organize, Reduce, and Recycle
The best way to start your spring cleaning is by organizing and getting rid of the excess clutter in the house. Be sure to donate or recycle used clothing, books, toys, kitchen supplies, and more to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Recycle anything you cannot donate, making sure that the items are recyclable first.

2. Clean Naturally
Swap out cleaning products that contain chemicals with a natural alternative. Vinegar can be used to disinfect, eliminate odors, and even get rid of stains. Baking soda can be combined with water and used to clean surfaces, and lemon juice can be mixed with salt to form a paste that will clean brass, copper, or stainless-steel surfaces or fixtures.

3. Reduce Waste
Instead of wasting an entire roll of paper towels wiping down rooms, aim for a no-waste clean by using microfiber cloths, sponges, or reusable mops.

4. Hot Water Away
You’d be amazed at how much cleaning you can do with just water. Boiling water can be used to clean the tub, keep drains clear, and even get rid of stains.

5. Save Energy
Get rid of the clutter on the top of your refrigerator. Appliances, cereal boxes, and kitchen utensils actually prevent heat from venting properly, and this causes the appliance to waste more energy.

6. Use Natural Air Fresheners
Avoid synthetic air fresheners. Investing in house plants is a great way to improve the quality of air inside a home. Seek out natural air fresheners with lilacs or lemons.

7. Hang Up Your Clothes
Instead of tossing your damp clothes into the dryer, hang them outside on the line. Line-drying uses no energy (except for a little work on your part) and leaves clothes smelling fresh.

8. Welcome Fresh Air
Cycle out stale air by opening your windows and letting the fresh air indoors. There’s nothing like some fresh air during springtime.