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Spring has sprung, and when you are surrounded by beautiful green grass and are celebrating Earth Day, you tend to start thinking in terms of living your life in an eco-friendly way. This spring, bring the green inside and make it a part of your spring cleaning and redecorating rituals with these seven tips.
1. Revamp Your Cleaning Routine
Spring cleaning time is here, and this is an excellent opportunity to start bringing the green into your home. Take a look at your arsenal of cleaning products, and think about all those chemicals going down the drain and into our water system. There are many green cleaning alternatives available for purchase, and many eco-friendly families stick with good old baking soda, vinegar, and rags to tackle even the worst messes. Baking soda is a natural abrasive with the same cleaning power as commercial scrubbing powders, and acidic vinegar works like many lime-eating products to remove scale and grease.
2. Freshen Up With Natural Throw Pillows
Many throw pillows are filled with synthetic materials that can contribute to the dust and toxin levels in your home and tend to hide to allergens like molds, fungi, and dust mites. It is a good idea to wash or replace all the pillows in your home regularly to keep the allergens at bay. If you are buying a new set, consider buying pillows made from unbleached natural fibers to reduce your chemical exposure, and covering them with dust covers below the decorative cover to prevent allergens from accumulating inside the pillow.
3. Get Your Recycling in Order
Recycling is important for the Earth, but can make an untidy mess inside your home if you don’t organize your recyclables properly. There are many products available that can help you organize depending on the space you have to work with. There are collapsible bags, hidden storage that mounts to the inside of your cupboard doors, and enormous 60-gallon capacity three-compartment mega-organizers for those with lots of floor space. Choose the organization tool that matches your décor and is the right size to manage your family’s stream of recyclables.
4. Swap Those Bulbs
Switching from incandescent bulbs to fluorescents is a big energy saver, with fluorescents consuming about one-quarter the power of incandescent bulbs. This spring, swap out the lights you use the most with fluorescents, the bulbs in your kitchen and family room. If you’ve been avoiding making the switch so far because of the harsh light of fluorescents, don’t let that stop you now. There are products available that emit a range of soft, pleasant light to help set the mood in your living space and really do make a decent replacement for that familiar glow that incandescent bulbs provide.
5. Redecorate With Recycled Furniture
If you’re doing some redecorating this spring, then think about repurposing furniture from other parts of your home to prevent waste. Nothing is better for the Earth than the reuse of preexisting objects. If you don’t already have something in your home that will fit in with your new design scheme, try shopping at home stores that specialize in reclaimed furniture for something that catches your eye. If you see a piece that has potential, don’t be afraid to paint it and add some new hardware for a quick update and a unique piece to add to your room.
6. Energy-Efficient Window Treatments
Spring is an excellent time to update your window treatments for something energy efficient to keep your home cool in hotter weather, saving you money on your air conditioning bill. Furniture dealers like Eugene Chrinian can help you choose the right window coverings for your home. Adding an insulating layer designed to enhance their energy efficiency is an easy DIY project. To block the sun’s heat without blocking your view, install solar screens, which are fabric screens mounted on the outside of your windows that block up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays while offering 60% transparency.
7. Bring in the Green, Literally
Finally, to increase your home’s eco-friendliness, bring plants into your space. Indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air due to all the chemicals used in our furniture, paint, and cleaning products. Houseplants help clean the air, removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen while also purifying the air of common household toxins like formaldehyde and benzene. Some excellent air cleaners are mother-in-law’s tongue, the money plant, spider plants, peace lilies, and pothos. These plants will make your indoor air cleaner, and have the added benefits of brightening your mood, reducing stress, and reducing the severity of symptoms of illness.
These are just a few ideas for ways to make your home more eco-friendly while brightening up your home this spring. Aim to reduce the number of toxic chemicals in your cleaning products and furniture construction and enhance your home’s energy efficiency, and try to keep the green in mind when shopping for new furniture this spring. If we all work together, we can help the Earth stay green and healthy.
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