Consider these eco-friendly spring cleaning tips for the home and office.
When the snow melts and the temperature rises, people break out their brooms eager for spring cleaning season. Removing clutter from our lives and freshening up our home and work environments are both worthy goals this time of year. Don’t tackle your decluttering mission without considering the environmental impact of your actions! In this guide, we cover sustainable spring cleaning tips so that you can complete your seasonal purge in an eco-friendly way.
- Sort clutter into three piles: keep, donate, and remove
- Repurpose wherever possible
- Ditch the paper towels
- Use non-toxic cleaners
- Go paperless
- Revisit how you recycle
Learn more about these six eco-friendly spring cleaning tips below.
Sort clutter into three piles: keep, donate, and remove
For many people, clutter not only makes a space feel messy, but it can also trigger increased stress levels. To keep clutter under control in both your home and office space, you’ll want to first start spring cleaning by sorting your items into three piles:
Obviously, the “keep” pile is for items you want to hold on to or repurpose for your own needs. The donation pile can include articles or materials that still have use for someone else. Donating clothes, household goods, office supplies, and other items is incredibly important because it keeps useful items out of the landfill.
Lastly, your remove pile will be for items that cannot be repurposed by you or anyone else and do not have a useful purpose anymore. For anything that makes it into this pile, you’ll want to determine whether they can be recycled before throwing them in the trash.
The City of Madison provides an extensive recycling guide to help you determine which items can make it in your recycling cart. For supplies you use at work, review our recycling office supplies 101 guide.
Repurpose wherever possible
Before throwing something away, consider how you can give it a second life. All those extra office paper clips, for example, can be turned into quirky jewelry! And erasers can be used as earring backs. Items no longer functioning the way in which they are intended may have a second purpose – you just have to flip the switch on your creativity! Repurposing materials helps extend their lifespan and prevents the items from being thrown away before their time.
Discover more repurposing tips in our blog article on how to practice the 5 Rs of sustainability.
Ditch the paper towels
Another eco-friendly spring cleaning tip is to say “no” to paper towels and use washable, reusable alternatives instead. Old t-shirts make fantastic dust rags, and you can even fashion an old towel or washcloth into a reusable Swiffer-like cover to save money – and keep items out of the landfill – as you go about your spring cleaning chores.
Use non-toxic cleaners
Check the labels of your cleaning supplies to ensure they don’t contain toxic chemicals. Choose products made from all-natural ingredients and ones that have been third-party certified as “green.” We carry a full line-up of eco-friendly cleaners for both the office and home.
You can even make your DIY natural cleaners that won’t fill your space (and our planet!) with unnecessary pollutants. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are three examples of household materials that are ideal for eco-friendly cleaning at work or home.
While you are organizing your office paperwork, why not consider taking sustainable spring cleaning a step further by choosing to go paperless this year? By creating a digital filing storage system, you can eliminate paper waste and printing from your routine. Sending invoices online and using email instead of snail-mail can also help you fulfill your pledge to go paperless.
Revisit how you recycle
Recycling is an important step in handling the materials we use every day. However, it can be difficult to know what materials can be recycled – and what can’t. This sustainable spring cleaning tip includes checking in with your local recycler to see if there have been any changes in the program. Some items that used to be recyclable do not meet today’s qualification standards. Items that can be recycled need to be handled carefully to ensure they are acceptable for the recycling plant. Packaging materials like cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, for instance, have different requirements. Check out our helpful infographic on how to recycle packaging materials for help.
For more recycling guidelines, read through the City of Madison’s recycling guide here.
These six sustainable spring cleaning tips can help you declutter your work and home, without taking an environmental toll on our planet. For more articles on sustainability, giving back to the community, and improving the workplace, check out our blog today.
Shop our selection of eco-friendly office supplies online from our environmentally-responsible suppliers now as a guest, or call our local customer concierge to set up your business account at (608) 310-4300 today.