5 Eco-Friendly Tips for Spring Cleaning and Maintenance

glass jar with daffodils - 5 eco-friendly tips for spring cleaning and maintenance

After the long winter, there’s nothing like the spring feeling of opening the windows to let in the fresh air and getting out to do some yard work. As you start to deep clean and bring the yard back to its pre-winter glory, it’s essential to remain eco-conscious.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice your spring home maintenance and cleaning tasks to protect the environment. Here are some of the best eco-friendly tips for mindful spring cleaning and home maintenance.

Prepare Your Air Conditioner

One of the first steps you should take when preparing your home for spring is checking on your air conditioner. While the first sweltering day might still be months away, getting ahead of the seasonal rush is beneficial. 

When you schedule an AC tune-up, a technician will service your air conditioning unit and make minor repairs as needed. They’ll also replace the filters to ensure optimal airflow. While using air conditioning isn’t inherently eco-friendly, annual maintenance minimizes the environmental impact of running an inefficient unit.

When your air conditioner isn’t running properly, it uses more electricity to compensate. In addition, seasonal tune-up appointments help extend the lifespan of your air conditioning unit and keep it out of a landfill longer. This simple home maintenance task will help protect the environment and your budget.

Check and Seal Your Exterior

The next step is to inspect your home’s exterior to check for any potential leaks or repair needs. Start with the basement and ensure there’s no excess moisture getting in as the snow thaws and the spring rains start. Next, work your way up and check the siding to determine if any patch-ups are needed. Finally, take a look at the roof and ensure everything is sealed. 

Checking and sealing your exterior offers many eco-friendly benefits. Preventing mold and moisture growth in the home helps maintain the air quality and reduces the need for chemical interventions. Sealing your home also keeps the air conditioning inside and the heat outside as the temperature rises. This is also a great time to add more insulation to your attic, if necessary.

Declutter and Donate

pile of clothes for donation - 5 eco-friendly tips for spring cleaning and maintenance

The spring season is an ideal time to declutter your home. Take an eco-friendly approach to this process by prioritizing recycling and donating rather than tossing everything in the garbage. 

Take some time to review your municipal recycling collections guidelines. Many recycling centers accept electronics and construction supplies. Alternatively, programs like Habitat for Humanity often accept extra building materials.

Clothing can go to local shelters and charitable organizations, and many libraries and daycares accept books and movies. Ideally, you’ll be able to recycle or donate almost everything before resorting to the landfill.

Prepare for Eco-Conscious Landscaping

Spending time in the garden is one of the best parts of the spring and summer. While gardening and landscaping seem inherently eco-friendly, some actions can cause more harm than good.

Set a goal to use organic and chemical-free options for getting your yard back on track after the spring. Put off mowing for as long as possible to allow the pollinators an opportunity to rejuvenate their stock after a long winter.

Consider setting up a rainwater harvesting barrel that can provide water to nourish your yard without relying on limited resources. Look into native plants and grasses instead of conventional nursery plants this year. Native plants reduce watering needs and provide pollinators with the food sources they need.

Dust and Steam Clean

Removing allergens and irritants from your home is integral for overall health and wellness, especially as pollen season starts. Take the time to deep clean and dust, opting for hot water, vinegar and lemon instead of chemicals. 

Consider renting a steam cleaner to deep clean your textiles and mattresses. Steam cleaners are an eco-friendly option that use hot water to kill germs and remove grime without the need for toxic chemicals.

Practice mindfulness when tidying your home this spring. The tips listed above can help you keep your home clean and healthy without damaging the environment around you.

Feature image: Annie Spratt; Image 1: Julia M Cameron

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