Spring has finally arrived and sunnier, warmer days mean a refresh on work and home life. What better way to start than by doing some plastic and Styrofoam-free spring cleaning around the house? Spring cleaning can help you feel lighter and well organized to start the new season with a fresh perspective. This year, make your spring cleaning plastic and foam-free to help eliminate waste and reflect on your plastic and foam consumption around the house.
We’re excited to share environmentally sustainable ways to spring clean using eco-friendly products and zero waste living methods! Read on if you want to go plastic and foam-free with your cleaning this season!
1. Use Plastic & Foam-Free Cleaning Supplies
To drastically reduce your plastic and foam waste around the house while cleaning, start by purchasing plastic-free cleaning supplies. You can now find low to zero waste supplies at your local grocery or hardware store or online. You may also choose to upcycle some things around your home to help you clean. Here are some alternatives that we recommend to get you started:
- Use old clothes or cut bedsheets to make cleaning rags. Choose cloth rags. This is a great way to avoid clothes that can’t be donated going to the landfill.
- Buy bamboo dish scrubbers.
- Use metal or bamboo sponges. Avoid plastic sponges as they cannot be recycled or disposed of properly.
- Purchase glass dispensers or reuse glass jars from food items to store cleaning solutions.
- Use newspaper to line your compost and garbage bins.
2. Make Your Own Cleaners When Possible
You can often find many natural ingredients in your own home to help you create your own cleaning solutions rather than buying cleaners in plastic containers. Here are a few ingredients that you may find around your home to help you create a sparkling clean space:
- Baking soda: this helps to deodorize fridges, carpets, and furniture.
- Distilled white vinegar: removes stains and grease for a clean, shiny surface.
- Alcohol: a natural disinfectant to clean surfaces around your home.
- Olive Oil: can be used to clean wood surfaces.
- If you must purchase cleaners, look for ones that are eco-friendly in glass or paper packaging
3. Declutter Your Wardrobe
Fabrics and textiles can be some of the most wasteful items as many contain plastic microfibers like polyester, nylon, and acrylic. In fact, many clothes end up in the garbage at the end of their lifespan and sit in the landfill. Plastics take over 1,000 years to decompose. With this in mind, it is best to keep your wardrobe minimal, reuse and repurpose what you can, and donate your items to be repurchased by others. Here are some additional tips on keeping your wardrobe low-waste:
- Use your sewing machine or sewing kit to fix any small rips or tears or alter any clothes to create a new piece to wear.
- Cut old or unwanted clothing into squares to make small rags for cleaning.
- Anything that is too small or no longer needed can be donated to a thrift store, sold online, or at a yard sale. What was once loved by you will be treasured by someone new and not be thrown into the garbage.
- Consider turning old t-shirts into reusable grocery bags by sewing up the bottom of the shirt and cutting off the sleeves to make bag handles.
- You can also turn old graphic t-shirts into throw pillowcases by cutting off the sleeves and neck of the shirt, sewing the edges together and filling with pillow stuffing.
4. Evaluate Your Kitchen Fridge & Pantry
Healthy habits can also start in the kitchen since it often feels that cleaning is centralized around this room in your house. Aside from throwing out any expired or old food items, this is a perfect time to also evaluate your plastic and Styrofoam purchasing habits. Here are some items you can swap in your kitchen to avoid purchasing food wrapped in plastic or styrofoam packaging; spring cleaning is the perfect time to start anew:
- When shopping in the produce section of the grocery store, use reusable cloth produce bags instead of the plastic ones provided by the supermarket.
- Avoid fruits and vegetables that are wrapped in unnecessary plastic and foam packaging.
- If you don’t already, start purchasing eggs in 100% recycled paper egg cartons instead of plastic or Styrofoam cartons.
- Once at the checkout of the supermarket, package your own groceries in reusable bags.
- Replace soap dish soap dispensers with a refillable one and purchase soap in bulk.
- Shop for bulk spices at a bulk grocery store so you can refill glass jars instead of purchasing spices in plastic bags.
- Use beeswax wraps as a replacement for plastic food wrap to store leftovers and snacks.
If you’re ready to have a plastic and foam-free kitchen while you’re spring cleaning, check out our other checklist here for more tips and items to swap in your home.
When it comes to plastic and foam-free cleaning, there has never been a better time to get started than with your spring cleaning routine. Deep cleaning your home with low to zero waste products has never been easier as the market is quickly shifting to offer more alternatives to plastic cleaning supplies. If you’re worried about where to start use the tips above and start small with what you have. Every little change can help in a big way and have you consciously thinking about your plastic and foam packaging consumption.
Are you ready to spring clean and #ditchplasticpackaging? Share your cleaning tips and swaps with us on Facebook and Instagram @ditchplasticpackaging. We would love to hear from you and share your ideas too!