Welcome to Go Green with GreenJinn – our new sustainability series! 🌱
In this series we will be sharing all things eco-friendly and sustainable, including easy tips and tricks for you to try at home.
To start off with, we are so excited to welcome our guest, Didi from Sustainable Deeds! Didi is providing her top tips on being more sustainable around the house just in time for a spring clean. 🧹
Keep reading to see what Didi’s top spring cleaning tips are! ⬇️
Spring Cleaning: Simple Eco Cleaning Hacks
Spring is in the air, and day by day we gain a bit more light. This is the perfect time of year to revitalise your home and take it from its winter cosiness into a fresh new season.
One way to bring spring into your home is to switch to natural cleaning methods inspired by, and kind to nature. I have been using natural cleaning methods in my home for the last five years and these are my top tips for making more sustainable choices when spring cleaning your own home.
Clearing out any unwanted items from your home is a great way to revitalise your space. Less stuff means less stuff to clean, and I am sure we would all like to spend less time cleaning! This can seem like a very daunting task, so break it down by room or follow a specific challenge such as decluttering the same number of items as the day of the month. The extra space you gain will instantly make your space feel fresher and easy to keep clean. The charity shops are just about to start taking donations again so now is a great time to give some of your possessions away, or why not try and sell some things to make a bit of extra cash.
Did you know that regular sponges are made from a mixture of plastic fibres? Not only do plastic sponges take hundreds of years to break down, but they can also release tiny plastic microfibers into our waterways each time you use them. These microfibers are easily digested by sea animals and can also leach nasty toxins into the water.
To avoid this plastic pollution, I recommend using a Luffa sponge instead. Luffa sponges are made from the dried pod of the Luffa plant. I buy one big Luffa and slice this to make around 8 or 9 sponges which normally lasts me almost a year. The natural structure of Luffa gives the perfect firmness and scouring power that you require from a sponge.
Another great natural feature is the holes through the centre of the Luffa, which make them perfect to hang over the tap to dry. Luffas are machine washable and eventually when they have to come to the end of their life as a sponge, they can be composted in your home compost bin. A great zero waste solution.
Most cleaning products available on the supermarket shelves come in small plastic bottles and can contain all sorts of chemicals. There are now lots of options to buy non-toxic products in easy to recycle packing or refill options. Health food stores and zero waste shops often sell refills of natural cleaning products. This means that you can simply take an old plastic or glass bottle along and fill it up with your desired product, this is a really simple way to eliminate waste.
You could go one step further and make your own cleaning products. I make a really simple all-purpose cleaner by combining equal parts of water and white vinegar and infusing this with citrus peels to give it that fresh spring scent. This works really well on all sorts of surfaces, even windows.
Natural cleaning can also be applied to your laundry. Similar to cleaning products, washing powders, and fabric softeners are often packaged in plastic and contain chemicals that can be harmful to our skin and the natural environment. A great alternative is soap nuts. Soap nuts are derived from the fruits of a deciduous tree species called ‘Sapindus Mukorossi’ which is native to India. When combined with water, soap nuts produce a natural soapy lather, perfect for cleaning your laundry without anything synthetic. Soap nuts are by nature hypoallergenic, so they also make a great option for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Soap nuts are really simple to use, you just pop 4 or 5 shells into the cotton bag that comes with them and chuck that in the drum with your laundry. I tend to add a few drops of essential oil too as soap nuts do not have a natural fragrance.
There are many more natural cleaning methods that you could choose, but these are all great ones to start with. Bringing nature into your home through cleaning is such a refreshing and uplifting way to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. I hope that this inspires you to give your home a little spring-cleaning love to see in the new season.