Get your house in order!

You probably already recycle, reduce, reuse, and try to do your part for the planet. With spring almost in full bloom and Earth Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to welcome the season with some spring cleaning greening.

**Avoid indoor air pollutants**
Household cleaning products and interior decorations (e.g., carpets, wallpaper, paints and stains) are the main culprit of indoor air pollution, which can be up to 100 times worse than outdoor toxins. Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, soda water, salt, vegetable soap, and tea tree oil are great, all-natural cleaners. They are surprisingly strong for toxic-free cleaners and won’t pollute the air inside your home. Keeping house plants around will also help to absorb some of the toxic chemicals already in the air. Check out some of our favorite green cleaning product recipes before you throw on the rubber gloves.

**Ban disposables**
You may already be doing your part by using green cleaning products, but the most wasteful thing you can do with them is eat up an entire roll of paper towels in the process. Choose sponges and microfiber towels or rags over paper towels, and trade in your Swiffer for a traditional long-lasting mop and broom.

**Air dry**
Extend the life of your clothes and linens by hanging them out to dry. Substitute borax or half a cup of white vinegar for bleach and use biodegradable detergents. Always run a full load of laundry, choose cold over the hot cycle, and if you must use the dryer, make sure that the lint trap has been cleaned out since the last load. You may even want to wash it. With soap!

Now is also the time to clear out your dryer’s vent hose (the bendable connector that leads to the outside air). The lint that accumulates in the hose will make drying slower, waste energy by making your dryer less efficient, and can even be a fire hazard! If you don’t know how to do this, you may want to leave it to a professional. Happy cleaning!

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Lauren

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  1. chris miller - March 30, 2011

    you note that paints and stains are indoor pollutants. but what else can one use for our walls and trim. thanks.

  2. Randy - March 30, 2011

    Chris:
    You can get low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint. I know that Benjamin Moore has a line. I have used this paint in my house. Also, when you do pain, wait for a nice day when you can have all the windows open. This helps dissipate any odor, plus the walls dry faster.

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