Tidying up can be good for your health and happiness, but what about the environment? Is your Spring Cleaning dirtying up the ecosystem? If you’re using harsh chemicals and pesticides it’s time to clean up your act this Earth Day.
Eco-Friendly Maintenance for the Home
Help Out Your Hardwood Floors Naturally
No matter what type of wood flooring you enjoy in your home there are plenty of green cleaners to make them gleam. In a previous post we covered a wide array of eco-friendly cleaners for hardwood floors.
Open a Few Windows A quick and green way to improve the air quality in your home is to simply open a few windows during the coolest part of the day. Fresh air can cycle through without the need of an energy consuming purifier.
Replace Burnt Bulbs with CFL Options
When an incandescent light bulb goes out put a CFL bulb in its place. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs are much more energy efficient and last a lot longer, which also saves you green over time.
Clean Air Filters
In the past we were told that air filters needed to be replaced every month to ensure that the AC and heat are running as efficiently as possible. But now we know it is possible to clean the filters every once in a while and reduce the amount of filters we chuck into landfills.
Eco-Friendly Maintenance for the Deck
If you don’t yet have a deck but are planning on building one the first thing you can do for eco-friendly maintenance is to select wood that will weather well on its own. Cedar and Redwood are both good options that have natural preservatives to protect against weathering, insects and decay. Redwood in particular doesn’t even have to be stained. Composite decks made of recycled materials are also a great option because they require less maintenance in general. Other eco-friendly deck options include:
- Biodegradable deck cleaners like Spray and Forget No-Rinse exterior cleaner
- Sealing with a low VOC stain once every year or two
- Provide some coverage for improved protection from the sun and other elements.
- Regular maintenance helps increase the lifecycle and keeps deck materials out of the landfill for longer. So don’t forget to clean and check for weak spots at least once a year.
Eco-Friendly Maintenance for the Garden
Hold in Moisture with Mulch
Mulching provides numerous benefits including reduced water usage. This is because the mulch will hold in soil moisture and cuts down on water loss. Using a biodegradable option is a great way to conserve water while keeping your garden looking its best.
Get Rid of Weeds Without Chemicals
The fight against weeds can wreak havoc on much more than the invasive species. Herbicides can be harsh on all plants not just the ones you want to get rid of. Some can even be toxic to animals. Instead try good, old-fashioned hand weeding with a hand hoe, weeding fork or hand trowel.
Replace Fertilizer with Compost
First off, fertilizer isn’t necessary for many plants that are grown in the ground. Secondly, compost is a natural alternative that’s highly effective at adding nutrients to the soil and improving its structure.
Invite the Pest Control Insects
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the term for selectively introducing some insects into your garden as a way to keep the less desirable ones out. Having insects like ladybugs and some predatory mites around will decrease your need to use pesticide as plant protection. Making small adjustments to the way you maintain your home can make a huge difference in the protection of our Earth for our future generations.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/guzzphoto/8450754190