This morning when I got the kids on the bus it was 22 degrees out. It’s April, friends. I am pretty sure we have a lying groundhog somewhere in this state. Regardless, I am on a major spring cleaning kick and we’re doing a bunch of things, big and small, to not only spruce up our home but also make it more comfortable and energy efficient. Earth Day is April 22 so this is the perfect time to get the family involved in refreshing for spring. Bonus: you can do it while going green AND saving green!
5 Green Spring Cleaning Tips for Earth Day
I’m so in love with consigning. You might know that I sell at my local Just Between Friends sale, but there are sales and stores near you no matter where you live. I cannot even put into words how good it feels to clear out the toys and clothing that my kids no longer use. It’s freeing! AND, it feels even more amazing when I get the check in the mail after selling everything. Cha-ching!
Can’t be bothered with the work of consigning? Donate. Get rid of it. The less you have cluttering up your house, the less you’ll have cluttering up your mind. You’ll have less to clean, pick up, put away, etc. etc. And consigning and donating are basically like recycling toys and clothes. Everyone wins!
Let The Sunshine In (Or Don’t)
I’m big on this because we have a LOT of windows in our house. Open the blinds and let the natural sunlight light your rooms instead of flipping on lights. On the other hand, on days when the sun is brutally hot, close up the shades (energy efficient window treatments are best) and keep that heat out when you’re trying to keep the house cool.
So this might sound a little confusing. Do you open the blinds or not? On days when the sun is bringing you light but not unbearable heat, go for it. If it is a really hot day, I usually keep them closed only during the hours when the sun is beating through them. In my living room, the windows are in the shade by 2pm so I open them only in the afternoon.
On days when you can open the shades, open the windows too and give the AC a break. If you open a few around the house it creates a nice cross breeze and can keep you comfortable without spending a dime.
Working in the garden is not only fun and therapeutic but it’s a huge money saver when you grow your own food, and we all know that planting trees and shrubs are healthy for our environment. Tip: They can also be used to block your view of the neighbor’s yard which is a nice bonus!
Did you know landscaping can actually lower your home energy bills? In the summertime that has a lot to do with maximizing shade to keep your home cooler. Read more about it here with some ideas based on where you live.
Use ceiling fans where you can to keep air circulating. They’re less expensive to run than cranking up your AC. Make sure that you have them spinning in a counter-clockwise direction to draw air upward and cool the room.
And clean those blades! You can get a handy tool like this one to easily dust your fan blades once a month. My kids happen to love doing this job with me. Something about things on a long stick are just more fun. 😉
Fire Up The Grill
Everything cooked on the grill just tastes better, in part because there are no pots and pans to clean! Grilling outside won’t heat up your house and is a more energy efficient way to cook. Plus you’re not using all that water to do dishes afterward. Bonus!
If you’re in the mood to clean house this spring, think about ways you can do it that will be friendlier to the Earth and save you money in the process. Smaller appliances always use less energy than larger ones, so grab the Dirt Devil for little jobs instead of hauling out the big vacuum. Use the slow cooker or grill out for your Mother’s Day dinner instead of cranking up the oven. You get the idea. 😉 Happy spring, happy Earth Day!
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