Earth Day! Green Organizing Tips For Your Home
By now, you’re probably well into your Spring cleaning efforts; purging, organizing and repurposing items throughout your home. It feels great to refresh your space for the benefit of you and your family, and it feels even better when your efforts are also helping the environment. We just celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, so I want to share some small tips on green organizing that can make a big difference in your home and for the planet.
“Going green” when organizing your home can be done in a variety of ways. It involves removing toxic materials, recycling rather than disposing, and upcycling or repurposing things to extend their functionality and reduce waste. We’re all familiar with the green mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” so the obvious place to start your green organizing is by reducing the amount of stuff you bring into your home. Paper clutter is a huge part of that, so take control of it by contacting the Direct Marketing Association to eliminate incoming junk mail. You can also stop receiving those annoying credit card offers by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com.
The reuse portion of going green can be the most fun and creative, and it offers a great opportunity to teach your kids how to be environmentally responsible. Go through the house with your kids and collect some items that they can help you repurpose: decorate empty cereal boxes that they can use to collect their comic books, or show them how to use plastic food containers to organize their art supplies.
After you’ve pared down your belongings to the items that you truly love (and you’ve found a place for it all), it’s time to recycle what’s left. Think bigger than your weekly collection of plastic bottles and newspaper… your recycling can include donating clothing, furniture and appliances, books, toys and anything else that another family might need. Make sure the items are in good shape before boxing them up and delivering them to your local thrift store, church or other appropriate charitable collection location. You’ll not only be giving these items new life, you’ll also be helping to save the planet!
If it seems overwhelming to take on your whole house at once, break it down room by room. Keep these simple guidelines handy, and you can make great strides very quickly: In the kitchen: replace toxic cleaners with safer alternatives. Be sure to dispose of chemicals properly and don’t just toss them in the trash or pour them down the sink. In the closets: collect any clothes you’re no longer wearing and donate them to charity. In the office or family room: gather up your outdated electronic devices and make sure they end up in electronics recycling not the landfill.
With green organizing, it only takes a little effort to make a big impact. What’s your favorite way to go green at home? Share your ideas in the comments below and help our readers make this the best Earth Day ever.