Great Green Spring Cleaning Challenge Update

Happy Monday!

As promised, today I will be giving an update on my Great Green Spring Cleaning Challenge!  So much has happened in the month since I started this challenge, and so the challenge has taken a few twists and turns.  In some cases it got thrown into high gear!

As you may recall, we recently moved to a new house.  Since we made the decision to move rather quickly (read about our adventure, as well as some moving tips, here), we had to do a lot in a very short period of time, including cleaning our old house! So, the plan of attack that I detailed and had planned to achieve by the May long weekend all got completed by the end of March!  And I am happy to report that I used almost all natural, homemade cleaners.  I did allow myself the use of a spot remover, as well as a few paper towels.  You may recall that paper towels were allowed for pet related clean ups.  I had planned to use newspapers to clean mirrors and glass; after I finished packing I realized that all my newspapers were busy keeping my breakables safe.  And so, I decided to allow paper towels for windows and glass until I could restock my papers.  However, I quickly discovered how easy it is to fall back into old, green-less habits, as I found myself reaching for paper towels to shine faucets and counter tops.  Bad! I have given myself a mental talking to and will be making more of an effort to avoid paper towels.

Two products that we frequently debate are fabric refresher and air freshener.  I did find recipes for both of these items, and tried them out with mixed results.  While they both smelled wonderful and worked fairly well, they left a residue of baking soda where ever they were sprayed.  And so, I made the following compromise; I purchased a bottle of commercial fabric refresher but I am limiting my use to once a week or if absolutely necessary.  As well, I will put the dogs in the backyard until the spray has dried.  As for air freshener, so far I have held off buying a new can; instead I am using candles, incense, and essential oils simmered in water.

I am very proud to report, though, that I haven't purchased any electrostatic dusting cloths.  My micro-fibre cloths continue to do a great job on dust, and I have found that by sweeping thoroughly and then vacuuming up the dust piles I can pick up virtually everything.  I also a have micro-fibre mop that works really well.  It is a cloth that looks a lot like terry cloth, and it fits on a mop that looks like my electrostatic broom.  I wet it with hot water and vinegar, wring it out well, wipe down the floors, and the floors look great.  I can also use it dry for dusting the floor (great if you have pets!).

Altogether, so far the Great Green Spring Cleaning Challenge is going well!  It has definitely made me more aware of the waste that can be produced through cleaning and of the chemicals I am using in our home.  I will continue using these home made products well after the May long weekend.

Have a great week!

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