|Zero Waste Tip: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Use plastic bags that items come in (shipping bags, soft plastic surrounding toys and clothes) as liners for trash cans.|
Spring is nearly here and you may be feeling the need to do some deep cleaning of your home. How can you do this in an environmentally friendly way? Below are some easy tips to clean your home, involve the family and get organized.
- Open up the windows and air out your home. Air stagnates, dust accumulates, and pollutants released from things like fireplaces, paints, water heaters, gas ovens, space heaters, cleaning products, and air fresheners can create unhealthy air. Dander, dust mites, and odors build up easily, especially if you have pets. Try to air out your home at least once a week, even in the winter. Most of us spend the majority of the day indoors; it’s good to have fresh air in your home. You’ll notice easier breathing, cleaner smells, and a better living environment for you and your family.
- Get the whole family involved. Put on music everyone likes, assign tasks, and meet up for a lunch break at noon and a tasty treat in late afternoon.
Sorting It All Out
Spring cleaning helps us sanitize and de-clutter our homes, but often those unwanted objects stay in piles or boxes and don’t actually leave. Make a plan!
- The Wash Pile: This is anything you want to wash, clothes or otherwise. Set a goal for when you’d like to get caught up. Setting a timer in your kitchen or on your phone helps, too.
- The Transport Pile: These are items that need to be moved to a different area or room of your home. This might also include items that belong to other people (borrowed books, dishes, clothes, etc.).
- The Goodbye Pile: These are items you wish to donate or sell. There are many local thrift shops that would be grateful for your clean, gently used items (Boomerang, Casa Mesita, or Trinity on the Hill). Also consider the online forum: Facebook and Craigslist can be great (and easy) ways to get rid of unwanted items. Clothes in good condition and washed can be brought to the Eco Station and placed in the Big Brother Big Sister Donation box at no charge to your annual loads. There is another Big Brother Big Sister donation box at the Shell gas station.
The Repair Pile: Jeans that need patching, a vase that needs gluing, a shirt that is missing a button, we all have that “to fix” pile that we never seem to get to. Carve out time to mend these. If you need help, call a friend or family member with the tools or skills (or time!) needed to get the job done. The Los Alamos Makers space on Orange Street may be able to help! Learn more at http://www.losalamosmakers.org.
The Trash/Recycle Pile: These are broken items or other trash that can’t be sold or donated. Check to see if any of it can be recycled first, but don’t “wish-cycle.” Many plastic items cannot be recycled even though they are made of plastic. Also remember recycling needs to be empty, clean, and dry.
Share your favorite experience, tips and solutions for eco-friendly spring cleaning on the Los Alamos County Environmental Services Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057214190038 or via email at ZeroWaste@lacnm.us.
For more information, check out the Los Alamos County Environmental Services webpage at www.losalamosnm.us/gogreen. For those with questions or concerns, please contact Environmental Services at 505-662-8163 or firstname.lastname@example.org