If we take our cue from nature, then we know that spring is all about renewal. It’s a time when the sun shines brighter, the flowers bloom, and we feel the need to climb out of our groggy, winter-worn malaise and refresh our homes.

But cleaning isn’t easy. And it certainly isn’t fun. And now, thanks to modern science, we know that some traditional cleaning methods can actually be detrimental to our health. (Thanks a lot science!)

So how do we get our homes to shine as brightly and look as beautiful as the great outdoors without subjecting them to unpronounceable chemical components and cleaners?

We listen to the wind, of course.

Green Cleaning: Let Nature Be Your Guide

The coolest thing about nature is that it’s where us humans go to get our best ideas. Boats, cars, turbine blades, and even trains wouldn’t be what they are today without the help of some pretty spectacular species.

And while it might not be the best idea to allow a swarm of bees into our homes to see how they might help out, there’s a world’s worth of tips and tricks out there that can be used to help clean our homes and protect the environment.

Homemade Cleaning Supplies (Brought to You by Nature)

a set of natural cleaning ingredientsHardcore cleaning products pack a punch. We all know that. A little spritz here, a little spray there, and voila, that wet dog smell that’s been permeating the couch since Christmas is suddenly gone.

But you don’t need a name-brand, chemically laden spray to keep unwanted smells, stains, and spills at bay. Distilled white vinegar and essential oils of your choosing, combined in a glass spray bottle, will do the trick as well.

These and other homemade cleaning supplies can help tackle difficult messes safely.

Here’s an abridged list of natural cleaning supplies and a few of their uses.

  • Baking Soda: scrubbing, odor eliminating, whitening
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: stain removing, disinfectant
  • Lemon (and other citrus fruits): stain removing, odor eliminating
  • Olive Oil: wood polishing
  • Salt: scrubbing
  • Vinegar: The Super Cleaner

While few of these ingredients should be used alone—except for the almighty vinegar—many of their powers can be combined to create some pretty potent and eco-friendly cleaners.

A Lean, Green, Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Routine

trash can full of food wasteKeeping things shiny, smelling good, and environmentally friendly in the months leading up to summer doesn’t stop with the homemade cleaning supplies, and neither do the inspirations we can take from the great outdoors.

A clean, green routine can make for a happy home and a happy environment.

The All-Natural Air Conditioner

The warm spring air gives us an excuse to cut off the real A/C and let the wind and the weather do their work.

Fresh air and the warming sun not only help to cut down on waste and reduce the power bill, but they have an incredible effect on our own health and the health of our homes.

Other natural energy savers include turning off the lights, changing your laundry habits, and replacing certain filters.

Divide, Donate, Reuse, and Recycle

Us humans create a lot of waste. But we can drastically reduce that waste, or at least the harmfulness of it, by dividing the goods we don’t need into separate piles labeled reusable, recyclable, donatable, and trash.

  • Reusable items include items like coffee tins, which can be used to create planters, and old clothes, which can be cut into rags for cleaning.
  • Recycled items include the obvious, like metals, plastics, paper, and glass, and the less obvious, like appliances, electronics, lightbulbs, and batteries.
  • Donatable items are anything you think might be of use to anyone, including books, outmoded clothes, and outdated electronics.
  • Even trash can be divided between non-compostable and compostable items, including various types of food waste, which can be used in a garden or simply to enrich the soil.

Tackle the Task with Technology

The easiest way to stay on a lean, mean, green-friendly routine is to have someone else, or in this case something else, do the work for you.

In the age of technology, there are a bevy of products, both expensive and cheap, to help you reduce waste in your home while having the added benefit of keeping some green in your pocket or purse.

Some of these items and upgrades include:

  • Automated HVAC systems
  • Low-energy washers and dryers
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Shade adjusting windows
  • Solar panels
  • LED lighting
  • Next-gen insulation

Bring the Outdoors In

Adding houseplants to your home isn’t just a way for you to update the décor. They filter the air, reduce airborne toxins, and come with a number of additional benefits that help both mental and physical health.

Some of the healthiest houseplants include aloe, English ivy, bamboo palms, and the rather beautiful and visually intoxicating red-edged dracaenas.

For additional information, you can read through NASA’s exhausting research on Interior Landscape Plants.

Home Is on the Inside and the Out

The earth is warming at an incredible rate, and that means that, for some of us, spring is coming earlier and earlier every year. And while it might be nice to see flowers in full bloom and hear the birds chirping from January to December, the effects could be disastrous.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to cut back on waste and make our homes cleaner and healthier without the help of chemicals and non-environmentally friendly products.

With the help of homemade cleaners, green routines, and with the inspiration of nature as our guide, our homes can be brighter, more beautiful, and more ecologically in tune than ever before.