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Spring

Moving and Spring Cleaning

Quick Tips:

  • Investigate the possibility of renting a moving van that runs on alternative fuels.
  • Some moving companies will allow you to rent reusable storage crates. These crates have a life expectancy of 10 years and are also recyclable.
  • Have a yard sale to find new homes for clothes, toys, appliances, books, and other items.
  • Check with local repair shops to see if they can use your old appliances for spare parts.
  • Instead of using new sheets of packing paper, use old newspapers to wrap fragile items.
  • Consider using environmentally preferable packing materials such as cushioning peanuts made of biodegradable cornstarch and bubble wrap containing postconsumer recycled plastic. In turn, recycle or reuse these materials after you've unpacked.
  • If you must purchase new boxes, buy corrugated boxes with the highest recycled content you can find.
  • Recycle your moving boxes when you're finished unpacking.
  • Be sure to properly dispose of any non-recyclable items that you won't be taking with you. This includes household cleaners, paints, automotive supplies, and other hazardous items that require special disposal. Some localities hold hazardous waste collection days and electronics recycling events where you may drop off items for recycling or proper disposal.
  • Earth Day -April 22- is a good time to start your spring cleaning. Make sure you're properly maintaining home appliances and keeping them clean, which keeps them running at peak efficiency. This saves electricity, which conserves resources and reduces global warming. Remove lint and dust from your refrigerator coil and freezer. Clean up lint around your dryer, furnace, and any vents leading to or from them. Also, change or clean the filter in your air purifier or furnace.
  • For spring cleaning chores, try to use non-disposable items such as mops and reusable rags or sponges. When using household cleaning products, be sure that you only use the amount you need, and that you read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use and disposal.
  • Have a yard sale to find new homes for clothes, toys, appliances, books, and other items.

Lawn and Garden

Quick Tips:

  • For spring lawns, remember all pesticides are toxic to some degree. Try spot-treating problem areas with pesticides, rather than treating the whole yard. Plant trees, shrubs, or other greenery to help reduce carbon dioxide in the air.
  • Use food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic waste to create a compost pile. Compost is a rich soil amendment that can help increase water retention, decrease erosion, and replace chemical fertilizers.
  • Many plants and insects can serve as non-toxic, natural deterrents to weeds and garden pests. Introduce ladybugs to eat aphids, plant marigolds to ward off beetles, and look for quick-sprouting plants to block weed growth.
  • If you have healthy plants that you want to replace, donate them to community gardens or schools, or offer them to neighbors.

In the Community

Quick Tips:

  • On Earth Day, show your commitment to a clean environment by volunteering for a cleanup effort in your community or initiating a cleanup effort in your school, on your street, along roadsides, vacant lots, or other local areas. Remind your friends not to litter.
  • Organize a recycling drive in your neighborhood or school. Collect bottles, glass, plastic, and newspapers and take them to your local recycling center.
  • Offer to donate items to schools and local charities. Many are interested in notepads, toys, dishes, sweaters and coats, books, pencils, board games, posters, and holiday decorations.
  • If you are hosting a party, buy drinks and snacks in bulk to prevent packaging waste, and encourage guests to recycle their empty aluminum cans and glass or plastic bottles. Also reuse decorations, or rent some from a party store.
  • Spend your free time volunteering at a local park or helping out with environmental clean-ups.

Photo of butterfly landing on bright orange flower


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