Planning Spring Projects With An Environmentally-Friendly Mindset
By the time spring rolls around each year, most people are ready to tackle new projects, get involved in spring cleaning, or spend more time outside creating a beautiful, colorful stage for their homes.
Spring and “greenery” go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t always mean spring projects are environmentally-friendly. To make sure they are, you may need to do a bit of research and even a few potential swaps and changes.
So, whether you’re one of the 91% of Americans who takes part in spring cleaning, or you’re excited to start a bigger project to spruce up your space, we’ve got some tips on how your project planning can be more environmentally-friendly from start to finish.
Making Sustainable Upgrades
If you’ve got your tool belt on and you’re ready for some home renovations, pause before you break out the hammer. First, consider the environmental impact of the project you want to complete. Whether you’re tearing something down, making an addition, or repairing or replacing something in need of attention, it’s always better to do it with a sustainable mindset.
If your project is too much for you to handle on your own, consider working with a contractor who specializes in sustainable construction. But, if it is a DIY project, there are a few things you can do to make your spring project more eco-friendly. The easiest solution is to utilize sustainable materials.
Most sustainable materials are better for the environment and won’t release harmful chemicals into the air of your home. Some of the most common include:
- Natural linoleum
Nowadays, you can even find eco-friendly paint with low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions, so even if your spring projects include sprucing up a room with a fresh coat of paint, you can feel comfortable and confident with it. Many older paints do contain those VOC emissions. So, getting rid of them with something safer isn’t just better for the planet, but your family as well.
Getting Clear About Spring Cleaning
Maybe you’re replacing your tool belt with a cleaning caddy. If that’s the case, you’re certainly not alone. As stated above, statistics show most people do some type of spring cleaning. This number is even greater among millennials.
Once you have your list in place of everything you want to do, consider your cleaners. Unfortunately, many name brand cleaning supplies contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. It’s important to be aware of marketing techniques used by some companies to make you feel like you’re using a safe product when you’re not.
Brands fully understand the push for greener, more sustainable products. So, some are quick to practice “greenwashing”. Greenwashing labels products in very vague, generic ways to make you think they are something they aren’t. Look out for words like “natural.” The packaging might even look environmentally friendly, but there’s a purpose for that, too.
This isn’t to say all products advertising themselves as sustainable are lying. But, it’s important to do your research before you make a purchase.
Alternatively, you could consider making your own cleaners. Some of the most common ingredients in DIY cleaning solutions include:
- Baking soda
- Castile soap
- Essential oils
You’re in complete control when you make your own cleaning solution, so you can feel good about the ingredients you choose, without all of the unnecessary marketing hype.
Sprucing Up the Great Outdoors
Spring and flowers go hand in hand, right? So, planting a garden or sprucing up your yard is a great way to add some life to your surroundings. Plus, working on a garden can reduce your stress levels and give you a boost of vitamin D. Additionally, if you consider planting a vegetable garden and growing your own food, you can use it as a teaching opportunity if you have kids in the house. Sustainability will only be effective if future generations get involved, so if you have children, get them interested in things like gardening as much as possible.
Sprucing up your yard or your garden is a fantastic way to spend a spring day. But, even when you’re doing something innately “green,” it’s still important to do it the right way.
Do your best to rely on native plants whenever you’re doing landscaping. Native plants help to sustain local wildlife and will require less frequent watering, which is always better for the environment. Most native plants also won’t require things like pesticides or other chemicals to keep critters away.
If you need a touch of spring inside your home, too, bring some of those flowers and plants indoors! Many plants help to naturally purify the air, so you won’t have to rely as much on filtration systems within your home if someone struggles with allergies or respiratory issues.
Planning your spring projects with an environmentally-friendly mindset doesn’t have to be difficult. By planning ahead, making a few adjustments, and getting excited about doing something good for the planet (and yourself), it’s easier than you might think to be sustainable this spring. Check out our eco-friendly tips section for more ideas!