Green your spring cleaning

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

If you're planning on spring cleaning, why not make it a little more eco friendly?

Let’s not kid ourselves, on a balmy spring day you’d rather be outside having a braai than doing housework. But if you do plan to set aside some time to get rid of clutter and clean the areas you have neglected, why not be a bit more eco-aware while doing it?

Starting with your wardrobe, rather than toss old clothes into the bin make two piles. A pile for clothes you can donate to a shelter or charitable organisation, and one for clothes that are destined to become wash rags. That old, “I’m only here for the beer” t-shirt really should be put to better use. Namely cleaning your car. While some brands of mothballs are not too harsh on the nose, most leave your cupboard with a scent that singes nose-hairs. If you have unpaired socks you can stuff them with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and whole cloves. Tie the end off and leave them in the cupboard instead of mothballs. Just remember to use a clean sock.

If you have some wooden furniture that needs to be treated, mix equal parts of lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Using your old “I’m too sexy for my shirt” t-shirt you haven’t worn since varsity, rub the mixture onto the furniture in long, even strokes. This mix both pulls dirt out from wood grains and lubricates it slightly so that it doesn’t dry out. And if you have some of the lemon juice and olive oil mix left over you can always use it when making dinner.

You can save a bit of cash by making your own eco-friendly air-freshener. All you need to do is sprinkle essential oil on a cotton ball and stash it out of reach of the kids or pets. You experiment using a variety of oils and scents such as lavender, clove, citrus oils or peppermint. This easy-to-make air freshener can also be used in you car.

The framed photo of your grade one school trip, the lamp shade you inherited from your great-aunt Edna, the TV that’s collecting dust in the garage – do you really need them or can you get rid of them? While you may need to ditch the actual photo, the frame, TV and other goods you never plan to use can all be recycled, donated or taken to stores that sell used goods. If you are lucky you may even be able to make a bit of money. Whenever you visit a Pikitup waste disposal site, be sure to leave old electronic goods aside as some industrious soul may be able to repair or use your old appliances.

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