And while it can be easy (and sort of fun) to purge our belongings and throw everything directly into the trash, it’s important for us to remember that our planet is going through enough harm as it is. (Plus, you can be fined for improper disposal of items.)
Therefore, we should all look for eco-friendly ways to eliminate the clutter in our living spaces. This article will provide a few ideas for doing so: selling through the second-hand economy, recycling a variety of items, digitizing media, and using cleaning products that benefit the environment.
First of all, you can prevent your unwanted items from ending up in the landfill by participating in the second-hand economy. Go through your items and categorize everything that is in decent condition. Then, look for ways to sell those items — whether it’s by throwing a yard sale, taking them to your local second-hand shop, or selling them online. That way, you can reduce harm to the environment and make some extra cash at the same time.
Recycling — Big and Small
Recycling is on the rise, but there is work to be done. We are still putting items in our recycling bins that don’t belong there, which raises costs for sorting facilities, harms the environment, and causes safety issues. Styrofoam, food wrappers, and paper coffee cups are some of the most common items that are recycled when they should be thrown in the trash.
Common household items made of glass, aluminum, and unsoiled paper/cardboard are generally accepted by recycling plants. When it comes to larger items, many of us will set them on the curb to be taken to the landfill. However, there’s a home for many of these items where they can be recycled and used for good. For instance, things like electronics, appliances, and bedding can usually be recycled.
Electronics (e.g., TVs, computers, VHS players, mobile phones) can be taken to an e-waste recycler where they are broken down and the parts are repurposed. With appliances, you can often arrange a curbside pickup from your local garbage service, contact the manufacturer about recycling incentives, or sell the appliance to a scrap metal recycling company. Many local garbage services will also pick up old mattresses for recycling if you request it, or you can break the mattress down yourself and recycle the components separately.
Taking Advantage of the Cloud
You can also reduce the clutter in your home by digitizing your media. Photo albums, VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, and other hard copies of media can take up a lot of space. The good news is that you can now have everything in the cloud, which not only saves space but is also more convenient to access. So, whenever possible, look into digitizing services to put your photos and home videos in the cloud, and consider subscribing to a digital video service and digital music service for your entertainment options.
Using Green Cleaning Products
Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to clean. Whether you’re doing the cleaning on your own or hiring a service (maid services average $166 in Denver), opt for green cleaning products whenever possible. There are all-purpose cleaners, dish soaps, laundry detergents (green detergents are available on Amazon for $12.34), fabric cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, pet-stain removers, furniture polishes, and more that effectively clean while posing less harm to the environment and your household.
Any way we can benefit the environment in our everyday lives is worth doing, and that includes decluttering our homes. Remember to explore the second-hand economy, learn about all the items you can recycle, consider digitizing your media, and choose green cleaning products. Every small step toward a cleaner and healthier planet is well worth the extra effort.
Guest Blogger: Alice Robertson of tidyhome.info