It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings. I love this time of year. Somehow, it’s so much more than a number on a calendar. I never understand why it has this impact on me, but I can count on the inspiration and motivation I feel this time of year to accomplish things that at other times you’d have to hit me over the head with a crowbar to attempt. I hope you’re in this boat with me. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to get started on going green.
If so, here are ten steps to get you started.
- Acknowledge the importance of “Green” cleaning. Agree with the need for change before you can change.
- Educate yourself continuously with trustworthy resources such as the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
- Read ingredient lists. Beware of red-flag ingredients such as “-eths” and “fragrance”.
- Start with one step at a time. Identify the easiest task for you to turn green, and start there.
- Use products you understand. Complicated is not better. Regular soap and water is extremely effective, as are vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and olive oil.
- GIY: Green-It-Yourself. Make your own cleaning products. Save yourself the time, money, and effort of buying from the store.
- Multi-task your cleaners. Find a great all-purpose recipe and use it for sinks, counters, dishes, floors, indoor, outdoor, everywhere.
- Reduce your refuse. Buy in bulk and buy concentrates to reduce throw-away packaging. Use washable cloths instead of paper towels. Recycle, reuse, re-gift, and re-purpose what you can.
- Clean your air. Open windows daily. Bring in houseplants. Use real foods to scent the air instead of candles, sprays, or plug in air fresheners.
- Stick with it. Even if you stumble occasionally, keep going. You will eventually develop new habits and get used to new norms.
Here are some of my previous posts to help you get started:
- What I Mean by “Green”
- Dr. Bronner’s Usage Cheat Sheets
- How Soap Works
- My Cleaning Cabinet
- My Bathroom Cabinet
- Falling Off the Green Machine
Getting anything accomplished is always a matter of one step at a time. The most important step, and often the most difficult, is the first one. This summer we drove across the country (and back). Considering our starting point, it looked a bit daunting. But how did we do it? Step by step – turned left out of our driveway, left at the corner, left at the stop sign…