Winter is coming to an end which means it is time for spring! The sun is out! Depending on where you live, you may already be experiencing warmer weather. Here in Birmingham, Alabama, where I live we just had an 80-degree day. Needless to say, we are ready for warmer weather! What are some things you can do around your house as it gets warmer?
- Hang your clothes to dry outside. Research shows that 75% of the carbon footprint from washing clothes comes from dryer usage. Installing a clothesline or purchasing a dryer rack (good for indoor and outdoor use) can lower your energy bill and lengthen the lifespan of your clothing as most dryers are very harsh on clothing. Just make sure to check the weather for those spring showers!
- Adding plants to your home is a great way to add some color to your space while also purifying your home. Studies show plants increase oxygen levels and positively affect mood. If you don’t necessarily have a green thumb, consider a succulent. They require minimal watering and are easy to take care of.
- We all want our house to smell great, but we can do it naturally. Instead of using toxic air fresheners, open your doors! This allows for airflow in your house, lowers the amount of air pollution, and depending on the doors/windows you open, creates a cross-flow allowing fresh air in and stale air out.
- When cleaning out your closet, you may find items that you can no longer wear and are unfit to donate. Instead of throwing them in the trash, consider adding them to your cleaning regimen. You may be considering throwing out your old t-shirt from middle school with too many holes to count, but you can actually use it while cleaning instead of wasteful paper towels or disinfectant wipes.
- Spring is a great time to start composting. A common misconception is that you need a huge yard in order to compost. Depending on your budget, you can compost right on your kitchen counter. For more budget-friendly alternatives, this composting bin can fit on most balconies and is super easy to use- I actually have one! Even further, this kind of bin does not create compost but holds your compost waste and was a favorite of mine while living in an apartment.
- We all know that spring signifies the return of bugs, but there are natural ways to keep those critters out. Many insect repellents contain harmful chemicals that keep bugs out but are also harmful to humans. Lavender oil is an amazing natural alternative. Bugs hate the smell!
- Spring also means allergy season. Make sure to take a shower as soon as you get in the house. You will inevitably bring pollen inside your house so stop it from spreading all over your house by showering soon after you arrive home. Consider washing your sheets with baking soda and vinegar in order to remove allergens so you will not breathe them in all night as you sleep.
- Turn off the lights! Spring means more daylight hours. Consider keeping lights off during the day and opening the blinds. Sunlight provides natural light that is not as harsh as the lighting in your home as well as Vitamin D, an essential vitamin known to help control infections, reduce inflammation, and improve mood. Pro tip: adding mirrors to your interiors is an easy way to increase the effectiveness of sunlight already present in your home.
- As it gets warmer and you turn off the heat, consider opening the windows instead of turning on the AC. This will be beneficial for your electric bill and the environment! Ceiling fans and other household fans are another alternative to AC that can cool down your house without breaking the budget and saving energy.
In a few weeks, spring will have sprung! Implement these environmentally friendly changes to your home and notice the difference!