Eco-friendly spring cleaning

Mary Kate Miller
May 10, 2018
10 min read
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Spring is in the air! One of the best ways to welcome warm weather is with a thorough spring cleaning. There’s nothing like watching nature build a fresh start to make you feel inspired to do the same. Wanting to spring clean and actually doing it, though, are two different things. A 2017 study showed that while 66% of people said they would participate in spring cleaning, 54% of them didn’t know where to begin. We get it. It can be tough to know where to start, so we’ve put together a guide to spring cleaning, the Swell way.

Because we believe in a two-birds-with-one-stone approach, these tips will show you how you can make the world a better place while giving your home a refresh. Each of these tips is inspired by the different Swell portfolios, which are designed to tackle different problems facing the world.

Green tech

It’s time to go through the house and check all those light bulbs. As you replace those that are burnt out, consider changing to energy efficient light bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy efficient light bulbs like halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) consume 25-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs have had some interesting developments in recent years. Many “smart bulbs” allow you to enjoy a variety of colors, and they pair with other smart devices, like homes and thermostats to let make sure the light is only left on when you need it.

Speaking of smart thermostats, they can be real game changers in the sustainable home. Smart thermostats allow you to get the most out of your heating and air conditioning system and limit the resources you use at the same time. The technologies that allow us to live more sustainable lifestyles have just been getting better, and the future for green tech is looking bright.

Clean water

Did you know that the chemicals in cleaning products make their way into the water supply? Many of the chemicals in common household cleaners can contribute to contaminating the water and air. This is especially true of products that are used to sanitize and degrease.

To help keep our water clean, you can switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Vinegar is a real work horse when it comes to household cleaning. It kills bacteria, fights mildew, and it’s great with dirt. You can use it for everything from the kitchen to the bathroom. You can even use it in the laundry! Vinegar is especially good for towels that have gotten that mildew smell.

Zero waste

There are so many cheap and easy ways you can reduce waste around the house. First, you can start composting so that your food waste can become fertilizer instead of heading to the landfill.

Investing in a reusable coffee mug is a great way to do your part to end America’s addiction to paper cups. No, seriously, 50 billion paper cups end up in U.S. landfills every year. Even if you don’t plan on making coffee at home, bringing your own cup is a great way to reduce waste.

If you’re prone to buying bottled water, try purchasing a water filter instead. You get the same taste without the trash build up.

Try putting a recycling bin in rooms other than the kitchen. You’ll be surprised at how much more you start recycling with this easy trick. Paper waste from the bedroom, toilet paper rolls from the bathroom, and junk mail from the office all add up.

Renewable energy

If your wallet can swing it, consider adding solar panels to your home. If you’re in the market for a new car, you can go electric (and swanky) with a Tesla, which is one of our Renewable Energy holdings.

Okay, this one is a little more in the splurge category. If that’s out of your price range, you can just double down on those LED bulbs… and maybe look into an IRA that buys into the belief that renewable energy may be our biggest source of energy by 2050.

Disease eradication

So, there’s not a clear at-home practice version of our disease eradication portfolio. The closest we can come is to suggest that you check the air filters in your furnace to make sure you don’t have allergens floating around the home. Clean air can mean getting sick less often, specifically if you suffer from allergies. For the greenest version of this, see if you can get a reusable air filter (or an air purifier with a reusable air filter), so that indoor fresh air isn’t adding to your carbon footprint.

On a larger scale, you can invest in our disease eradication portfolio, which supports work to eradicate diseases like cancer, malaria, and tuberculosis. You just may change the world and grow your bank account without leaving the house.

Healthy living

It’s well known that having plants in your home can help to benefit your mood. Fresh cut flowers can help you feel happier, but why not use your spring cleaning as an opportunity to bring some plants into your home. Plants like basil, mint, and rosemary require relatively minimal care, and they can contribute to healthier eating habits.

Now all that’s left is to spring into action! (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

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