After a long, cold, seemingly endless winter, spring is finally here! For many of us, part of celebrating the season of renewal is doing some serious tidying up, paring down, and airing out. 

But no one wants to bring more chemicals into their home. Or use more resources and energy. Why not make your spring clean green? Here are some simple ways to reduce your use of toxic products while also getting the spring clean buzz. 

1. Skip the dryer

People pay for the smell of sunshine-infused spring air! Get it for free by setting up a clothesline and hanging clothes and linens out to dry in the fresh air. Not only do you get the smell of spring, you’re also not using unnecessary energy. Win-win! 

2. Aim for a low or no-waste clean 

If your usual routine is grabbing a roll of paper towels and mercilessly going after every surface in your home, try something different this year. Use washable towels or rags instead. Or, for glass cleaning, newspaper is actually more effective at reducing streaks than other methods. You know the drill: reduce, reuse, recycle. 

3. Raid your kitchen

That open box of baking soda in the back of your fridge? If it’s been there awhile, it’s probably time for a new one. But don’t throw it out! Baking soda is a kitchen staple powerhouse. Use it to scrub pots, freshen sinks, and – with its old pal vinegar – even naturally unclog drains. 

There’s a reason our grandmothers always had a big jug of white vinegar under the sink. That stuff works on everything! Ok, not everything. But vinegar really does have an astounding range of uses. Use it to deodorize sweat-soaked clothes, tackle soap scum, or safely clean household surfaces. 

And have you ever wondered why so many cleaning products are lemon-scented? It’s because lemons are super handy for cleaning. Use it to clean stained cutting boards, sanitize your garbage disposal, shine brass and chrome, and even remove grease stains from clothes. 

This spring, don’t just clean your house: think about how you can leave a better world for future generations. That’s what “springing forward” really means!