How To Declutter Your Home Without Destroying The Environment

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You may think that you’re a pro recycler just because you’re properly pitching your bottles and cans every week, but there are several other ways you could be contributing to a landfill without even realizing it — only about one-tenth of all solid waste in the U.S. gets recycled each year. While decluttering your home is always a good idea, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment without thinking about the proper disposal method of everyday possessions, so here’s how you can clean up your pad without destroying the environment.

Properly Dispose Of Large Items

Where exactly do you think that couch or computer is going when you toss it into a dumpster? (Hint: a landfill.) Many people improperly dispose of large items because "it's not easy," but the truth of the matter is, it's not difficult at all — it just takes a few extra steps. Start by checking with your local waste management company and/or scrap yard to see if they will take large, bulky items. When it comes to electronics and appliances, many U.S. states have made it illegal to casually throw these goods in the trash, so try selling it for extra cash (if it's in decent enough shape), or donating it to a shelter or secondhand store. You can also check with the manufacturer as many companies offer recycling programs — you may even receive a discount or cash incentive.

Go Digital

It's 2018 and very few people have photo albums anymore. Minimize clutter by scanning photos and embracing "the cloud.” Your virtual albums will be easy to share with friends ands loved ones and you can access photos (and videos) at any time and on a variety of devices. Just make sure you back everything up in case something happens to your originals. A trickier item to deal with is DVDs as there's always a possibility that movies you purchased in the cloud may disappear one day. Not to mention, every movie isn't available in a digital format. With that in mind, hold on to any major favorites or rare classics and stick with a digital rental or purchasing service when it's time to watch flicks. Sell or donate any unwanted DVDs to schools, shelters, senior centers and secondhand shops.

Donate Your Clothing

Considering the average American disposes of 70 pounds of clothing each year and 85 percent of it winds up in a landfill or incinerator, clothing needs to be addressed as its own ticket item. There's nothing better you can do with your unwanted wares than to donate them to someone in need.

Make It a Habit

Once you've decluttered, you'll need to work to keep your space clean and clear of clutter. One efficient way to keep your home clean is to make a checklist of daily tasks to complete, such as going through each room to put items in their place, wash and dry your dishes, make the beds, and remove kids’ toys and pet supplies.

Green Home Tip:

Our Reusable Produce Bags are also great for storing toys, cosmetics, and accessories.

Investing in quality cleaning products can not only motivate you to clean regularly, it can also make the task much simpler. For example, working with an old vacuum can be extremely frustrating, time consuming and inefficient. By investing in a new one, you can get the task done right the first time. Consider purchasing a commercial vacuum as these vacuums are considerably stronger than residential models. Research affordable models online. As you are tidying up your rooms, avoid using toxic cleaning products. Instead, choose green formulas that are still effective at banishing bacteria and stains. Use an online tool to research the safest brands on the market today.

As you declutter your home, there are many ways you may be harming the environment without realizing it. By properly disposing large items, going digital, donating your clothing, and routinely keeping your home clear of clutter, you’ll reduce the amount of waste you produce.

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