Signs of spring burst all around the Cape back in February. Although it may not be time to start packing away your winter clothes just yet it is a great time to start on your annual cleaning & organizing. This year why not go a little greener with it?
Nix the air fresheners and open up those windows! Toss the scented aerosols and freshen things up with fresh cut flowers instead. Forget chemicals and use mixes of baking soda and essential oils for deodorizing. Use low-VOC paints.
Register an address and you start getting paper solicitations and direct marketing cards. Open a line of credit and you get loads of other offers. On average the amount of paper waste we make every year adds up to over 2000 pounds! What can you you do to go green here? Of course you can recycle the paper but start lessening the amount delivered in the first place. Call the sources of all of the unwanted mail and opt out. You can also sign up for paperless billing invoices and save your receipts digitally. Not only will you be saving the environment you’ll be saving yourself the time you would normally spend filing it all away!
Use less and keep it clean! If you’ve been putting off fixing that running toilet do it now! Check all of your faucets for drips and adjust them accordingly. A faucet that drips 1 drip per minute actually wastes up to 34 gallons a year and you’re paying for it. Consider swapping out your shower heads for low-flow models. Be conscious of how much water you’re using when you’re brushing your teeth and doing dishes (turn it off while you scrub!).
Your Stuff Recycle and donate. Old tattered clothes can be used as rags or kept for messy projects like painting the ceiling. Donate clothes in good condition to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, church group or homeless shelter. Donate old pillows and towels to your local animal shelter. Buy a trash can that helps you sort out your plastics and bottles from your trash, and sort and recycle all of your boxes.
Vampires are everywhere! Think of how many things are still plugged in at your home right now. The coffee pot? TV? Phone chargers? Computer? All of these things are still slowly using electricity. Put a stake in it and unplug any electrical devices when you’re not using them. For areas with multiple devices use a power strip so you only have to pull one plug from the outlet.
Have you had a home energy assessment done yet? Mass Save offers them for Massachusetts residence. They gave homeowners all new energy efficient light bulbs and power strips for their entertainment centers (for FREE!).
It’s officially March! Here on Cape Cod, we know that means we’re in for some yo-yo weather patterns and little hints of spring. Start your monthly maintenance to-do’s early and enjoy what the rest of the month has to bring!
Daylight savings begins this month. Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks.
Clean out your medicine cabinet. Safely dispose of dated prescriptions and over the counter medicines (please not in the toilet!). You might find a local collection drive by calling your police department.
Examine your washer machine hose washers. Shut off their water source, remove the supply hose, and replace any worn or damaged washers. Replace the hoses every 5 years.
Clean out the garage. Gather all hazardous materials to be tossed (paint thinners, cleaners, pesticides, etc.) and contact your city’s Department of Public Works to find out when the next collection date is.
Clean your refrigerator inside and out, removing all food, shelves, trays, and old ice from the ice maker. Replace the baking soda.
If you have one, test your sump pump by pouring water into it and making sure it pumps out.
Garbage disposal cleaner: Grind two trays of ice cubes made of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of water.
Planning on planting a garden this year? Start drafting up a diagram of the space you have. Research how much space each plant is going to need, and the best season to start them. You may even be able to start some of your seedlings indoors.