We spend so much time making sure our homes are spotless that we never stop to ask how that affect’s everyone’s home. If your own apartment is neat and clean but the environment is a mess, then you are doing it wrong. No need to despair, it is possible to be green even during your cleaning routine, just follow these tips.

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Try to DIY

We live in a wonderful era of information and we can all learn how to make our own cleaning products. Home-mixed cleaners are good for the environment because they avoid toxic substances that can damage your family or pollute water sources. What’s even better, they are usually very cheap to make, so you are helping your pockets as well. If you are afraid you will have to go out scavenger-hunting for obscure ingredients, fear no more: you have them in your pantry. Almost every mess in your home can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar or baking soda and warm water. Dissolve grease, get rid of mold, shine your surfaces and get rid of water residue without buying a single cleaning product.

Toss the antibacterial cleaners

Antibacterial or antimicrobial cleaners are not as necessary as all those alarming TV ads would have you believe. In fact, they might even be counter-productive, as they carry the risk of breeding “super germs” that can get your family sick and are harder to kill. The FDA found that antimicrobial and antibacterial soaps and cleaners are not better at getting rid of germs than regular hand soap, so you should really avoid them.

Don’t buy air-fresheners

Air fresheners are usually toxic, they make the air quality in your home worse and they can even be harmful to the ozone layer. If you want your home to smell great all the time, get indoor plants. Broad, green leaves are great at filtering and renewing the air in your house, even if they don’t make it smell different. If you do want the smell, boil cinnamon, cloves or any other herb or spice that you like. If your carpets smell weird, sprinkle them with baking soda and let it soak up the smell before vacuuming it up.

Be mindful when discarding toxic cleaners

Whether you are replacing all of your toxic cleaners for greener brands or just tossing out old containers, avoid leaving toxic products in the trash. If the product is toxic for your home, it will be for the environment. Tossing toxic containers in the trash or pouring products down the drain is a great way to make sure the landfill gets full of harmful chemicals and your water supply contaminated. Your neighborhood or community probably holds toxic and electronics recycling days, so you can take them there to be disposed of responsibly.