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Green Tips: Spring Cleaning

Green Tips | March 19, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe, leaving many people isolated in their homes indefinitely. Spending the whole day without much social interaction or physical activity can become incredibly challenging. Adding to that stress, you might worry that a surface in your home is harboring coronavirus if your space hasn’t been cleaned recently, or even if it feels cluttered. That’s why we’re focusing this week’s Green Tips on freshening up your home to make it a more livable and comfortable space.

Keeping a Clean Home

To first address coronavirus, it is strongly recommended by the Center for Disease Control to not only clean, but also disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in your home, including electronics, countertops, light switches, and door handles. Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, but disinfecting with chemicals after cleaning is the best way to effectively kill germs. The CDC suggests using diluted household bleach solutions, solutions containing at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants for disinfecting. To find out more on what you can do to stay safe and healthy, please go to the CDC’s coronavirus webpage

Staying Safe

While using bleach and household disinfectants that often contain potentially irritating or harmful chemicals, we recommend wearing protective gloves and avoiding contact with your eyes and skin. You should also use these products in well-ventilated rooms. 

Tidying Up

As many of us work from home, now is also a good time to declutter. By weeding out things you don’t need, you can free up space and make your home more comfortable to live in. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • If you have old t-shirts or other unwearable clothing, consider turning them into cleaning rags. Instead of wasting endless amounts of paper towels, repurpose cloth that you already have, and throw it in the washing machine to reuse it.
  • For other unwanted items or clothing that you don’t have a use for anymore, try upcycling them. There are tons of ways to turn things you might have thrown away into new items. To get some ideas of things to upcycle, view our tips here
  • For items you can’t reuse, do your best to recycle them. There are many ways to donate items, including bringing them to drop-off locations or giving them away to online thrift stores such as ThredUp. Given the widespread order from Governor Cuomo to stay home, you may want to simply make a pile of things to donate later. 

On behalf of the NYLCVEF team, we hope you are staying safe and healthy (and washing your hands a lot). Please note that these are not official guidelines for protecting yourself against the COVID-19 virus. Always follow the CDC’s guidelines.


Women’s Voices for the Earth is hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 26 at 2 PM EST to discuss safe cleaning and hygiene in the times of COVID-19; we know many people want to keep their families safe from the virus, but they also want to keep them safe from toxic chemicals.

This webinar is designed to answer questions around disinfectants and sanitizers, discuss safer and effective options, health concerns, the science behind hand-washing & more. The webinar is led by Director of Science and Research, Alexandra Scranton.

Here is a direct link to the webinar registration

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