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Being greener in your home

Spring is a great time to clear away the cobwebs and ring the changes in your home, and in your wardrobe. Here are some ways to spring clean your home and be good to the environment.

1. Revamp your wardrobe

There are lots of great things you can do to reuse and recycle your old clothes and avoid them going into landfill:

  • sort out the clothes you haven't worn for ages and take them to your local charity shop or textile recycling centre
  • organise a clothes swap with friends, neighbours or work colleagues
  • learn to sew or teach someone to sew and create new fashions from old clothes
  • discover a new wardrobe at your local charity shop
  • line dry your clothes to get the smell of spring into your laundry

For more ideas on clothing choices read the article on greener clothing.

2. Spring clean and decorate your home

With the days getting longer, you can start spring cleaning your home, and thinking about the DIY projects you want to tackle. Here are some ideas for being kind to the environment and looking after your home in a greener way:

  • be sparing with detergents
  • look for natural chemical alternatives to shop-bought products, like lemon juice and vinegar
  • use environmentally friendly paints, which give off fewer harmful fumes
  • buy wood furniture that is sustainable, or made from recycled wood

For lots of other green cleaning tips read the greener ways to clean article. You can find other DIY ideas in the greener DIY article.

3. Give new life to your old furniture

If there is still life in your old furniture, or electrical appliances, you can find them a new home using a local service like Freecycle or Freegle. You might also find something to replace it at the same time.

You can also give your furniture a new lease of life by recovering, repainting or reusing it in another room.

If you are going to buy new furniture, check that the wood used comes from sustainable sources, or is made from recycled wood.

For more information on furniture, and on wood labels read the articles on greener furniture and fittings and wood labels.

4. Love food

Each month the average family throws away £50 of good food that was bought but not eaten. To avoid food waste you can:

  • plan your menus for the week
  • only cook as much as you need
  • find out how to cook and store food so it can be reused if you cook too much
  • learn how to compost as much as you can

The Love Food Hate Waste website has many useful recipes for leftovers, and guides to portion sizes. There are also cooking and storage tips, and other ideas for reducing your food waste.

You can also make the most of the fresh fruit and vegetables in season. Seasonal food uses less energy and resources to produce, so you'll be helping the environment too. To find out what's in season now, and how to cook it, visit the Eat Seasonably website.

5. Recycle all you can

Nearly everyone puts out recycling for local council recycling collections. However there is still more you can do. Nearly two thirds of all household rubbish can be recycled – from fridges and batteries, to paints.

You can check what you can recycle in your recycling collection, and at your local recycling centre, on the Recycle Now website. You can also check with your local council to see what the recycling options are in your area.

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