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Christain Watt, co-owner of Kentucky Botanical Co. and Refilled, eco-happy expansion located within their stores in Bellevue, Florence and their newest location on West Pike Street in Covington.

Four Eco-Friendly Ways to Up Your Spring Cleaning Game This Season

Spring has sprung, which means we’re all itching to get some Spring cleaning done. Did you know you can even clean up your Spring cleaning routine?

Christain Watt, co-owner of Kentucky Botanical Co. and Refilled (the refillery and eco-happy expansion located within their stores in Bellevue, Florence and their newest location on West Pike Street in Covington), has some helpful eco-friendly tips for all your Spring cleaning plans.

Switch to products that are non-toxic and biodegradable: Get *bonus* points for buying from your favorite local refillery, like Refilled. Every product in the store has been vetted and cross referenced ingredient-by-ingredient. Some of Watt’s favorite products includes Sal’s Suds and Mama Suds. “These are concentrates, so a little goes a long way,” she says. “And with different dilution recipes, they can be used for almost every household's cleaning products.”

Ditch the paper towels: There are several alternatives to paper towels that do just as great of a job as regular paper towels without the waste. Watt recommends products like Swedish dishcloths, bamboo paper towels, and even unwanted textiles like old sheets, old towels, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and outgrown kids clothes to repurpose.

Hang dry your laundry: Not only does hanging your clothes outside invoke the best feeling of nostalgia and take you back to those summers at grandma’s, but it helps to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. In fact, Watt says, the average household’s carbon footprint can be reduced by 2,400 pounds per year when you hang your laundry to dry. We know hanging laundry isn’t feasible for everyone so if you do need to use the dryer invest in a set of dryer balls rather than dryer sheets to reduce drying time (and chemicals on your laundry!).

Reduce single-use plastics: You can make a huge impact on the environment by reducing single-use plastics in your home. Refilleries, like Refilled, are popping up everywhere so you can take your glass containers to be filled with your favorite eco-friendly products while doing your part to cut back on single-use plastics. You can also reuse old containers for homemade cleaners, and making your own cleaning products while reusing old containers will really make you feel good about helping Mother Earth.

When you’re grabbing your Spring cleaning essentials, be sure to stay away from those harsh chemicals found in bleach and other household cleaners. Go for the user-friendly, less-disease-causing products like Castile soap, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and an all-purpose concentrate. When you use these products, Watt says there are tons of different dilution and combinations that can help you in cleaning the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, common surfaces, windows and glass, and the floors!

Ok, now you’re saying “I made it through Spring cleaning, what’s next?” Organization, of course! Once everything is clean and ready for warmer weather, it’s time to tidy up (and make all those hours binging organization shows on Netflix finally pay off!)

Watt says that one way to get organized and limit the amount of paper you have filling up your desk space is to switch to paperless billing. She says this is also a good time to recycle your unwanted items by sending them to places like Terracycle, which has many empty product recycling programs as well as a partnership with Simple Truth among other brands! A local recycling center will also accept a large number of items that you can’t leave in your weekly pick-up, so be sure to check places like the Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub.

After using up that jar of coconut oil, marinara sauce, save it for organizing instead of just recycling it. After you clean it out, use it to organize any number of random household items: cooking ingredients and grains, kitchen utensils, pens, craft supplies, or makeup brushes. You can even use glass jars as vases and planters. If you plan to visit a refillery, bring your jars for all the bath, body, laundry and kitchen goodies you'd like to stock up on!

Have some items around the house just taking up space and not getting used? Post them in Facebook Marketplace, your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook or other online forums. There’s always someone who needs (or wants!) what you are ready to give away!

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