April 22 is Earth Day. The observance of Earth Day has come a long way from what it was when the celebration started many years ago. Nowadays the ritual of spring cleaning and taking care of our Earth go hand in hand. As you work to brighten your home, think of all the ways you can get rid of things you don’t want without putting them in a garbage bag headed for a landfill. Your carbon footprint (how much garbage you make) should be as minimal as possible. My family of five has about a bag and a half of garbage a week. That’s because we employ many tactics for reducing, reusing and recycling objects that we no longer need. Besides garage sales and Goodwill, here are some ideas for ways to clean up your home without “dirtying” the environment by throwing unwanted items in a landfill.
Toys: This is a big one in many households. If the toy is still in good shape, donate appropriate age items to church nurseries, daycare centers, preschools (especially if they are learning toys), homeless shelters, shelters for victims of domestic violence and children’s hospitals (like Riley or Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital). Even if a toy is not working, it might be able to be fixed before donation.
Linens: Old blankets, towels and sheets can be warmth for more than you think. Good items can be donated to homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, Red Cross collections for emergency victims and drug recovery homes. If the linens are a bit worn they can still make excellent bedding for animals in shelters, or even inside your own dog house or other animal cage. Linens in bad shape can be cut apart and used for rags around the house. This can save a lot of paper towels, and some fabrics — flannel for dusting or sheets for windows — are super for specific jobs.