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Sustainable spring cleaning

Blog by Miriam

Sustainable Merton Community Champion

It's that time of year again. Spring has sprung heralding the start of the traditional annual 'big clean'.

From tackling the accumulated dust mounds on top of our kitchen cupboards to washing our curtains to rid them of dirt, mould and more - this is the time to convert 'I'll get around to it one day' into concrete action.

But as we set out to wield our feather dusters and prepare to fill our rooms with the heady scent of beeswax polish, we may be asking ourselves whether sustainability and spring cleaning can sit happily in the same sentence.

The good news is, is that the answer to this planet-conscious question is a resounding yes! And below we reveal our top tips to help you get there.

1. Wash quick and low

If you want to refresh sofa covers, curtains and more by popping them in the washing machine put them on a shorter cycle and at 10℃ lower than you normally would to lessen the impact on the environment. Adding a Cora Ball will also trap material microfibres that may otherwise have found their way into our oceans.

2. Use one cleaning product for all your cleaning jobs

Keen to cut down on plastic? Then what better way than to fill up any of your existing spray bottles with a mix of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water, with an optional few drops of your favourite essential oil added in for good measure? Cleaning pros swear by it. You may even be able to find some of the ingredients at your local zero waste store for another tick in the sustainability box.

3. Take your recycling up a notch

As part of your clean, you're likely to find many an item lurking in your attic, basement or garage space. And as you clear out a little detective work can reveal a long list of items you can recycle locally. This includes everything from small electric items such as toasters and LED light bulbs (high street brand such as Currys accept both) to bubble wrap (you can actually pop these in plastic bag recycling bins at larger supermarkets!). Visit and for further details.

Sustainable Merton Community Champion Alyson Elliott has also created a local RECYCLING GUIDE full of ideas and tips on where to recycle the items that can't go in your kerbside collection in Merton. This is a fantastic resource that will help you recycle more and recycle correctly.

4. Swap and share

If you've got items such as clothing or even food you no longer need but don't want to consign to the rubbish pile why not list them on apps such as Olio or on your local 'freebay' Facebook group? The site will also organise free clothing collections from your door. The adage 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' is as true today as it ever was, and you never know what someone may find useful. Ensure all collections are contact-free to stay safe during the pandemic.

5. Take your spring clean into the wider community

Once you've given your home a top to bottom once over why not take your cleaning ambitions local? Sustainable Merton runs monthly litter picks which bring together Waste Warriors from across the borough who are helping to keep our streets and green spaces clean. Find out more here!

Keep Britain Tidy is also organising the Great British Spring Clean (28 May to 13 June). Sustainable Merton will be taking part again this year, so grab your litter pick (you can buy your own online if you don't already have one) and stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved!


Sustainable Merton Community Champion


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