It’s that time of year again—spring cleaning! The sun begins to shine, we hear birds begin to chirp, everything that’s been frozen over is beginning to come back to life, and so do we! With this newfound zest for life in the spring, we want to clean up our homes and do it the right way. In this day and age, long gone are the days of using smelly and slightly toxic cleaning supplies. We’ve got options, honey. Here are some ways to do your spring cleaning the sustainable way.

1. Donate your old stuff during spring cleaning

If you have yet to read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” I suggest you begin here. Kondo wrote this book many years ago, and it’s regained popularity the last several years with the premiere of her Netflix show, which I also recommend. Kondo offers a foolproof method for cleaning out your entire home in a way that ensures you won’t have to do a deep-tidying ever again.

After going through your belongings and deciding what you’re ready to part with, consider donating. You could donate old clothes to a local women’s shelter, Goodwill, or even a friend. If you have any beauty, haircare, or menstrual products, consider donating those as well because those are also needed at shelters. Not only is donating used items thoughtful, but it’s also better for the environment than throwing away your clothing for it to end up in a landfill.

2. Use eco-friendly chemicals in your cleaning products

Let’s be real – everything has chemicals in it. We just want to make sure that the chemicals we are spray and scrubbing all over our home are not bad for us. Brands such as Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer’s make high-quality cleaning products that smell good and are safe for your home. Other brands that are eco-friendly even have biodegradable packaging. Sure, these might cost a bit more than the store brand cleaner, but the environmental impact of eco-friendly cleaning supplies is worth the cost if you ask me.

3. Switch to package-free, reusable products

Besides using eco-friendly products for your spring cleaning, there are also many clever products that are reusable or package-free. Consider swapping out some products in your home and see how much waste you save. Switch to reusable sandwich bags, a reusable trash liner, wool balls instead of dryer sheets, reusable Swiffer covers, refillable surface cleaner—the list goes on and on. Again, these items might be a bit pricier, but they last a long time and have little to no packing. It’s a win-win.

4. Use essential oils and soy candles

Although burning a candle in your home can put the cherry on top of a freshly cleaned space, traditional candles use chemicals that can release soot into your space or even stain your walls over time. Soy candles are better for the environment, burn longer, and are made from soy, which is a renewable resource. Essential oils can also help fill your home with a fresh scent, and those are made from plants and are safe. Essential oils can also be used in homemade cleaning products and can be used for light cleaning as well as being diffused. Some essential oils are not safe for animals, so if you have pets, do a little research first before bringing those into your home.

Now go forth and spring clean your space the sustainable and safe way!