To get the full benefits from your urban farm, it’s important to keep things clean and tidy. For an easy reminder, use the five S’s of organization: sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. As you go about dusting, sweeping and scrubbing, keep in mind environmentally friendly methods of cleaning.
Clean Green Step 1: Sort
Group like-items in each area of your urban farm and home.
- Use environmentally friendly, reusable bags so you reduce the plastic bags that go into landfills.
- Toss recyclables in the recycling bin. Start a separate pile for non-recyclable items so you can find the appropriate place to dispose of those items later.
- Donate old but useable electronics, like cell phones, to shelters. Be sure to remove personal information off electronic devices before donating.
- Return reusable items or those that have special recycling requirements, such as plant containers, to a gardening center.
- Ask your local recycling center if they accept bulk items such as TVs or refrigerators.
- Take note of things you buy and are not using. Create a “not-to-do” list of things you’ll no longer buy.
- Find people who can use items you no longer want. Some things can be donated to Goodwill, a school or a support service such as a shelter.
Clean Green Step 2: Straighten
Rearrange your farming and living spaces to promote a better work-flow. This is especially useful for parents facing the morning rush hour in the kitchen.
- Purchase a fabric magazine rack, and hang it by the front door to organize mail, school folders and notes, grocery lists, and more.
- Place a paper-recycling bin beside the magazine rack to immediately dispose of junk mail.
- Pull from that recycling bin, when possible, and reuse scrap paper to write notes. This will cut down cost and waste for things like memo pads.
- If you get those infamous clutter piles in your house, sort through them carefully and see what the culprits are. Usually, these are things that you haven’t given a permanent home. Once you go through your piles, create places to file or store what’s important and to remove the clutter.
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