Windows: Microfiber cloths are great, just add water. No window cleaner needed.
Un-washable messes: Turn clothing items you can’t donate into rags to clean up wax,auto grease,glue,caulk (use sparingly since they end up in the landfill!)
Air: Let plants absorb toxins and clean your air. I do not like to have objects sitting on the floor since they make floor cleaning more painful, but I have found a vertical wall planter that is ideal (picture above).
Laundry: Wash once a week only (to save time and dryer energy costs) with eco-friendly detergent (the one that has worked best for us is powder from a recyclable cardboard box such as Seventh Generation), using cold water cycles as much as possible. Savon-de-Marseille, dishwasher detergent, lemon or hydrogen peroxide work great on stains.
Drying: Dry on a line when possible. If you use a dryer, compost the dryer lint and forgo dryer sheets (you should not be wearing synthetic static clothes anyways). I personally have not found the heavily packaged, but reusable, dryer balls to be very effective.
Dry Cleaning/shirt laundering: Find a dry cleaner that has joined the sustainable world (Clean Look in Mill Valley for example). One that offers a reusable garment bag or nothing instead of plastic. And please do not settle for compostable bags, they are a real greenwashing ersatz.
Bea, of The Zero Waste Home, says “Refuse, Refuse, Refuse. Then reduce, reuse and recycle (and only in that order).”
Meet Bea and her family in this video: Second Act: The Johnson Family
Since embarking on the Zero Waste lifestyle a few years ago, Bea’s life and that of her family has completely changed… for the better. They now not only feel happier and eat healthier but also lead more meaningful lives, based on experiences instead of stuff, and action instead of inaction.
Today, Bea participates in media and speaking engagements to share her stories, tips and the benefits of Zero Waste living. She also provides home consulting services on decluttering, living simply and waste reduction.