GREEN
05/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Green Spring Cleaning: 4 Easiest Steps

Spring has arrived in New York, so it's time for me to stop living like some kind of hoarding tundra mammal and clean out my apartment. Here are four cheap and easy steps to make your spring cleaning a lot greener:

1. WORN-OUT CLOTHES AS RAGS & DUSTERS

Socks with holes in them and T-shirts with stains work just fine as rags for dusting off that spot on your dresser right behind the armband for your iPod (you know, for all the running you were going to do) that still hasn't been touched since Christmas.

2. DON'T PUT POISON WHERE YOU EAT

Know what's in your cleaning solutions? There are two exceptionally easy ways to feel more secure in cleaning your countertops: mix your own cleaning kit with this great guide or pick up a product that clearly labels its ingredients and stays non-toxic. Seventh Generation, Clorox Green Works and others fit the bill.

3. TURN CLEANING INTO SHOPPING

Got clothes you don't wear? Wish you had more clothes to wear? Fix it all with a party: invite your similarly-sized friends over for a clothing swap party. You put names into a hat, draw them out, and that's your draft order. Any unwanted remains can be donated. Of course, if you don't like your friends' style, you can just skip straight to the donating.

4. ADD PLANTS

You can't handle spring cleaning all by yourself -- you need a glass of local, organic wine! Er, sorry. That is to say, you need a plant that can clean the toxins in the air! Common houseplants will do this work for you, and if you want to see an extreme example, check out biowalls. Mmm -- clean spring air!