‘Green up’ early spring cleaning efforts

Some tips to be green in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Michelle Koval (front) and Sarah Brown of Positively Green Clean

Michelle Koval (front) and Sarah Brown of Positively Green Clean

The sun is streaming in through your beautiful bay window – just enough to remind you that it might be time to stop putting off this year’s spring cleaning. But this month, between Earth Hour and Earth Day, it seems everyone – including your teenager, who you’ve never actually seen pick up a mop or broom –  keeps telling you it’s time to go green.

The good news is, there’s plenty of help to kick your bleach habit and create a healthier environment, inside and outside your home this spring as green cleaning has gone mainstream. Not that you have to admit that to your offspring.

“People are much more open to the idea,” says Michelle Koval of Positively Green, a green cleaning business with clients who range from homeowners to developers.

Some still just want a spotless home and don’t care how she makes it happen, but many are demanding 100 per cent eco-friendly products.

“Attitudes have really changed,” she says.

Koval took to the green clean movement in earnest five years ago, when her own sensitivities to perfumes in harsh cleaners were too hard to ignore. Now the keen entrepreneur employs a team of cleaners and loves to create converts in her customers.

And her favourite ingredient?

Vinegar. The simple pungent liquid is the key to green cleaning and kills up to 99 per cent of bacteria. She includes a little fresh smelling essential oils to her mix and creates a cleaner that will stand up against any conventional product.

For those who are determined to roll up their sleeves and get to work, there’s also plenty to do outside your home and local organizations are leading the way in helping you get to work.

The Maple Ridge Transfer station has a year-round, yard waste area that will take your yard clippings and branches shorter than three metres.

You can also take advantage of Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s annual spring brush chipping program this month. It includes pick-up of up to three cubic metres of tree and shrub branches. Pick-up is April 10 for homes west of 224th Street, and April 23 for homes east of 224th St.

“It’s a great way to reduce waste while you tackle your outdoor spring cleaning,” says Leanne Koehn of the recycling society.

She is also thrilled that the community has responded well to the annual sale of composters, rain barrels and solar cones, which dissolve meat and paper products.

Residents can still add their name to a waiting list for these reduced-cost items that can make a real difference to greening your outdoor spring clean-up efforts.

“I love my solar cone,” says Koehn. “It’s fantastic and I can get rid of a lot of things I can’t compost or recycle.”

There’s plenty of ways to green up your early spring cleaning efforts in the garden. Maple Ridge implemented a Pesticide Use Control bylaw in 2006 and the CEED Centre  (ceedcentre.org) has plenty of tips on how to green up your soil, lawn and vegetable patch.  You can even make your own bug spray, and the CEED Centre site lists 10 ways to get rid of pesky predators without toxins.

Back inside the house, there are also plenty of green cleaning recipes to create and choose from.

Homemade cleaners

• All-purpose cleaner: teaspoon of vinegar, teaspoon of washing soda, a dab of environmentally-friendly liquid soap, two cups hot tap water. Combine in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

• Window cleaner: quarter to half teaspoon of liquid detergent, three tablespoons of vinegar, two cups water. Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand.

• Mold killer: two teaspoons tea tree oil, two cups water. Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

Just Posted

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Upset by being called an ‘idiot’

Maple Ridge writer disagrees with majority on COVID safety protocols and their impacts

Ron Paley took a kayak trip around Siwash Island, off the Pitt River near Grants Narrows. “With life’s turmoil, I find peace on the waters,” he shared. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Tranquility found on the water

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read