Spring cleaning goes green

A large proportion of the mountains of unwanted clutter thrown out as the spring cleaning season takes hold is recycled, according to a survey out this Wednesday.

The study pointed to Saturday, March 31st as the best day of the year to do spring cleaning and examined the eco-credentials of Britons as they attack cluttered cupboards and attics.

Two thirds of Brits (66 %) recycle unwanted items following a spring-clean, nearly half (48 %) pass items on to family or friends and over one in five (21%) sell unwanted items on eBay, according to the survey conducted by Total UK.

The report reveals that those living in the East Midlands are most likely to recycle, while the most fanatical cleaners live in the North West. Perhaps surprisingly, Londoners are slightly below the national average for recycling at 65% compared to 66% nationwide.

Dr Cliff Arnall, psychologist and former tutor at Cardiff University, came up with the date of March 31 as the perfect spring-cleaning day, accompanied by a formula to illustrate the various emotional and environmental factors at play:

March 31st is the best day to spring-clean = L (light) + T (temperature) + D (decision making) + [M (motivation) x R (renewal)] divided by H (hibernation).

Dr. Arnall suggested that the chosen date marks the end of human hibernation, resulting in a desire to start fresh and clean their territorial area, which increases the likelihood of attracting new mates and cutting down on disease.

“March is a time to overcome feelings of stagnation and to start making changes that focus on what makes us happy,” Dr. Arnall explained.

“Planned and reasonable physical de-cluttering and cleaning kick starts mental cleansing which translates into an enhanced positive psychological state in the form of boosted self esteem and increased creativity. This coupled with lengthening daylight and subsequent temperature rises makes plans easier to achieve.”

To make the cleaning more enjoyable, Brits admit to pumping up the stereo and belting out karaoke hits whilst working up a sweat. The songs that came out on top in the UK survey were Queen’s I Want To Break Free and Dancing Queen from ABBA.

Dana Gornitzki

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