How to Clean Outside Areas

I got thinking on the topic of summer today when my daughter’s kindergarten teacher commented that there are only 4 Mondays left in our school year. It was one of those “wow, summer’s almost here” moments for me.

That, of course, brought me to thinking about cleaning up the outside of the house. Living in southern California, it’s pretty practical to keep the outside areas of the house nice all year. We don’t get much rain here, after all, never mind significantly colder weather.

One of those things that has always been a bit annoying is how some people like to clean their walkways and driveways with the hose. Considering the water situation in our area, I hope to see very, very little of that this year, but I know people will do it just because it’s faster.

A good broom will allow you to take care of most of the problem without water. You’ll want one that does well outdoors, which may be a little heavier duty than many like for the kitchen or other parts of the house. I always liked the big push brooms for larger areas myself.

Most of the time, that’s all you need. If there’s a dried up mess outside then yeah, you might want to get the hose as the fastest way to clean it up. But most of the time you don’t really need it.

The same goes later in the year for leaf blowers and such. Get a good rake and a broom for the walkways, and get your yard cleaned up without wasting fuel, electricity or water.

Of course, many people do one thing that is pretty green is add plants to their garden. That can be more or less green, depending on how you garden. The plastic containers that many plants come in can be problematic, although some garden centers may take them back if they’re in good condition. Use compost instead of fertilizer, and you can make your yard more beautiful without hurting the environment much.

4 replies on “How to Clean Outside Areas”

  1. walt says:

    I enjoyed your article. Good practical advice. Not to mention you’ll burn some calories using a broom versus the garden hose.

  2. Jane says:

    Those leaf~blowers just drive me wild.
    I mean, where do they think the d*mn leaves are going to blow to?

    As soon as a breeze come up they’re back on their lawn again… d’oh!

  3. Stephanie says:

    But… but… leaf blowers are such cool toys!

    That’s about the only justification I can think of for them. And they really don’t strike me as that interesting of toys. Loud and ineffective for more than just the moment. But many people live for the moment anyhow.

  4. JeanneE says:

    OMG I hate it when people use pressure washers to clean their driveways!!! Geez people!!!

    There’s a house in our cul-de-sac where the family does this in the middle of summer, even when there are water restrictions. It’s unbelievable how anyone could be that self centered…

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