We can all go about our days paying no attention to how our lifestyle may be impacting our environment. Everyday choices can be leaving a negative impact on many aspects of our life, including our health. Although, it may not be cost effective for some to live entirely eco-friendly, I do think that we can all do our part in reducing our footprint, which will help to protect natural resources.
I made small changes to our home and lifestyle in an effort to go a little more green and to help preserve precious resources. By doing so, I noticed I actually saved more money over the long run, especially when it came to our electric bills and utility bills.
You can make your home more environmentally friendly by starting small and simply changing a few of your common lifestyle habits. I know I have lots of areas I could improve, but starting small is still effective. Many companies are going more green now too, which makes it easier to find eco-friendly products for the home, such as furniture, cleaning supplies and even clothing.
I wanted to share some of my favorite tips for making a home a little more green, which can save your wallet and your health, because who doesn’t want a fatter wallet & a longer life?! You can start in one room of your house and then move onto another.
- Laundry Room – Choose eco-friendly, toxin free detergents, softeners and stain removers. There are many brands to choose from, Seventh Generation, Ecos, Borax, Ecover & Charlies Soap to name a few. Even vinegar is a great odor remover!! Instead of fabric sheets, use wool drier balls. You’ll save on your energy bill, as clothes dry faster and there’s no need to buy fabric sheets, more money in your pocket. Wool drier balls are better for the environment as well. Smart washers will save you time and money, as they use less water, so investing in one can have pay offs in the long run.
- Bathroom – Turn the water off when you brush your teeth, saving gallons of water every month!! Replace faucets with low flow heads (saving water). Choose fluoride free toothpaste and toothbrushes made from recycled plastics or sustainable products. Also, green your cleaning agents with eco-friendly cleaners that are safe for you and the environment. Or try making your own using vinegar, borax and/or baking soda, and lemon juice.
- Kitchen – Green your dishwash soap and dishwasher soap. Also, green your cleaning rags & dish towels. Many companies make rags and dish towels using sustainable materials that aren’t laden with toxins. Using the dishwasher saves you money and time as it uses less water than hand washing dishes. Unplug those appliances you don’t use daily; the microwave, coffee pot, toaster, etc., and you could save 8% on your annual energy bill. Instead of paper towels to wipe up messes, use reusable paper towels that are ultra absorbent & washable or use old cleaning rags for cleaning up messes.
- Bedroom / Living Room – Replace light bulbs and use CFL bulbs; it could save you 66% in energy costs. Turn off the lights when your not in a room. Freshen and purify the air with essential oils and a diffuser, make your own air freshners using water and essential oils, or just open the windows for 5 minutes every few weeks. The air inside the home is more toxic then the air outside (on average); this is due to the toxic materials used in most of our home furniture, mattresses, flooring and cleaning products. Essential oils are a natural alternative, and you don’t risk exposing yourself to more chemicals commonly used in air freshners. Look for furniture that is made from recycled materials, organic materials, or from companies that give back. Buy sustainable products. Want better sleep too? Organic mattresses, pillows and sheets are better for your health and the environment.
- Dining Room – Kitchen table looking drag? Try refurbishing it before purchasing a brand new one. You will reduce the resources needed to make a new one and your pocket book won’t feel as light. Purchasing your first dining room set? Look for companies that give back and use sustainable practices to make their pieces, as well as materials that are free of chemicals. Arhaus is one such company. They avoid using wood from endangered rain forests and harvest tree roots by transforming them into chairs. Their dining room furniture pieces are beautiful and fit nicely in any home, with many styles to choose from, from dining room tables to china hutches. They also do custom pieces. Their promise, natural materials always. Sub out paper napkins for cloth napkins, and reduce your carbon footprint and the need to buy paper towels and/or napkins.
- Miscellaneous – Set porch lights on timers or use motion detectors to cue them to turn on. Unplug lamps & electronics that are used on a daily basis, or put them on surge protectors and flip the switch when not in use. If you have a real fireplace, us this to heat the home in the winter months, saving on gas and propane heating. Wash most of you laundry in cold water, use cloth diapers instead of disposable and air dry clothing whenever possible. Instead of paper towels to clean windows, use old t-shirts and/or microfiber rags with eco-friendly window cleaner or make your own cleaner.
- Green Your Holidays- With the holidays in full swing, change up your decorations. Don’t buy the plastic flowers / decorations and ornamental pieces; instead use items that can be recycled or composted, like pumpkins, Indian corn, straw & even leaves for Thanksgiving decor. Buy a fresh cut Christmas tree, instead of a fake tree. Fake trees are made using harmful products that leech toxins in the manufacturing process, are expensive to make, and are shipped from across the world (using precious resources). A fresh cut tree, can be recycled or used to make other products when you are done using it. Most cities offer free recycling for Christmas trees. Also, tree farms are great for the environment, as their trees help to purify the air and provide oxygen. The more they plant, the fresher the air; and you help support a local farmer. Use pine cones, real wreathes made from pine branches, buy real poinsettias & mistletoe and make your own decorations. Use LED lights for decorating your trees and home, to save energy.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and maybe you’ll use it to find ways you can go a little greener, saving money and resources.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit
How do you / can you make your own home more eco-friendly?