There are a variety of reasons why it’s wise to consider making the shift to greener, more efficient habits around the house, not least of which is doing your part to save the environment. What you may not realize, though, is that making eco-friendly changes to your daily routine can also pay off in the form of greater financial savings, and fewer bouts of asthma, allergies or skin sensitivities. Moving towards a green, earth-conscious home doesn’t have to be a major pain, either. There are plenty of simple, low-investment changes you can make to see real results without sacrificing loads of time or money, and these ten are only scratching the surface.
Install a Water Filter – Making sure that you and your family stays hydrated is of great importance, but there are better ways to accomplish the goal than buying disposable, plastic bottles full of water. Invest in reusable water bottles for every member of the family, and spring for a water filter. You’ll keep that plastic out of rotation, and you’ll be teaching kids a valuable lesson about stewardship.
Chuck the Plastic Bags – There’s no doubt that it’s easier to snag the plastic bags at the grocery store, but it’s not all that difficult to opt instead for reusable shopping bags to carry your goods back home. Instead of collecting mounds of bags that will only be thrown away, look for a few sturdy, reusable canvas or cloth shopping bags to do the same job in a much greener way.
Opt Out of Junk Mail – You probably won’t be able to stop the endless flood of marketing fliers that come to your mailbox, but you can make a dent in your waste-of-paper junk mail by opting out of pre-approved credit offers. Look for ways to put an end to the junk mail you receive, and you’ll be doing a simple thing that has a big overall impact on the planet.
Donate, Don’t Dump – Kids grow out of clothes, and they fall out of style. Instead of dumping old clothes, turn those that aren’t serviceable into cloth rags for cleaning and donate the rest to a local charity. You’ll be clearing your home of clutter and doing something good for both the environment and your community.
Stop Buying Cleaning Products – Chemical cleaning products are not only expensive, they can also wreak havoc with allergies, skin sensitivities and asthma. They can also be manufactured under conditions that are less than healthy for the environment. Instead, find recipes you like for simple, effective homemade cleaning products. Allergy and asthma sufferers will be happier, and so will the earth.
Consider Cloth Diapers – The idea of dealing with a messy cloth diaper can be off-putting at first blush, to say the least. What many people don’t realize is that clothies have come a long way since they last enjoyed widespread use. Even if you only use one cloth diaper a day to supplement disposable nappy use, you’ll keep three hundred and sixty-five diapers out of a landfill over the course of a single year.
Skip the Paper Towels – Tearing a paper towel off of the role is convenient, but it’s also wasteful. Consider moving towards those cloth rags repurposed from old clothing and towels, and you’ll be putting an end to single-use paper products that cost money and only end up in the trash.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door – There’s more to keeping a green home than reducing your impact on the land; it’s also about keeping your family healthy and happy. That’s why ditching your shoes at the door is so important. Instead of tracking pesticides, chemicals and other yucky contaminants in on the soles of your shoes, you’re leaving them out of your home altogether.
Keep Plastic Out of the Microwave – When a piece of plastic ware says that it’s “microwave safe,” all that means is that it’s capable of withstanding high temperatures without turning to molten liquid. It may still contain dangerous chemicals and substances, which is decidedly not green. One of the quickest and easiest changes you can make towards achieving a greener home is to simply bypass the plastic bowl in favor of a glass or ceramic one on your way to the microwave.
Landscape Carefully – When you plot out your next landscaping project, take a moment to consider your local climate. Sourcing native plants and placing them properly will ensure that they’re able to thrive with minimal intervention, which means no chemical fertilizers, no pesticides and no need to waste water by pouring it into the ground in order to sustain a plant that isn’t able to naturally survive in your area.