Living in today’s world, there’s a certain sense of responsibility one must take in regards to the environment. You’ve undoubtedly switched to a sturdy, insulated water canteen and purchased thousands of reusable shopping bags to start on a small scale. On the bigger end of the spectrum, perhaps you’ve invested in upgrading your home’s energy systems by installing solar panels. All great places to start, and our gratitude to you for taking big leaps towards a green future. Here are a few more ways you too can cut down on waste and harmful practices in your home.
Every house must be cleaned. Switching over to green alternatives for your cleaning products is a very easy step to take to reduce the amount of harsh, toxic chemicals that are around your family, and that get flushed down the drain into the water systems. The best news of all is that more and more companies are coming up with their own naturally based, non-toxic products.
Aside from switching over to naturally based products, the tools you use to clean floors and surfaces also matter. Using old clothes or towels that have seen better days as rags for cleaning is the perfect way to cut down on paper towel waste. Or you can buy an inexpensive set of terri-towels or microfiber cloths to use for dusting and wiping. And yes, we know the appeal of the disposable toilet brushes. But they’re neither non-toxic or reusable, so stick with the ever faithful toilet brush. Anything disposable for cleaning – unless compostable and non-toxic – should be left off the shopping list and out of your home.
Energy Star rated appliances have been around long enough that almost every home has energy efficient models throughout the house. If, however, you’re not completely up to date on this front, consider replacing those older models as part of any reno or remodeling you do. Keep an eye out for rebate offers and sales to get an amazing deal on a new piece of machinery that will save you money and resources.
When it comes time to remodel or renovate your home, you can certainly look for materials that are environmentally friendly. Bamboo flooring is a highly sustainable, green building material that has both beauty and durability. Carpets are even being made eco-friendly. When checking out the carbon footprint of potential building materials, you want to look at the manufacturing process and how much carbon it puts out during assembly, as well as how it will be disposed when replaced. Some materials are recyclable, others are not. The internet and your vendors are here to help.
Drought-Proofing Your Yard
Some folks think drought proofing their yard involves a bunch of rocks and cacti. That’s one way to go, certainly, but it isn’t the only way. Drought proofing your yard gives you the opportunity to not only cut down on how much water your house uses (it takes 62 gallons of water to properly maintain a 10’x10’ yard) but also the chance to create a beautiful landscape that will melt away the stresses of the day as it welcomes you home.
Careful! While you might think replacing your yard with artificial turf is a great idea (a green lawn year-round, heck yes!) there’s more to it than meets the eye. For starters, you’ll still have to wash your lawn once a week (more if you have a pet). Secondly, the material will need replacing every 10-15 years and this material isn’t recyclable. Last and certainly saddest, replacing your lawn with turf completely obliterates the biodome for very small, very vital creatures like worms and bees who play an integral part of our entire ecosystem. Better to explore your natural grasses and plants options to adorn your lawn instead.