If you’re wondering what small differences you can make in your life to create big change, then keep reading.
…Because it really is those little things which add up.
In this post, I’m referring to our impact on the environment, specifically.
Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that being eco-friendly means paying a ton of money.
However, there are many ways, besides making your home solar-powered, which can reduce air pollution and your overall carbon footprint.
Here are 8 simple, inexpensive ways to make your home a greener place:
1. Use zero-VOC paint: VOC, which stands for “volatile organic compounds,” are found in conventional paints and most often used to paint your home. These compounds not only contribute to air pollution, but they give off fumes at room temperature, jeopardizing your own breathing air. Opt for zero-VOC paint to avoid those nasties and be more environmentally friendly!
2. Wash your laundry with sustainable soap: Laundry detergent runs a close race with VOC-containing paints; it’s extremely toxic, as it contains chlorine bleach and phosphates — which also pollute the air. Eco-friendly detergents not only exclude these hazardous ingredients but are biodegradable.
3. Consider compostable sandwich and garbage bags: It’s safe to say that most of us are using either one of these household items regularly — so why not practice this small, but significant change in our homes? Instead of buying plastic bags, consider biodegradable sandwich and garbage bags made from plant fibers. Don’t know where to get those? Try here.
4. Replace your paper towels with reusable cloth: I actually see this quite a lot in Europe — but America hasn’t seemed to catch on just yet! Instead of buying rolls and rolls of paper towels, try reusable fabric cloths, made from recycled, absorbent materials. This is such a simple change to make, in yet you’ll be saving plenty of trees — and money! Check out these ones: $6 for four.
5. Unplug unused electronics: There’s no excuse not to do this, as it doesn’t cost you any extra money (quite the contrary, in fact). From toasters and blenders propped in your kitchen, to your television set, unplugging these appliances when they’re not in use saves a ton of energy.
6. Toss the plastic plates: Although many of you may not be using these on a day-to-day basis, it seems that when they are used (for dinner parties hosting large groups of people, for example), they’re wasted in large-quantity. Needless to say, this is toxic to our environment as they aren’t biodegradable (hello, landfills). There are plenty of alternative disposable plates on the market which can either be composted or are biodegradable. On Amazon, you can purchase 500 sugarcane-fiber plates for $72.
7. Plant a tree: I know this isn’t feasible for many of you who live in the city, however, if you’re reading this and have a backyard, do it! Did you know that one 10-year old tree releases enough oxygen in the air to support two people?! Your outdoor space will look prettier, too!
8. Adjust your curtains and thermostat: This is another tip to seriously consider as it’ll help you save money on your energy bill! Keep your curtains closed during the day in the summer to keep out extra sunlight, and open at night to moderate temperature; in the winter, keep your curtains open so your home can absorb sunlight, and closed at night to insulate the heat.
Make any one or all of these changes in your home and help our planet immensely!