How do your habits in your home impact the environment? It's almost impossible to go a day without hearing someone say that they're "going green." So why not join the movement? There are many ways that you can make your house more environmentally friendly and less wasteful. Going green isn't just good for the environment, but it can improve your health and also save you money. Start small with your kitchen, then move on to other rooms. It's easier than you think to go green and you'll be happy you did!
Conserve Water: According to the EPA, a family of four uses up to 400 gallons of water every day! Installing a low flow kitchen faucet aerator is the most effective way to conserve water and save money! They are available at your local hardware store, are easy to install, and only cost about $10.
Skip the Foil: Use reusable containers to store leftovers and send lunches to school. Try one of these 6 Super Cute Lunch Containers. If you just can't stop using aluminum foil then start reusing it. Instead of balling it up and throwing it away, lay it flat and wash with soap and water or stick the sheets in the dishwasher. You can reuse these sheets again and again!
Use Glass Instead of Plastic: BPA, Bisphenol A, is found in almost all hard plastic around us like water bottles, plates, and lining in canned foods. BPA is said to cause cancer, obesity, diabetes, brain, and behavioral problems, as well as hormone development disruption in fetuses, infants, and young children. (Check out this article for more information on dangerous additives.). Instead, use reusable glass water bottles. These are a must-have for a healthy, green lifestyle!
Grow Your Own Organic Garden: “Your garden should be an active part of your commitment to going green. Pesticides, while they’re a quick fix, are too much of a risk. Think of it this way: If pesticides are poison to bugs, then why wouldn’t they be poison to people? There isn’t such a thing as “safe pesticides”. Don't have space to grow your own garden? Read on for urban farming tips in small spaces.
Let Your Dishwasher Wash Your Dishes: Here is something to cheer about. Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand and it isn’t necessary to pre-rinse your dishes! Studies done by the Consumers Union show that pre-rinsing is not necessary and can waste up to 20 gallons of water each time. Now that’s what you call a two-for! Save water and time!
Go Wholesale Shopping: It may sound strange, but buying in bulk reduces the amount of individual containers you and your family consume in a year. While the giant vat of yogurt might, at times, make you feel like you're having tea with Alice in Wonderland, it does reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of bringing your individually wrapped snacks to the party, consider portioning them out into reusable containers.
Beat the Heat: By giving your oven and stove a break and using a toaster oven, microwave, or electric kettle to heat or reheat smaller portions, you save money and energy. You also keep the temperature in your house lower during the warmer months.
End Chemical Warfare: The kitchen probably houses the most cleaning agents in your home. All these chemicals are bad for the environment and worse, bad for you and your family! "Increasing evidence shows that the chemicals included in everyday products could be contributing to children's diseases and behavioral disorders, including asthma, autism and cancer," says Gigi Lee Chang, CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World. Years ago you had to pay a small fortune to live chemically free, but thanks to companies like Walgreens who have created the first nationally accessible and affordable brand “Ology”, (which is formulated to be free of harmful chemicals) you don’t have to break the bank to do so!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: This is one of the absolute basics when it comes to going green. Most of what you're throwing away can be recycled. Set up small receptacles in your kitchen or garage for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. Buy products with limited packaging, buy recycled products, and reuse products. It's really easy once you get used to it, and you'll be reducing the amount of trash put into the Earth's environment.