How to Create an Eco-Friendly Home
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Kitchens can be an area where many people are trying to add some eco-friendly components. There are some simple things you can do to be more eco-friendly.
Set up a recycling area
One of the best ways to be eco-friendly in the kitchen is to set up a recycling area. Have separate garbage cans for trash and recyclables. By setting these items in place, you will have the ability to make it easier on yourself and everyone else in your house to separate out the recyclables.
Ditch plastic for reusable storage
There are quite a few different plastic storage options for the kitchen. However, replacing those with reusable options can be a fantastic eco-friendly option. This can mean using glass jars for storing dry ingredients or upcycling tubs from other events/holidays. Another option to consider are reusable sandwich bags for lunches. You can read more about how plastic usage can impact your family and the planet on Eco Watch.
Composting is a simple way to make your home a bit more eco-friendly. Eating a plant-based diet (like our friend from our Facebook Live's, Cory of Lean Green DAD) can help lower your carbon footprint and also make it easier to compost. According to Earth Easy, “Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage can.” You can read their simple guide to composting on the Earth Easy site. Many of your food scraps can be composted including banana peels, corn cobs, and potato peels. Make sure to get an indoor compost container that seals to avoid any issues with compost in your kitchen until you are able to take it outside to your compost area.
Cut down on water usage
Many people will run the dishwasher while it isn’t full or leave the sink running while working on another project. However, taking a few small steps can save a great deal of water in your home. Instead of scrubbing a stubborn pot, soak it in a small amount of water to let the food items dissolve naturally. Wait until the dishwasher is completely full before doing a load of dishes. A few simple changes can help the environment a great deal.
Ditch the paper towels
Paper towels may be great for convenience in the home. However, they are not as great for the planet. Many of those paper towels will not be recycled and will add to environmental waste. Switch out paper towels for reusable paper towels or even old clothes that would normally get discarded. According to Cottage Care, “If every household in the U.S. used just one less 70-sheet roll of paper towels, that would save 544,000 trees each year.”
Change out some of your baking accessories
Many baking recipes require items like parchment paper. By switching out parchment paper for reusable baking mats you can help to cut down on waste. Another thing a lot of recipes suggest is wrapping a container with plastic wrap or foil to let something cool. While this can seem great, it produces a lot of waste. Replace that with an item like silicon or Tupperware storage bins to reduce the waste.
Switch out cleaning products
Many cleaning products come in plastic containers filled with harsh chemicals. However, switching out cleaning products for healthier DIY or store-bought options can make a big impact. One of the big benefits of do-it-yourself cleaning products is that they are helping the environment while being cost-effective. Good Housekeeping shares some recipes for common cleaners that will help you make the switch. Healthier Home Products has the All Purpose 5-in-1 All Purpose Cleaner that is not only safer for your home and family, but for the environment, too.
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Living Room
There are ways to simplify your common living areas and make them more eco-friendly. Some of these are even simple tips and can make a huge impact. Living areas can include living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. With a few quick changes, you can move towards a more eco-friendly home. Here are a few tips for eco-friendly living areas.
Opt for second-hand wood furniture
Deforestation has become a big problem and it can be easy to help counteract it. While many of your new wood furniture options can seem like the best option for a home, it might be better to go used. By buying second-hand wood furniture you are keeping a piece of furniture out of landfills. Even more, you are avoiding the harvesting of more trees to create that piece of furniture. Take advantage of thrift shopping to find the perfect wood piece for your home.
Have a reuse cabinet/bin
If you are crafty at all, you may use a lot of different items to create projects. Instead of heading to the store every time you need supplies, create a reuse cabinet/bin. This will be a place for scraps and items that might normally end up in the trash. When you are about to start a project, check this cabinet/bin to see if you already have what you need. You will be able to save money, help the environment, and reuse old items to give them new life.
Switch out the paint
Are you planning to paint a living area in the house? Many paints release harmful chemicals long after they have been applied. However, there are still options for you to get the look you want without doing harm. Real Simple shares 7 No-VOC paint options to help you feel more confident when applying paint inside the house. Plus once painted, you can keep those walls looking fresh and clean using the 5 Minute CleanWalls 4-in-1 Everyday Cleaner.
Use the heat/AC less
Heating and AC costs can quickly add up. This is because these options typically use up a great deal of power. There are a few simple ways to control heating and cooling costs naturally. One of the biggest causes of losing heat or cold in a room is improperly sealed doors and windows. Take some time to install draft guards on the bottom of the doors and make sure windows are well sealed. Other options for using heat/ac less are to keep blankets out for a cooler day or use ceiling fans to help circulate cool air and avoid using the ac. It’s also wise to invest in a smart thermostat that will set the temperature and avoid overuse of heat or ac.
Switch out your lighting
Iridescent light bulbs use more energy than some of the alternatives out there. Switching out your lighting for more eco-friendly items is a simple way to help make your home more eco-friendly. Another option for lighting would be to use CFL’s. These CFL bulbs use less energy while still providing quality light. You can also open windows during the day to let in natural light. Having light-colored walls will also help the lighting you do have to perform better as darker colors absorb light.
Add in houseplants
Some commercial air purifiers can be a big help but you don’t necessarily need them. Instead, opt for adding houseplants to naturally clean the air. Adding a few plants to each room can help a great deal with bringing in more natural air. Are you worried about killing all of the plants you bring into the house? There are plenty of no-fuss houseplants that are easy to grow. In fact, here are 10 plants for people with a black thumb from Blu Print.
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Bedroom
Having an eco-friendly bedroom is easier than you might think. There are quite a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint while keeping the relaxing bedroom you might want. With simple switches, you can easily transform a bedroom into a more eco-friendly option. Here are a few tips for creating an eco-friendly bedroom.
Buy Used or Second-Hand Furniture
While there are some beautiful new options out there, you can easily find a beloved piece at a thrift store or consignment shop. By opting for second-hand furniture you are reducing waste and using less of certain materials. If you are going to repaint a piece when bringing it home, opt for No-VOC options. Buying used furniture that is in great shape is an easy way to make a room more eco-friendly while getting strong quality pieces for your bedroom.
Use special curtains
One area you can save energy is in the bedroom. Opt for thermal curtains or blackout curtains. This will reduce the usage of power as well as the need to turn the temperature down in the warmer months. Blackout curtains and thermal curtains prevent the sun from heating a room up too much during the day. Combine this with a good ceiling fan and you will use the ac/heat a great deal less.
Change out the bedding
Many of your bedding options are treated with harsh chemicals. This can mean that you sleep all night with the presence of chemicals that are not good for you. Instead, opt for organic cotton bedding. This will give you all the comfort without any of the contaminates. You find multiple options for organic cotton bedding and then keep them feeling like new with Ahh…New! 12-In-1 Laundry Detergent.
Be careful about scents
Items like candles and some room sprays can give a bedroom a nice smell. However, many candles and sprays include harmful chemicals that will stay in the room long after the product has been used. Instead of a candle, it might be wise to opt for a diffuser with a great blend of essential oils. You will get all of the benefits of a great smell without any of the toxins. You can also mix essential oils and water for a room spray that will help with scents.
Add a houseplant to the room
Plants are a natural way to remove toxins from a room and freshen the air. Adding a simple houseplant to your bedroom can negate some of the toxic chemicals that are in the air your room naturally. You can add any plant to a room and get some of these benefits. Are you looking for the best options for your bedroom? Earth Easy shares the 10 best plants for removing room toxins.
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Laundry Room
The laundry room is a great area in the house to focus on getting more eco-friendly. There are many ways that your laundry room is not as friendly as it could be. However, with a few simple tips, you can feel better about your laundry room. These easy changes will help you to feel better about your laundry room. Here are some tips for an eco-friendly laundry room.
Use energy-efficient appliances
The average family washes a minimum of eight loads of laundry a week. This can mean that you are consuming a great deal of power using these devices. Between the washer, dryer, and iron it can be easy to use a great deal of energy to keep clothes clean. One simple way to help decrease energy use is to buy energy-efficient appliances. This will cut down on energy use and water consumption while still giving you the clean laundry you need the most.
Use cold water
A good deal of the energy used to run a load of laundry in the washer goes into heating the water for the load. According to an article by Earth Easy “If every load laundered in the US used cold water instead of hot, the country would slash millions of tons of carbon emissions each year.” You may be asking if clothes washed in cold water are really as clean. Cold water will clean clothing effectively. The only exception would be if you need to sanitize items such as cloth diapers or clothing from a family member who has been ill.
Switch out laundry soap
Many laundry soaps on the market right now contain chemicals that are not safe. When trying to be eco-friendly one of the quickest switches you can make is to your laundry soap. Changing out a traditional laundry soap for an eco-friendly option doesn’t have to be hard. Healthier Home Products Ahh…New! 12-In-1 Laundry Detergent which offers a safer choice for your home.
Stop using dryer sheets and fabric softeners
While dryer sheets and fabric softeners can be a big part of most laundry routines, they aren’t necessarily the best option. If you are focused on an eco-friendly home, you will want to replace dryer sheets and fabric softeners with safe alternatives. Many people recommend dryer balls as an alternative to dryer sheets. A fourth of a cup of white vinegar can be added to your laundry load as a fabric softener. Don’t worry. Your laundry won’t smell like vinegar!
Wear things more than once
Many people think that if something has been worn once it is dirty and needs a wash. While this is definitely true of underclothes and socks, it may not be the case with the rest of your wardrobe. Items like jeans can be worn for more than one day. Look at the clothing usage and decide if it really needs to be washed for every use. You may find that some items are still quite clean and can be worn a second time.
Make sure your dryer is running efficiently
If your dryer has certain issues it will not run effectively. There are a few things you can do to make sure your dryer is running efficiently. Start by cleaning lint traps and coils. Not only do you need to make sure the lint is clear in the lint trap, but you also need to make sure it is successfully venting to the outside of the house. This will decrease drying time and help you to prevent a dryer fire. Another way to make sure your dryer is running efficiently is to switch out time-based run times for moisture sensing run times. This will help to make sure that you are only using the dryer for what is needed.
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
The bathroom is another area where many people aren’t aware of their options. There are some simple things you can do to make your bathroom more eco-friendly. Some of these won’t even cost you anything. Others may cost you a bit but it will be worth it in the long run. Here are suggestions for creating an eco-friendly bathroom.
Switch out your lighting
Changing lighting options can conserve a great deal of power in most bathrooms. This can mean switching out traditional bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs that use less power. Not only will this conserve energy, but it will also help your electric bill. Another option is to use motion-activated lighting for the bathroom. This simple option will ensure lights are turned off when they are not being used.
Replace paper towels
While paper towels can be easy to use, they are not eco-friendly. Paper towel usage contributes to deforestation and landfill waste. Instead, opt for washable hand towels or reusable paper towels. This simple change can help you to reduce waste considerably.
Check for leaks and repair them
One of the biggest areas water gets wasted in a bathroom is with water leaks. Whether it’s a toilet that keeps running, a sink that keeps dripping, or a pipe that needs to be sealed better, leaks can waste a great deal of water. Take some time to check for leaks and repair them. Pay extra attention to the toilet as a running toilet can waste a great deal of water.
Switch out your cleaning supplies
Many bathroom cleaning supplies are made with harsh chemicals that are not good for people or the environment. Switching out bathroom cleaners can remove these harsh chemicals. There are a few different eco-friendly cleaning options. For an eco-friendly option that really works try Bathroom Magic 6-In-1 Hardwater Stain Cleaner.
Replace soaps and shampoos
Soaps and shampoos can contain many harmful chemicals. Replace your current soaps and shampoos with more eco-friendly options that will be safer for you and the environment. If you are looking for alternatives with your shampoo The Good Trade shares 9 shampoo alternatives. These simple switches can help so much!
Opt for reusable accessories
The bathroom is where many people shave, do makeup, and handle all kinds of personal grooming needs. Disposable razors, makeup pads, and makeup containers are often thrown away and add to landfills. Instead, opt for reusable options for these items. This could mean using a washable makeup remover cloth, using a non-disposable razor, or opting for products made in recyclable packaging.
Use less water
One of the easiest ways to create an eco-friendly bathroom is to decrease your water consumption. Taking shorter showers is one way to cut down on water consumption. Other options include turning off the water when brushing your teeth or when lathering your hands during hand washing. You can also install low flow showerheads to decrease water usage in the bathroom. Automated sinks are another option as they turn off when they are not being used. A few simple changes can make a big difference.