Live Greener by Starting at Home

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Guest article written by Virginia Cooper

When we think about going green, many of us think about what we do outside of our homes, like reducing gas use by carpooling or riding our bikes to work. While those things are important, one of the best ways to live greener is to start at home. So much of our day-to-day lives is spent at home, so the choices we make there have a big impact on our overall carbon footprint. Everyone should want to find a way to reduce that carbon footprint with small everyday actions, in addition to making bigger changes. Read on to find out more, courtesy of Make Laundry Not Landfill

Everyday Green Choices

The easiest way to live greener is to make simple swaps throughout your home that have a big impact. These swaps may sound too small to do much good, but when you think about how one change continues to make an ongoing difference, these little things do more than you might think. Take energy efficient LED light bulbs, for example. Making the switch is inexpensive and takes only a few minutes, but you’re reducing energy consumption every time you turn your lights on. As an added bonus, energy-efficient bulbs have a long life span and using them cuts your energy bills, so this swap is a win for your budget as much as it is for the planet. 

Here are a few other simple swaps you can make at home:

  • Use all natural and eco-friendly cleaning and bath products. The Spruce recommends starting with these cleaning basics that you may already have in your kitchen: baking soda, Borax, vinegar, and lemon juice. These simple ingredients are highly effective at cleaning most rooms in your home, without the toxic fumes that are bad for you and the environment.
  • Swap out paper products for reusable cloth. Invest just a little money in everyday cloth napkins and towels to ditch single-use paper for good. Make using them quick and easy by finding a convenient spot in your kitchen where you can grab up a cloth whenever you need it.
  • Keep houseplants in every room where you get enough sunlight. Houseplants add beauty and life to your home, and as long as you feed them the nutrients and water they need, they give back to you by helping purify the air. 

Build or Buy a Green Home 

Besides making these simple everyday choices to live greener, you can make an even bigger impact by remodeling, building, or buying a green home. If you’re searching for a green home on the market in your area, or if you plan on making changes to your current home, these are some of the top green building options to consider:

  • Location: Today’s housing markets are very competitive, so keep your eye on where it makes sense to buy or build. Saving money on your property means being able to invest in new green technology that can save you even more during the life of your home.
  • Green materials: The materials used in your home are the foundation for your daily life, so start here by choosing eco-friendly options. For example, sustainable flooring including cork, bamboo, or recycled hardwoods helps maintain endangered forests while you also avoid the harmful chemicals that are in most carpet.
  • Reduce energy consumption: Your primary goal should be to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Appliances are notorious for gobbling up energy, but new efficient appliances decrease energy use dramatically. Making your home well-insulated and eliminating drafts is another way to cut energy consumption. If you’re searching for a green home on the market, keep these features on your list of must-haves.
  • Reduce water use: You can also reduce water use with a few green building choices, like this couple featured on Real Simple who cut water use by installing aerators on faucets, recirculating water pumps under sinks, and low-flow toilets. 
  • Consider your lawn:  In addition to making the interior of your home greener, why not make sure your yard is eco-friendly? Try water conservation tips, such as laying your lawn out so it thrives with less water, which water-friendly plants to choose, and how to incorporate a veggie garden, and so forth.

When it comes to doing our part for the environment, some people tend to think that since the problem is so big, one person can’t make a difference. The reality is that small choices, especially when it comes to our homes, add up to make a big impact. From sustainable materials to reducing energy use, living greener really does start at home.

Make Laundry Not Landfill is an inspirational and educational destination for first-time and new-to-cloth parents seeking the courage and confidence to make the choice to cloth, or cloth more often, as well as somewhere every parent can gain encouragement and support through honest and positive stories from like-minded cloth families. We’d love to hear any ideas or feedback you may have. Please email makelaundrynotlandfill@gmail.com.
Photo credit: Unsplash

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