Global warming, climate change, fires and floods around the world, soaring resource costs and other concerns are taking up the front pages of all newspapers and blogs, which means we have to do something as soon as possible to prevent pollution and reduce consumption. It means we all have to make lifestyle changes to keep the planet spinning, but also keep our family and home safe.
Once upon a time, it was enough to separate recycling, buy organic food at the farmers market and carry it home in your reusable bag. However, today, you can and must easily do a lot of things that will green up your home yet keep it safe and clean. These tips below will keep your home comfortable, safe and clean, your family healthy and even your wallet full, so why not give green solutions a try?
Choose non-toxic cleaners
We all used to employ many different types of harsh chemical cleaners at home, but even though they are widely available, cheap and effective, they contain harsh chemicals that cause health issues and pollute nature. Luckily, there are brands that produce toxin-free, biodegradable cleaners, but you can also make your own concoctions at home with only a few ingredients.
Baking soda is an effective cleaner that can also be used for polishing and killing fungi. Next, we have tea tree oil and citrus oil which are great natural disinfectants, and borax and white vinegar which are great for cleaning places like the toilet bowl.
Use reusable cleaning cloths
Some dirt and grime don’t need cleaning products at all. In that case, grab a microfiber cloth that attracts dirt and removes it effectively. When used damp, it can clean glass, steel, brass, wood and ceramics, and when used dry, it attracts dust from all surfaces. Just wash it after use, let it dry and you can reuse it many, many times.
Be smart with waste disposal
Every household has harmful substances lurking under the sink or in the garage (think old paint, motor oil, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, etch). If you need to get rid of them, don’t even think about dumping them down the drain or taking them to a landfill—they will pollute both water and soil. Instead, research how you can dispose of them the best way in your location.
If you’re having some green updates that require demolishing and construction work, do everyone a favour and rent a dumpster. Also, if you live in a building or work in one, you can start an initiative, contact a waste management company and get a trash compactor. A product like this doesn’t only make waste disposal easier, but also more hygienic and less stinky. It also provides savings in fees and trash transport—it’s an all-around great investment.
Ban smoking inside
The easiest way to improve air quality at home is to ban smoking inside. Having a smoker in your home equals running a car in your living room. Cigarettes are full of toxins, and exposure to smoke can lead to cancer. So no smoking at home, or anywhere else—just ditch this horrible habit.
Install smoke, CO and radon detectors
Cigarette smoke is not the only type of smoke you find inside. Carbon monoxide is a gas that can be deadly, so to protect your family from poisoning, grab smoke and CO detectors in your local store. Radon is another gas that can penetrate your home, but there are kits that can warn you of its presence.
Let the sunshine in
Your home requires plenty of light, and the best source of it is the sun. The sunlight will brighten your space naturally and even kill some UV susceptible bacteria. Also, make sure to insulate, caulk and seal your home properly to prevent energy leaks, so you can lower your thermostat in winter and keep your cooling higher in summer.
Indoor plants are natural air cleaners. Some plants are not only beautiful but exceptionally effective in absorbing pollutants and even some odours. If you want to clean your indoor air, employ plants and green up your space. They are also great for mental health and relaxation, so it’s a win-win situation.
Grown an edible garden
If you have plenty of outdoor space, you can grow your own greens, veggies, fruit and herbs. Having a garden will improve your diet, make you active and teach your kids about biology and gardening. Just make sure to use water smartly and ditch pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Most households have a lot of organic waste like eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit and veggie peels, twigs and grass clippings—these can be composted and turned into natural and nutritious plant food.
Ditch bug spray
Bugs can be a pain in the back, but you must minimize the use of pesticides in your home, insect repellent included. Instead, seal your home well to prevent their penetration and keep food stored safely.
With these lifestyle changes, you can do a world of good for everyone and everything—conserve nature, lower pollution, boost health and build consciousness about the preservation of the environment and human health. So be a responsible person, parent and homeowner and go green!