In our quest to be greener citizens of the world, we have to start somewhere. We have to pick a spot to begin changing our lives and making a positive impact on the environment. The best place to start is in the home. Our homes are the spaces of our lives that we have the most control over. We might not be able to make changes to our work places and schools, but in house and on our property, we make the rules. Here are five easy changes you can make in your home to be greener.
1. Give up bottled water.
It’s hard to avoid something that’s so convenient, but those plastic bottles build up over time in landfills by the millions, and it will be a long time before they ever break down. It’s understandable that you don’t want to drink tap water; it’s not that healthy in some parts of the world. Install a filter under your sink and insist one be installed at work. Buy yourself a safe, reusable plastic bottle (just the one!) and fill it up often. If you can’t avoid plastic water bottles entirely, limit yourself to only using them outside the house and drink from the tap inside.
2. No more paper towels.
Paper towels are tempting because they’re convenient and the next one is always clean. Since we don’t want to wipe our counters with dirty towels, we end up going through rolls of them. Limit the number of paper towels you use by buying a large package of industrial (or restaurant/bar-quality) rags. To be really green you could cut up old cloths or bath towels for the messiest, dirtiest spills. Since you wouldn’t be concerned about their appearance you could wash them in a good amount of hydrogen peroxide-based bleach.
3. Dress more appropriately, even when you’re inside.
It’s tempting to dress as we wish and adjust our thermostat to whatever makes us comfortable. This is especially true in the winter when we prefer to lounge in T-shirts with the heat cranked up. Lower the temperature to save energy and save money. Wear a sweater, long pants and slippers to let your body heat do the work.
4. Use a reusable shopping tote.
It’s very likely that somewhere in a closet you have a plastic bag filled with other plastic bags; remnants from past shopping trips that you save in case you need one later. Notice how they build up faster than you can discard them? That’s because they aren’t necessary. Pick up a few reusable, sturdy totes (they’re usually 99 cents at the supermarket) for your shopping. Throw them in your trunk so they’re always with you. Some are even designed to fold up inside a lady’s handbag.
5. Switch to non-toxic, organic cleaners.
The “clean smell” we’re all used to is actually the scent of ammonia and other toxic chemicals. One-by-one start switching out your household cleaners for safe cleaners; they’re just as effective, if not more so. These days there are a lot of good choices available that use natural ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
Written by Holly MacLean from Wee Urban
As a new mom, Holly was driven to start Wee Urban™ to offer the modern family a unique and fresh collection of eco-friendly baby gear and accessories that goes beyond the conventional and explores the exceptional! Tired of traditional pinks and blues and cute motifs, we offer sophisticated designs, “conscious” organic alternatives, practical functionality and superior quality. Using our custom certified organic cotton blends, low-impact dyes, and other trendsetting fabrics, we hope to inspire families to be make better choices and of course- do it all in urban style!
Beyond our organic cotton and azo-free dyes, Wee Urban uses 100% post-consumer packaging and tags for our Wee Dreams™ Sleep Bags. Our distinctive screen-printing is done with 100% eco-inks and are all phthalate free.
We also recycle our remnants and donate as much as possible to local elementary schools to help with arts and crafts programs.
For more information, visit wwww.weeurban.com
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