Are you ready to jump on the eco-friendly train, in order to provide a healthier and greener atmosphere for your family? I don’t blame you. Many people are taking steps to insure a healthier lifestyle for their loved ones. Some are diving right in and making complete and major changes right away.
However, some people are looking for a smoother and slower change, taking baby steps to test the waters, as well as not breaking the bank by replacing everything at once.
So, if you are looking to turn your home into a healthy haven for your family in an inexpensive and gradual manner, read on to learn some valuable tips in getting started.
Chemically-free Home Furnishings
This might not be the easiest or cheapest area to dive into, but it’s a good one. Let me start by saying that you don’t have to replace everything at once. This can be done in stages. But, as each traditional item is replaced, you are removing unnecessary chemicals from the home.
Take carpet, for example. Traditional carpet is not only laced with chemicals, but it can also be a haven for allergens, which are breathed in daily by each family member. A great solution for new flooring would be a hard surface…especially bamboo, which is natural and organic material and much better for allergens.
Another trap for allergens and chemicals are window treatments. Draperies can be laundered, but how often does the average household actually do it? Certainly not weekly. So, you might want to consider going with blinds…and again, bamboo is a great choice.
Perhaps the most important area of home furnishings to consider would be your bedding. We sleep…and snuggle up cozily with our bedding each night, for hours at a time. Traditional bedding not only can trap allergens, but they are made with chemicals that remain intact even after laundering. The popularity of organic bedding make it easy to find all-natural comforters and sheets, as well as mattresses…including those created for an organic nursery. In fact, it is probably just as easy to find an organic baby crib mattress now than a traditional one.
Recycling and Reusing
One of the most popular areas of going green is recycling. People have been doing it for years now, and the number of households doing their part is on the rise. In fact, many larger cities have made it easy for homes to recycle now with their policies and curbside pickup.
But, you can also reuse various items, which will help you save money, as well as contribute less to the local landfill. Take a look at some easy-to-do-ideas:
- Rags for Cleaning – for years, people have been using old clothing as rags…and there is no reason to stop now
- Plastic Shopping Bags – if you don’t want to purchase reusable shopping bags, you can at least reuse the ones you bring home, either for lining small wastebaskets or storing items
- Borrow rather than Buy – instead of purchasing something you won’t need to use often, or ever again, try borrowing it from a friend or family member
- Garbage into Compost – turning garbage into compost will act as a chemical-free fertilizer, not only saving you money, but eliminating chemicals in your yard and garden
You can even get creative and turn old furniture into a completely new piece, old clothing into a quilted comforter, or baby food jars into spice jars. Have fun with it!
Cleaning out OF the Pantry
You notice it says out OF the pantry, right? That’s because you can find many great products in your kitchen pantry that will help you clean your home naturally, without adding unnecessary chemicals for your family to breathe in.
A great option for cleaning glass and windows is a mixture of white vinegar and water, which works just as well as the commercial brands you find in stores. Or, mix salt and water to form a paste for removing rust stains. In fact, many items commonly found in the average kitchen pantry can be used for cleaning and polishing furniture, floors, and even clothing. There are several sites on the Internet that provides easy and chemical-free “recipes” for a clean and healthy home.
Turning down the Temperature
Most homes can handle turning the temperature down a couple degrees in colder weather, as well as up a couple degrees in warmer weather. It mostly comes down to what we are accustomed to for our individual comfort. Even infants can handle lower temperatures with actual recommended temperatures ranging from 65° to 70°…much cooler than most new parents think.
The good news is that by adjusting the thermostat, you can save approximately 2% (per adjusted degree) on your energy bills. It’s yet another good reason for an evening with hot cocoa and a blanket, in my opinion.
If you want to take it a step further, try solar power. Using a generator powered with solar will produce currents of electricity, which is then stored. According to consumers, it appears that the flat panel is the most resourceful and popular, especially for roofs that are large and get lots of sun.
As you can see, you have a few options when it comes to your home evolving into a green and eco-friendly home. And, this is just the beginning. I suggest that you get online to see what you can find for your particular location and style of house, and most of all, what will work for your family.
About the Author
Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer who quickly admits to being addicted to writing and research, which typically inspires ideas for new projects. For example, when visiting www.ecohomeinspired.com, she decided to write a series on eco-friendly homes. When Melissa is not working, she enjoys playing guitar, camping, fishing, and going to yard sales with her children to find interesting relics.