Environmentally-friendly Household Tips

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from-getdecoratingdotcom.gifWith over 100 million households in the United States, it’s clear that we can have a huge impact with simple actions that benefit the environment, as well as the health of our families. I’ve compiled a list of easy things you can do that can make a difference everyday.

  1. Instead of using countless plastic bags to hold food items, like leftovers, use reusable glass or porcelain storage containers. They’re safe for the microwave, oven and dishwasher (minus the plastic lids), plus they don’t leach harmful chemicals into your food.
  2. Consider using real dishes, glasses, flatware and napkins for meals, even for parties (your guests will feel special!). If you must use disposables, look for ones made of recycled content at your local grocery store.  Paper products like tissues, paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper made from recycled paper are also easily found.
  3. Turn off the ‘heated dry’ cycle on your dishwasher to save energy. It’s not needed anyway. Also, scrape dishes rather than rinsing before adding them to the dishwasher. Today’s washers can handle it! Be sure to run the washer only when full.
  4. Change your lightbulbs to compact fluorescents when they burn out. CFLs use a fraction of the energy that incandescents use which reduces greenhouse gases; they last much longer; and they’ll save you money on your utility bills.
  5. Turn off the lights and electronics when they are not needed. You’ll be surprised how much energy (and money) you’re wasting by leaving them on.
  6. Take shorter showers, and install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to conserve water. Don’t let the water run down the drain when brushing teeth or shaving. Also, considering flushing the toilet only when necessary, and when purchasing a new toilet, look for a dual-flush.
  7. Use natural cleaning products and air fresheners rather than harsh chemical-based ones. It’ll improve the air quality in your home.
  8. Avoid dry-clean only clothing items or use a green, wet-cleaner to avoid contact with hazardous chemicals used in traditional dry cleaning.
  9. Change your furnace filters on a regular basis and choose high quality filters to maintain your heating/cooling system’s efficiency and ability to provide you with clean indoor air. Don’t forget to turn off the a/c and open your windows on pleasant days to bring in some fresh air and save electricity.
  10. Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees (halfway between medium and low settings). It will still provide an adequate amount of hot water for your household needs. Better yet, install a tankless or solar-powered hot water heater for the utmost in energy efficiency.
  11. If the interior of your house needs a fresh coat of paint, purchase low- or zero-VOC paints which are now readily available. You won’t compromise the air your family breathes.
  12. Don’t apply toxic fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides to your lawn and garden. Safer, natural alternatives are better for the health of your children and pets, as well as our waterways.
  13. If you must water your lawn or garden, do so in the morning or evening to reduce water loss due to evaporation. And by using a nozzle that shuts off or adjusts to a fine spray, you’ll save 5 gallons per minute!
  14. Wash your car only if necessary (and allowed in areas where drought restrictions are in place) and use a bucket, sponge and hose with a shut-off valve. Or look for car wash facilities that use recycled water.
  15. Support local and organic farmers with your food purchases. It’s better for the earth, air and water, and for our bodies!
  16. Save your sanity and the forests by reducing the amount of junk mail you receive.

Tag(s): Going Green, Green Cleaning, Hazardous Products / Health Issues, Money Saving


One Response to “Environmentally-friendly Household Tips”

  1. Green Home Hints on June 22nd, 2008 10:17 am

    The statistics on energy wastage in North America are staggering. More people should be thinking about what they are doing and what they are wasting.

    Great tips!


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