An old saying goes, ‘‘Charity begins at home’’, and with the efforts been made by nature conservative homeowners, no statement could be truer. Man’s development over the past centuries has seen the invention of complex machines that have certainly made our lives better but are ultimately destroying the home we call earth.
From mass deforestation to pollution of the atmosphere and water bodies, global warming, and improper waste disposal, efforts to restore the original natural balance are now more necessary than ever.
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In the rest of this article, we look at ways through which the homeowner can contribute to the efforts for a greener earth, ensuring the well-being of future generations and mankind as a whole.
The Way of the Dishes
Evolving the way we clean dishes is one way to go. The bulk of cleaning products on the market today are harsh products that can lower soil fertility or kill organic life in water bodies.
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To curb these effects, many green homeowners are turning to organic cleaning solutions made at home or sold at the grocery store. Some of these homemade cleaning solutions are made from vinegar, lemons, and baking soda.
They are also very affordable and come as a complete kit. Blueland, a fast-growing company, co-founded by Sarah Paiji Yoo, on becoming a new mom, focuses on ingredients listed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List and sells them with recyclable acrylic containers.
Other brands you can use include Ikea, Method, and Mrs. Meyer’s.
Doing the Laundry
Running a household normally demands many hours at the washing machine. One major effort to save energy and go greener is to wash with cold water as often as you can and cut down on the amount of detergent you use.
After washing, consider spreading them on a rack or ropes outside to dry naturally. If you must use a dryer, wool dryer balls should be used in place of sheets.
Washing softer materials and few clothes can be done by hand to save electricity costs. Clothes can also be worn a couple of times before washing them, as long as they are not dirty.
Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs made from organic materials like wool, seagrass, and jute, are the preferred choice for the green home. If you are not sure of the material it’s made from, check for Green label Plus or Greenguard low VOC labels.
Environmental Working Group Scientist, Tasha Stoiber hammers avoiding rugs made of PVC backing and going with those made of natural rubber.
Disposing of a rug can be quite the challenge for the green home. There are only a handful of rug recycling services, and the process can get pricey. An alternative solution will be to give out used rugs to charities or friends.
The Reuse Loop
Most products used in the home come in containers that are ideal to be recycled. Instead of dumping them into the trash can or worse, into a lake, consider reusing them for their original or other purposes.
Old containers can be used to store products bought in refill packs, can serve as a piggy bank for your little ones, and can be painted to serve as decoration.
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Margaret Richey, CEO of interior design and organizing company Margaret Richey Design Sense, states ‘Recycling and donating used items is indeed great, but the purpose is defeated if you have to buy more items to achieve that.’
‘A vicious cycle of some sort. Make do with what you have.’ She says.
Furnishing the Home
When it comes to furnishing your home, going with neatly used products may be much more worth it. Furniture made quickly, may not serve you for very long.
‘You get real value for money when you buy old furniture. And what’s more? You stand out as most people won’t have anything similar to yours in their homes.’ Stated Anthony Baratta, a designer in New York.
So when next you want to get furniture, you can check sites like invaluable.com or liveauctioneers.com for vintage and neatly used sets that are sure to stand out.