Some people think that going-green is difficult, but we want to prove to you that it doesn't have to be!
Many people assume that creating a more "eco-friendly" home has to do with purchasing solar panels or re-framing your home with more sustainable materials. Granted, those are great decisions to consider down the line, although there are changes you can make today that don't require massive up-front investments on your end. These small changes can play a huge role on you & your health, and you'll thank yourself later when you realize the positive impact these changes have on your children & fur babies as well.
Lone behold - our list of 6 Simple Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly:
source: Urban Jungle Bloggers
Since humans spend the majority of their time inside, purifying the air in your home is a necessity. Our homes are infected with toxins from synthetic building materials, paints, pesticides, personal care products, cleaning products, and other natural pollutants (mold, fungi, etc.). Entering: House Plants. House plants are the easiest addition you can make to your home that immediately reduces the amount of toxic concentrates in the air. They're also the most adorable decor to add to your home, and currently in-style. See our list of The 10 Best House Plants for Removing Air Pollutants.
Little do we all know, most of the products that fill our households are not green-friendly. Tons of plastics sit in our cabinets & on our walls, synthetic materials and dyes in our carpets pollute our air and end up in landfills forever. Some people may argue that leather & wool are great although we think there are plenty of other, cruelty-free options without the animal exploitation, such as: wood, stone, slate, cotton, bamboo, palm, hemp, linen, burlap, cork & clay (terra cotta/ceramic).
Instead of plastic plant bowls? Use ceramic, seagrass or terracotta.
Instead of disposable plastic utensils? Use disposable bamboo ones.
Instead of plastic kitchen plates? Look for wood or slate alternatives.
Instead of plastic toothbrushes? Bamboo toothbrushes.
Instead of cotton balls/pads? Facial towels.
Instead of paper towels? Linen/Cotton reusable towels.
Instead of plastic razors? Stainless steel.
Instead of tampons & pads? Mooncups or Thinx underwear.
Too much? You get the idea.
According to Livestrong.com & other sources, the plastics you use in the kitchen could be leaking hazardous materials into your food, causing a variety of medical conditions. BPA & PVC are among the two most common chemicals found in common household products that are considered toxic, causing birth defects, skin conditions, cancer and much more.
Instead of plastic wrap, we recommend using this (non-vegan) beeswax alternative. In our experience, they are easy to use, last for a good amount of time, keep out the bad smell and keep food fresh. You can buy them from Amazon here.
The best vegan alternative to the beeswax food wrap would be the Etee's "Organic Reusable Food Wraps". Similar to the beeswax version, except 100% organic & vegan! All you have to do is warm them up in your hands to soften the wax, and they easily stick to any bowl or plate. Although you can't put these bad boys in the dishwasher, they're low maintenance to wash (just make sure you wash them in cold water). Click here for the vegan alternative to plastic wrap.
Lastly, if you're looking to rid of those nasty, constantly stained plastic tupperware, you should consider investing in some glass versions. The glass versions hold up much longer than your plastic ones do, and they can be recycled unlike most plastics that people use daily. Plus, once you hop on the glass train, any glass jars that pass through your house will soon serve another purpose: dressings, pestos, salsas, you name it! The glass alternative tupperware that has lasted me is right here.
How does food waste contribute to climate change? Glad you asked. Let me give you a brief, semi-scientific rundown.
Food waste, when disposed of incorrectly has the ability to produce methane. Methane, if you don't know much about it, is 20x more detrimental to our atmosphere compared to Carbon Dioxide (from a Global Warming perspective). When food waste is broken down in an environment WITH oxygen (backyard compost) decomposed items break down naturally and produce small amounts of CO2, which are not considered too detrimental to the environment. Although, when food waste is broken down in an environment without oxygen (landfills) CO2 is converted into methane instead, which is a large contributor to climate change.
The easiest way to reduce our food waste: prevention! Prevention is often the easiest step in the process, so make sure you are only buying what you NEED. This conscious shopping habit, in itself, will help you reduce the waste you create. If you end up having a ton of food leftover before a big vacation, seek opportunities to feed the hungry or feed your local farms livestock. A lot of times, farmers will seek a broad diet for their animals for a better quality of life.
Second, there is composting. Save up your scraps and put them into your backyard for the soil & microorganisms to thrive. And if you don't have enough land to start composting, seek companies in your town that have local drop-offs or collection services. In 2013, there were over 3,500 composting facilities in the United States alone, so regardless of your location, you always have an option for properly disposing of food scraps.
We've recently gotten into making our own homemade veggie broth, and you should too! It saves you money & trips to the supermarket and its EASY. Don't worry about your house beginning to smell - you can always freeze the scraps as well. It is pretty easy, check out a great step-by-step for homemade broth here.
If veggie broth isn't your thing, consider making sauces, dressings & pestos. broccoli & cauliflower stems go great in a pesto, and a great Italian dressing always has some pieces of peppers or carrots floating around. Get creative!
Isn't it scary to think about what insane chemicals are lurking in our cleaning products, touching our skin & circulating through our bodies every time we breathe? YES.
Studies have shown that people can suffer extreme external conditions (such as skin, eye & hair conditions) as well as long-term acute health issues (such as cancer, respiratory issues, & birth defects)!
This information alone is scary - we didn't even mention that these chemicals get absorbed into our land & soil after it goes through our waterways. Some chemicals even go into our water & affect the health of our wildlife. Which, if you eat fish, could end up right back into you!
Some scary chemicals to look out for: Phthalates, Ammonia, Chlorine, Sodium
More sustainable, less harmful products include the use of natural ingredients like plant-derived oils. Some great alternative options are listed below:
Mrs. Meyers Multi Surface Concentrate (Lemon) - ~$12.00 for 2 bottles of 32 fl.oz. (great value)
Thieves Essential Oil Household Cleaner - ~$32 for 1 bottle 14.4 fl.oz. - this is a pricier option, although we use thieves in our home (their oils, laundry detergent, dish soap, household cleaner & we SWEAR by it! If you are serious about quality products that work, we'd recommend thieves).
Seventh Generation Citrus Household Wipes - ~$30 for 6, 70-count wipes - we LOVE these because Clorox wipes were a convenience of our past, but we love that there is a more sustainable & easy option out there!
If you want to go even more earth-friendly - vinegar & baking soda go a loooong way when used to clean household products. Also, I use Dr. Bronners Castille Soap on just about EVERYTHING!
Check out homemade recipes online!
Junk food - the delicious & processed luxury in life that turns you into an addicted, chemical-craving junkie.
"It's all great in moderation!" they said... until you become overweight, battling cravings like a pregnant woman and sink into depression! (I know i'm intense, but bare with me, haha).
These are all potential bodily affects of eating junk food. This type of food is also the most processed, stricken with man-made ingredients that you can not read all while catalyzing the American "throw-away" culture. Listen to your body & your planet.
Whole foods are better for your mental health, physical health & the environment. This switch has given me more energy than ever! Whole foods rarely come in plastic packages, and if they do, can typically be avoided. Check out local farmer's markets or bulk stores!
Eat less from a BOX and more from the EARTH!
Hopefully you gained some insight from our list of 6 Simple Ways To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly in 2018.
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Happy Trails, Earthlings!
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