Going green is often cheaper than not, contrary to popular belief. Sometimes environmentally friendly options cost more up front, but can save you money for years afterward. Choosing to go green doesn’t have to be hard, although it can seem incredibly overwhelming if you try to do everything at once. Making small changes around your home and tackling a few things at once is a much easier option for most people.
Start by creating habits that save energy. Use reusable grocery bags. Turn off appliances and lights when you don’t really need them. Bump up the air conditioning by a couple of degrees. Use a sink of dishwater instead of letting the water run. Use cloth napkins in lunch boxes and at home instead of paper ones. Little changes in your daily habits save money and energy.
Reuse as much as possible. Use junk mail and old papers as drawing paper or to make grocery lists on. Go electronic whenever possible for bills and communications with other people. Many businesses and offices are “paperless” environments. Try to do the same in your home.
Save money and waste by making your own household cleaners. Dish soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, facial cleansers, moisturizers, laundry detergent and more can be made from things that you already have in your pantry or under the sink. Not only are you not using packaging for the cleaners that you make, but you are making safer products for your family. Whenever possible, stay away from harmful cleaners that pollute your home, your family and the environment.
When it comes to decorating or furnishing your home, consider using items from thrift stores. Reusing things helps to eliminate waste. If you do buy new, try to use bamboo instead of hardwood. Bamboo is actually a grass that quickly grows back after it is cut. Most of the time it is cured with heat, which turns the natural sugars inside into a beautiful finish. This is great for avoiding exposing your family to harmful fumes and chemicals.
Switching to low odor paints, organic foods, growing your own food, reusing rainwater, and avoiding packaging are all great places to start. Using bamboo flooring, bamboo hangers, and bamboo furniture in your home helps to save the environment and your family’s health, in several ways. Teach your children how to recycle, reuse, and reduce the amount of waste that they create and your efforts will have a lasting effect.
About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers, a leading online resource for quality garment hangers and racks.