7 Easy Ways to Be Eco-Friendly at Home

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With Earth Month in April, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about ways to go green in your everyday life. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the different actions you can take to go green, so start small! This means making changes to your daily routine and home life. Once you have accomplished eco changes in your household, you can move toward more significant changes. Listed below are 7 easy ways you can be more planet-friendly at home.

1. Purchase Eco-Frienldy Personal Care Products

One of the best starting points when moving towards an more eco-friendly lifestyle is with your personal care products. Look for products from brands that use recyclable packaging, non-toxic ingredients, and practice sustainability. Tom’s of Maine is one of my favorite brands when it comes to personal care products for my family. Sustainability is a priority in their transparent business practices as they take several environmentally friendly production measures. All of their toothpaste cartons are made of post-consumer recycled paperboard, waste ink is utilized to print corrugated cases, vegetable based inks are used on professionally printed materials and packaging, and they are powered through 100% renewable wind energy. Additionally, their products are recyclable through the TerraCycle program.

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One of my new favorite products from Tom’s of Maine is their new Luminous White™ toothpaste. This toothpaste has a fresh minty taste and, as with all of Tom’s of Maine products, is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The best past of the this toothpaste is that it makes teeth whiter in as little as two weeks* and is safe on enamel! It is formulated with biodegradable ingredients and is perfectly safe for everyday use. It’s available online or at your local Walmart at a great everyday low price + earn cash back with this special Ibotta coupon!IMG_3088IMG_3090

2. Start a Compost

Put your kitchen and yard scraps to good use through a compost! Starting a compost is easy and helps reduce overall waste output. First locate a spot outside where you will keep your compost pile. If you have ample backyard space you can opt to start a large open compost pile or if you have space constrictions, a container can hold your compost. A large 32+ gallon trash can is an inexpensive container to start a compost pile. Drill 2-3″ holes that are 4-6″ apart all the way around the can and elevate it on 2-3 cinderblocks so it can properly drain. Next regularly add all of your plant-based fruit and vegetable scraps (no meat, dairy, oil based foods) and organic waste materials to the bin. I like to keep a small jar by my sink as a convenient reminder to throw all of my daily cooking scraps into it. As you begin to accumulate compost, be sure to mix it every couple weeks with a shovel. Within a few months you will have a rich organic fertilizer!

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3. Use Cloth Napkins

Paper products are one of the largest components of solid waste in landfills which is all the more reason to switch to cloth whenever possible. Aside from being a huge contribution to waste, paper napkins also are a major factor in deforestation. Choosing washable, cloth napkins at mealtimes is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce waste and help the environment.

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4. Use Reusable Water Bottles and Lunch Bags

Water bottles and paper lunch bags are two more products that significantly add to landfill burdens each year. The production of water bottles in America uses about 17 million barrels of oil each year and approximately 20 billion of those created water bottles end up in landfills yearly*. Paper lunch bags are just as detrimental as they add to the significant amount of paper waste in landfills. An easy alternative to these two items are a non-toxic glass or stainless steel water bottle and a cloth lunch bag. Not only are you avoiding the harmful chemicals in some plastic bottled waters and reducing waste, but using reusable water bottles and bags saves a substantial amount of money over time.

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5. Plant an Organic Garden

Eating local fruits and vegetables doesn’t come any closer than your own backyard garden. Plant a garden full of seasonal organic fruits and vegetables each year to reduce your food’s carbon footprint. You can even use your nutrient rich compost soil to fertilize your garden! To get started create a map or plan by finding where the sunlight falls and choosing seasonally appropriate organic seeds. Avoid any chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep your garden organic and toxin free.

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6. Recycle

This is an obvious way to go green but it can be easily overlooked or forgotten. Make sure you are recycling all glass and plastic bottles and jars, aluminum cans, paper food boxes, clean aluminum foil, junk mail/magazines/newspapers, toilet/paper towel rolls, and greeting cards. Recycling doesn’t stop with just your everyday items but also includes batteries and electronics. Head over here to learn more about recycling those special items. To make it easy to remember commonly forgotten recyclable items, I like to keep recycling bins around my home next to the trashcans.

7. DIY Cleaning Products

Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon are all you need to keep you home clean and avoid the harsh chemicals of conventional cleaning products. Vinegar has disinfecting qualities which is perfect for wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces. It also works amazing when combined with baking soda to unclog drains and when mixed with water it cleans glass. Baking soda is effective at deodorizing upholstery or carpets. It also works well when cleaning your oven or getting stuck on food off pots/pans. Lemon works well when mixed with water to clean glass, wooden cutting boards, or laminate countertops. It also can be used as a furniture polish when mixed with mineral oil.

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*By removing surface stains vs. regular fluoride toothpaste
*Source: http://bluelivingideas.com/2016/03/06/21-facts-bottled-water-environment-human-health

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Comments

  1. Julie Wood says

    These are really great tips and I do a lot of these to be eco friendly. It is so important to help the environment by recycling and we do this daily!

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