Living a green life isn’t just about helping the environment. By being green, you can also improve your own life thanks to potential health benefits and the possibility to save money. When it comes to your home, there are plenty of simple, quick ways to upgrade to a greener standard of living – here are 5 of the best.
Avoid Paper Towels
While they are convenient, paper towels represent a massive demand on the planet’s forests. Furthermore, while they may also seem cheap, these towels’ cost adds up throughout the year, especially for large families. The best solution? Old cloths and clothes. Old T-shirts make great clothes and don’t cost you anything. Furthermore, they can be thrown in the laundry and re-used over and over. Of course, you might still want a roll of paper towels on hand just in case, but you will quickly find old cloths can wipe up just about anything!
How much heat does your home lose due to a lack of insulation? This wastes energy, gas and money, yet many people think insulation is expensive. There are, fortunately, some cheap and green options available. Recycled materials don’t create an impact to the environment and most homes have a large space – such as the attic or cavity walls – where insulation has been overlooked. Additionally, try adding thick curtains over windows and doors, as these add extra layers of insulation over some of the weaker parts of the home. This is often especially true in older homes and buildings, which weren’t built with such energy conversation in mind.
Just like energy, water also has its effect on the environment, so how much water you waste is important. There are a number of ways to cut down this figure, from switching to showers instead of baths, or investing in eco-kettles and other conservation efforts. Even simple practices, such as not washing dishes until you have a full load (in either the dishwasher or the sink) can have a positive effect. If you have plants – as mentioned earlier – why not try using rain water? Leave a container on your garden, balcony or window and use this instead of tap water. If it’s good enough for wild plants, it’s good enough for domestic ones, too!
Cleaning has a bigger impact on the world and your home than you may realize. You use cleaning products on virtually every surface, so isn’t there an opportunity to make this greener? The easiest way to do this is to stop using industrial cleaners from the supermarket; not only are these expensive, they’re full of hazardous chemicals or toxins that harm the environment. Instead, there are 4 perfect ingredients in your own home: lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and salt. These acidic agents work wonders on walls and windows, don’t harm your health and – perhaps best of all – you probably have them already! Just mix them with water and use as a normal spray.
Plants do far more than look nice and, in fact, adding some greenery can readily improve your health around the home. Aside from converting carbon monoxide into beneficial oxygen, plants can also help with water moisture and air quality, acting as small, natural filters. Of course, to get the most out of this, you will need a decent concentration of plants, with at least 1-2 in every room and larger rooms, such as living areas, can benefit from more (or something larger). You can always ask your local garden centre for advice, but the most common examples include various ferns, spider plants and peace lilies. The latter is also helpful at removing or preventing mould.
As you can see, there are plenty of areas where you can begin upgrading your home. Many of these involve little to no investment, yet can help deliver a greener home very quickly. Furthermore, you’ll also be improving your own life, thanks to better health, cheaper bills and a little peace of mind, knowing that you’re now doing more to help the planet.
About the Author – Jessi Lampard of London Carpet Cleaner has been an active advocate of green cleaning and sustainability in the cleaning industry for several years. She also has a passion for writing and her primary goal is to promote the healthier environment through her contributions on various platforms.