Ten Ways to Green Your Home

Ten Ways to Green Your Home

Carol Mund

There are countless ways to create a healthier and more environmentally friendly home.  And many of them are fairly inexpensive to accommodate into your lifestyle.  Here are 10 such ideas:

  1. Clean your air ducts and fans regularly.  This will help by eliminating the pollutants in your home that can lead to allergy problems.  Replace your furnace filter monthly for more efficiency and better air quality.
  2. Avoid products that do not list their ingredients on the back of the packaging.  Check labels for 3rd party certification by using organizations such as Green Seal  and EcoLogo
  3. If you aren’t in the habit of taking off your shoes before entering your house, now is a good time to start.  This healthy practice cuts down on the outside pollutants that are being tracked into your home.  Just the thought of all the public places my shoes travel disgusts me enough to keep this habit!
  4. If new flooring is in the near future, consider an alternate flooring option to the traditional carpet, which traps dust mites, mold and other pollutants.  Bamboo and cork flooring are being raved as great environmental alternative flooring.    There are many pros and cons to these alternative floorings though, so it is wise to see if these products fit your needs.  Some benefits of bamboo state that it is a rather quick renewable resource but currently there are few companies that are producing the flooring without harming the environment by use of pesticides, deforestation and other items that cause for degradation to the planet.  
  5. Are you in the market for a new vacuum cleaner?  Consider investing in a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter-style vacuum cleaner which captures up to 99.97% of particles. 
  6. Are mold and mildew a concern?  If so, many experts recommend keeping the humidity level in your home below 60 percent to eliminate this worry.
  7. Decorate with low-VOC and no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints.  They release fewer toxic fumes, which are released even after the paint dries.  Typical traditional house paint has been linked to respiratory problems and even worse, some types of cancer. 
  8. Cotton is a heavily pesticide sprayed crop.  Invest in organic grown cotton products without pesticides.  Some readily available household cotton products include bedding, towels, clothes, etc.
  9. Remove your name from junk mail lists, which creates 4.5 million tons of waste annually. 
    1. The Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are allowed to include your name on lists pertaining to insurance and credit card offers. You can opt out though.
    2. The Direct Marketing Association is mail management service that allows you to opt out of mail solicitation or just focus your solicited mail based on your interests.  
  10. Clean naturally by using lemon, salt and baking soda. Here’s a few cleaning ideas for you.

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