Home is where the heart is, and if you do it right, where the health is as well. That’s because your home is your space, your place to relax, a small kingdom of your own where pants are optional and you can just be yourself. But if inside it is wasteful and unhealthy, then your home may be doing more harm than help to you. With that in mind, let us help you improve both your home and your health with some vital tips on green living.
A Healthier Home is a Happier Home
Even though the famous Muppet character Kermit the Frog is best known for his singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green” many years back, nowadays, being green has become so much simpler. And a greener home is a healthier home, and a healthier home makes for a happier human. So, let’s dive right in and bring the green back into your home.
Decorate with Air-Filter House Plants
Indoor air pollutants have been ranked as one of the top five biggest environmental risks to public health. That’s because our stagnant indoor environments allow these pollutants to build up and stick around in greater amounts than humans should ever be breathing in.
Certain plants, however – like the Garden Mum, Ficus, Fern, and Bamboo – naturally remove nasty, disease-causing chemicals and pollutants from the air. These are chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and more, which your body never needs in excess. (For more great indoor air-filtering plants, especially ones that are hard to kill, check out this link.)
Tidy Up with Natural Cleaners
Rather than buying all those harsh, artificial chemicals and coating your home with them in the names of cleanliness and hygiene, you can instead, use natural, environmentally-safe, non-toxic cleaners. For example, the acid in white vinegar makes it naturally capable of killing mold and bacteria, and you can use it to clean mirrors and windows as well. Baking soda is great for deodorizing, and lemon juice is great for combating grease, stains, and stinky smells.
Most often, these natural options are cleaner, cheaper, and just as effective as their artificial cousins.
Kill ‘Em with Kindness: Non-toxic Pest Control
While insects are a vital part of our earth’s ecosystem, that doesn’t mean they get a free place to stay inside your home. Yet, even though you may encourage them to live outside, should they ever wander into your human domain, then you’ll may have to resort to getting rid of them. However, that doesn’t mean you need to hurt yourself and your house in the process.
You can drive all sorts of bugs from your home using many common household items you likely already own. Things like cucumbers, mint leaves, soapy water, eucalyptus oil, coffee grounds, and more have been known to run off ants, dust mites, roaches, mosquitoes, etc.
Waste Less Water
Beyond watering the lawn less frequently, you can also reduce your water waste inside the home in a number of simple ways. You can install:
- low-flow toilets (which drop each flush from 6 gallons to 1.5),
- sink faucet aerators (which makes it feel like more water’s coming out then there actually is), and
- high-efficiency showerheads (which are specially designed to conserve water while still providing like a luxurious-feeling shower). These alone save up to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year.
Because while personal hygiene is certainly important for healthy living, if you can do it less wastefully, then the whole world wins.
Better Your Bulbs
Thomas Edison really did his best when he first invented the incandescent lightbulb back in 1879. But since then, lighting technology has grown up quite a bit. And compared to incandescent bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs use about 75% less energy and last about ten times longer, and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs cut energy use by more than 80% and last more than 25 times longer. Though they do cost more upfront, you end up saving a lot in the long run.
Be Smarter About Your Blinds
Whereas simple window curtains are just thin sheets of fabric designed to keep nosy neighbors at bay, modern window blinds can do so much more for regulating the temperature in your home. Cellular shades are window coverings made from pleated fabric that forms honeycomb-shaped cellular compartments. These compartments – which come in single, double, and triple layers – trap air, which provides insulation and can save you money on your energy bills. The more layers, the more energy efficient these window blinds are.
Stop the Bite of Vampire Electricity
You know every single one of those electronic devices you have plugged into a wall outlet right now? Well, each one is drawing out power and driving up your bill – even when you think they’ve been turned off. When all these various devices and appliances are not actively being used – and are thus sitting in stand-by mode – they’re still consuming electricity, but as vampire energy sucking the dollars right out your wallet. In the United States alone, vampire energy costs consumers more than $3 billion a year altogether.
To keep this vampire from biting into your electricity bill, be sure to unplug non-essential devices when you go on a trip, use a power strip with a single on/off switch, and buy greener gadgets.
In the end, there are a number of easy ways that you can go green at home. And not only will all these make your home healthier, but they’ll also make your wallet fatter – both of which will keep you happier.
About the author: Rob Caiello is a Vice President of Marketing over at Allconnect. Since 1998, Allconnect has simplified and expedited the purchase and setup of home utilities and services (like Internet, TV, and Electricity) for millions of movers and homeowners all across the United States.]