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7 Easy Ways to Green Your Home

by Orianna

minimalist living room with plants

It's easier than you think to make a big difference!

I have been trying to make adjustments to my lifestyle to reduce my carbon footprint. Just to be clear, a carbon footprint is “the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.

As an American, I take advantage of the many conveniences in our society such as easy access to takeaway food and a variety of appliances such as a clothes washer and dryer.

While I was not aware of my impact on the environment while growing up, in the past 10 years my eyes have opened to the environmental impacts humans have on this planet.

I wanted to share a few easy ways I have found to make an impact:

  1. Stop Using Dryer Sheets Dryer sheets are one of the most toxic items you have in your home. If you have questions about this, you can check out this Healthline article.

  2. Switch Out Hand Soap This is so easy! One big thing to watch for is parabens. Try to find a paraben-free brand like J.R. Watkins or Dr. Bronner. For more information about how to avoid parabens, you can check out the EcoWatch article 6 Ways to Avoid Parabens.

  3. Use Compostable Trash Bags According to the Center for Biological Diversity, plastic garbage bags take 1000 years to degrade in a landfill! Think of how many trash bags we all use in a year. Wow. I started using these compostable bags I purchased on Amazon. In addition to the kitchen trash can, I use this smaller version in my bathroom and office cans.

  4. Switch Out Paper Towels for Bamboo I still use some paper towels for major cleaning when necessary, but overall, I use these reusable bamboo paper towels. They are efficient and easy to clean and I like the texture. I am on my second pack of these. The first pack lasted about a year. That is a good value for $18.99, especially considering that the cost of single use paper towels is more than $15 for 8 rolls - which could easily be used in a month for a large family.

  5. Stop Buying Bottled Water This one is huge. This article from National Geographic states that in 2017, one million plastic bottles were purchased every minute. This amount of waste is causing the planet a lot of harm, and it is so easily remedied! There are two good options: 1) buy water in a paper box; 2) invest in a great water filter like this Nikken. Either of these options is a great step in the right direction. I know that the Nikken option is pricey, so you could also opt for a more affordable solution like this Britta. I don't like the water as much, but it does filter tap water pretty well. I have both. I use the Nikken most of the time, but take the Britta camping and on road trips.

  6. Change Menstrual Products Tampon waste is problematic for our water systems and used pads in landfills are not any better. Here are two alternatives: 1) reusable, washable pads; 2) a menstrual cup. I went to India in 2017 and volunteered on a project producing washable menstrual pads. It was an enlightening experience! I personally choose option 2. I have provided the Amazon link for the Diva cup, but I also have another brand. Again, these are easy ways to make a huge positive impact on the environment.

  7. Switch Out Plastic Storage for Glass If you already have plastic containers, you may choose to keep using them. But rather than buying new ones at the Dollar Store, think about investing in a set of glass storage. I have a great set I got at Costco. There is also this one from Amazon. In addition to being reusable, they are also healthier. For more information you can check out the article Which Is Better? Plastic vs. Glass Storage Containers.



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