I was reading my friends’ posts on Facebook the other day when it dawned on me that we really are in the middle of a global shift in how we live on our home planet. I’ve been seeing little bits for some time, but now there’s a flood of information, collaboration and action on a variety of ecological subjects. People all over the world are becoming aware of the need for the shift and are changing how they live so that it is more and more sustainable.
Sustainable living is a term you hear frequently now. Here’s the best definition that I found. At its most basic, it means living a lifestyle that uses resources responsibly and causes the least amount of environmental damage possible. Sustainable practices can be applied to almost every part of daily life with good results. As I’ve seen on Facebook, innovators all over the world are developing technologies and products to help us to do that.
My friends and I are making small, easy changes one at a time. The more changes we make, the bigger the overall gain will be. Here are 6 easy, small-but-powerful ways to green your home.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
There are some really effective eco-friendly cleaning products available now. We’ve already switched our dishwashing liquid, dishwasher soap, household cleaner, cleanser, glass cleaner, laundry soap, We’ve stopped using fabric softener because when you use eco-friendly laundry soap, you never have to use fabric softener again because your clothes are just as soft using only the eco-friendly laundry soap.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Personal Care Products
Wouldn’t you know, there are some really effective eco-friendly personal care products available, too. We’ve already switched our facial cleanser, toner, bath and shower soap, facial masks, toothpaste, mouthwash, eye drops, hair color, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, eye cream, and makeup.
Switch to LED lightbulbs
CFL lightbulbs were recommended until they found out that they contain mercury which goes into the environment when they are thrown away. LED lightbulbs have no mercury, so they’re the recommended replacement choice now. They last for many years, use even less energy than CFLs, use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, and as a result, end up costing less even though an individual bulb costs more. I buy them on sale.
Switch from Disposable to Long Lasting Items
Use regular razors, flatware, plates, cups, and other items instead of disposable razors, plastic tableware, plates, cups and other one-use disposable items. This will lower our use of fossil fuel because plastics are made from it and manufacturers use fossil fuel to manufacture disposables. It will also reduce greenhouse gases caused by their manufacture, and it will reduce or eliminate the massive amount of disposable garbage that goes into landfills.
There are many small things we can do to conserve water. For example, install water saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators. Put a float booster in your toilet tank to decrease the amount of water used per flush. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Turn off the faucet when you’re washing your dishes by hand and turn it on when you rinse. If you use a dishwasher, only run it when full. And finally, take shorter showers. A 10 minute shower uses half the water that a 20 minute shower uses. Multiply the number of gallons saved per shower by 365 (days per year) and then by the number of people in your household and that’s a lot of water saved.
Choose Renewable Energy
Contact your power company to find out if you can buy energy from renewable sources like solar and wind through them. If you can, choose renewable energy. Another option is to look into the family-sized solar and other renewable energy generators. There are now many and there will be more.
What are you and your friends doing to green your homes?