Kermit the frog said it best when he sang us his song “It’s not easy being green…” This can definitely be true when trying to make our homes environmentally friendly. There is so much misinformation out there on what is and what isn’t “green.” Trying to decipher it is a daunting task. Let’s look at some of the simpler and more basic aspects of being green-ish for your home.
If you don’t have the luxury of building your home from the ground up, you need to upgrade and improve on what you already have. Some of the smaller ways improve the overall health and well-being of your home is to use all natural and organic products whenever you can. All natural cleaning products for laundry, dishwashing and general cleaning that do not contain harsh chemicals are a wise and easy choice. Using organic materials like natural wool, cotton and natural latex rubber for bedding and mattresses can keep cancer causing toxins like petroleum away from your skin and lungs. Just removing your shoes before entering your home can help eliminate bringing outside toxins in. If you are planning a renovation and want to invest in an eco-friendly floor, try cork, bamboo or wood. Cork is a great renewable resource that is easy to maintain and gives soft, sound absorbing quality to your floor with a wide variety of colors choices available. Any product that contains “VOC’s” or volatile organic compounds should be avoided. These VOC’s give off gasses after being installed that are harmful if exposed to. You can find them in paint, carpet and some furniture materials. When shopping for paint look for a “NO VOC’s” label on the product. Try and buy carpets that are made of natural materials like natural wool, cotton and silk. Also area rugs that can be removed and cleaned make for a better overall hygienic quality of the rug. Wall to wall carpeting collects dust mites, mildew and stain causing materials that over a span of time becomes impossible to clean properly. Carpet cleaning companies often use chemical cleaners that can be potentially harmful to kids and pets. Buying furniture that is made from recycled materials such as glass, rubber and metal help save these items from becoming landfill fodder. When looking for curtains select 100% natural or 100% synthetic materials and not a blend. Blended materials like cotton and polyester do not break down in compost and cannot be recycled. Think long term when making purchases to reduce your lifetime carbon footprint. If you are lucky enough to be building your home brand new and are looking for ways to be eco-friendly here is a great website to help you get started inhabitat.com. Thanks for keeping it EZ and let me know, how do you do green? Truly, Kristin