Going Green in the Home

(Article by Lisa H)

With dreary winter pretty much out of the way, it’s time to rejuvenate and reinvigorate your surroundings. 

Spring cleaning might involve freshening up the carpets and cleaning out the cupboards, but it can also mean becoming more aware of the products you use, and overall becoming more “green” in your home. Firstly, grab a few eco-friendly cleaning products for your spring makeover. Next, follow our list of tips to turn your home into an environmentally friendly haven.

  1. Turn off lights that aren’t in use – even if you’re only leaving the room for a short period.
  2. When you need to use the oven, avoid opening the door too often. Each time an oven door is opened during use is reduced   the overall oven temperature by as much as 30 percent.
  3. If you use a tumble drier, clean the lint filter after every use to avoid consuming excess energy.
  4. Unplug all appliances not in use.
  5. Instead of using the conventional oven or stove, use the microwave whenever possible.
  6. Wash your clothes in warm or even cold water instead of hot – it won’t jeopardize how clean they get.
  7. When you’re not using the computer, turn it off.
  8. Only turn electrical appliances on when you need to use them off and switch them off as soon as you’re done.
  9. To save both energy and money, use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  10. Plant trees to shade your home and avoid needing to use air conditioners or fans in summer.
  11. Insulate the home as best you can to avoid excess use of heaters and electric blankets in winter.
  12. Use cold water whenever possible – from washing dishes to doing the housework instead of using the geyser for hot water.
  13. Connect outdoor lights to a timer.
  14. Opt for household cleaning items that don’t use toxic or hazardous chemicals.
  15. Get rid of mercury from your home by purchasing mercury-free items and disposing of those that do contain mercury. You can dispose of items and appropriate drop-off facilities in your area.
  16. Instead of killing insects with poisons, use traps.
  17. Instead of mothballs, used aromatic herbs or cedar chips
  18. If you live in an older house, have the paint in the house tested for lead. If you do have lead-based paint you can cover up  with wall paper instead of burning or sanding it off.
  19. In the garden, use only necessary amounts of fertilizer.
  20. Minimize your use of pesticides.
  21. Avoid using dust-producing equipment like leaf blowers.
  22. Leave grass clippings on your lawn. They decompose and make for great nutrients for the soil.
  23. Use recycled wood chips like mulch to keep weeds at bay. They also help to prevent erosion and retain moisture.
  24. Use an electric lawnmower as opposed to a petrol-powered one.
  25. Water your grass early in the morning or in the evening.
  26. Regularly check for water leaks and if you do find leaks, have them fixed as soon as possible.
  27. Install water-saving devices in toilets and taps.
  28. Don’t run water continuously when washing dishes.
  29. Only wash laundry when you have a full load. The same goes for dishwashers and crockery.
  30. Use a low-flow shower head in your shower.
  31. Always turn off the washing machine’s water supply to avoid leaks.
  32. Use re-washable cloth serviettes as opposed to paper ones.
  33. Use reusable containers for storing food instead of cling- wrap or foil.
  34. If you use battery devices often, make sure to use rechargeable batteries.

Do you keep your home green? Which steps do you take?

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