GREEN HOME You got solar. Now what?

Here are 10 Great easy ways you can be more green right  in y0ur own Home

We think these are some less typical more interesting suggestions for being green. I bet you haven’t heard of probably thought of  some of these before, because some of them I just made up out of my own life experience.

Switch to Green Cleaners

Switching to green cleaners reduces air pollution both indoors and out, minimizing exposure to both asthma and allergy triggers as well as chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Look for plant-based products from companies that have a complete list of ingredients on their labels. Hey and stop drinking chemicals. Use organic dishwasher soap. That streakless product is streakless because it leave a clear film on your dishware – which you then eat.

Go Meatless at least one day a week

Go streakless – now go steakless. Having pasta or a vegetarian  one day  a week might not seem like a big deal, but adding one meat-free meal per week (for a family of four) has the same impact as driving a hybrid car. Raising livestock when you add it all up generates a large carbon footprint , so cutting back, even one night per week, makes a big difference. Besides it is much more healthy for you as well. You may end up a little less beefy yourself.

Buy locally grown produce

Go Portlandia. Go to the farmers market. But be careful you may not be able to get out of there fast enough – due to all the people you have to talk your way through that the naturally pasteurized milk you bought may go bad before you get home. Well if you brave the affair,  buy meat and vegetables and fruits that were locally raised on old fashion farms with fences and fields, so the animal was given ample room to roam, and wasn’t treated with hormones or antibiotics. Ask for the animals complete dossier. And get some  vegetables that were not bombarded with pesticides illegal in this country, and that were shipped half way around the world to get to your supermarket at them moment of perfect ripeness.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Adding insulation to prevent leaky ducts, walls, windows, and doors can improve your home’s energy draw by 20 to 30 percent. If totally redoing your insulation isn’t in your budget, try thermal shades, which block the sun in the summer and retain heat in the winter, or even something as low tech as a draft guard on your outside doors.

Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Think of removing your shoes when you enter a home as the equivalent of washing your hands. Hey 20 billiion Chinese can’t be wrong. Actually n many countries around the world it is a custom and probably for good reason.  It is easy, elegant,  it prevents the outside toxins,  chemicals, and pesticides from being tracked all over your home and it is just a nice practice to adapt.

Get rid of all non-stick surfaced cookware and plastic

Heating plastics can cause leaching into food and many contain hormone-disrupting compounds (not just the much maligned versions made with bisphenol-A or BPA). Most non stick surface pans  scratch easily and breakdown and contaminate food in high temperatures. Even the one that say natural or green or nontoxic. The best material for cooking are glass, enameled iron, and stainless steel. Iron has recently been linked to alzhiemer’s so is no longer consider safe.

Don’t Dump, Donate

By some estimates, for every item of clothing donated, 27 pounds of carbon emissions are reduced based on the fact that you don’t another item being produced while one is headed to the landfill. Take items to a thrift store, a charity that accepts donations, or list them on freestyle.org.

 

Select Fragrance-Free Products

Conventional fragrances often contain chemicals believed to disrupt hormones, and they can be harmful to the ecosystem when washed down the drain. If you like perfumed soaps, cleaning products, or cosmetics, read labels to find those made with essential oils.

Reduce Use of Bug Sprays and Pesticides

To control pests, prevention is your best bet. Keeping your kitchen crumb-free and sealing any holes in the walls or cracks in the foundation means you won’t have to use harmful chemicals in your home. If you do require pest-control, reach for greener alternatives or home remedies first.

Take control with Shrubs.

I know it seems a bit redundant –to plant green. But believe it or not, proper landscaping can add to the energy efficiency of your home by providing shade in the summer months and insulation in the winter months. Cold winter winds prevail from the north and west directions  Place a barrier of evergreens on the western and northern  sides of your house. This wind barrier can slow wind from entering your house and drawing out heat in the winter months. The EPA  suggests planting trees that lose their leaves on the southern sides of your home to support this phenomenon. In the summer, the trees will provide shade and block infrared radiation, keeping your house cooler. In the winter, when the trees lose their leaves, they will allow more sunlight to reach the windows and warm your home. It is clever planting indeed to get nature to do your bidding. Be sure not to block those solar panels.

Don’t just throw stuff out. Try to fix your appliances. Buy used equipment.

Before you junk that old dishwasher, see if you fix it first. There is a tremendous amount of metal and plastic material and electrical components that go into a dishwasher. Think of all the material  going into a landfill. Don’t junk the machine when the replacement of one part and the money spent on a local repairman is all that stops you from buying a new one built with new material half way cross the world  and shipped to your door. Being environmentally principled can be hard sometimes  – I know.  That age old question has been raised to me many times, by family and friends alike:

Is he an environmentalist or is he just cheap? (I think its a blurred line.)

Hey, don’t forget to check your local Craigslist.  Craigs list is so GREEN. Just think of all the stuff that would have gone in the landfill – probably should have  – but instead went on Craig’s list. (I can spend hours there.)

 

 

 

 

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