It seems as though so many people are ‘going green’ these days, at least in part. I have seen homes where it is apparent the homeowners have taken huge steps in this area. Although, I’m not sure if there reason is to save money, or save the planet. Then again, not sure it matters what their reason is.
Some things I have seen are solar panels on the roof, to windmills in the field. Of course, those steps require a little more work to get started, as well as cost. But, not everyone has the knowledge, time, or cash to take such significant steps. Yet, they want to do something to help their own environment, as well as our planet.
So, I am going to share some easy and affordable ways that you can convert your own environment into an eco-friendly one. In fact, some will even help you save money.
A Natural Way to Clean
One of the easiest ways to get started would be to start using natural products for cleaning, rather than commercial brand cleaners that are ladled with unnecessary chemicals. I say ‘unnecessary’, because quite often they are only in there to make you think it’s more powerful.
You can find many great cleaning items right in your kitchen pantry, such as white vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. One of my (former) favorite cleaners has vinegar listed as an ingredient. I now, know why. It’s not all the dye and other ingredients in it that was the attraction. It was the vinegar. Mix white vinegar with water, about a 30/70 ratio, to have an effective cleaner for windows, mirrors, counters, and more…and save money at the same time.
Another tip is that salt can be mixed with water to form a scrubbing paste to remove rust stains, or hard to remove debris on various surfaces.
Those are just two examples of what you can do with your pantry, and go green at the same time. There are websites that are dedicated to these natural options and offer cleaning ‘recipes’ to make it easy for you.
Fertilizing the Yard
You have probably heard by now about making your own compost. This is done with your waste, rather than taking it to the landfill. However, it is also used as a natural fertilizer, which does two things. It prevents you from having to put unnecessary chemicals into your lawn and environment, but also saves you money.
Another way is to stop raking in the fall. Simply run over the leaves a few times with your mower until the leaves become finely textured (and instant) compost. You don’t need to do another thing to it. Let it go right back into the ground as a fertilizer, saving on chemicals, money, and time.
Baby Steps, Literally
I am going to touch on an area that might not be free, or even inexpensive. But, it is necessary if you are expecting a baby. You have to make some purchases for the nursery anyway. Why not have a natural and eco-friendly nursery for your baby’s start in life?
Start with having a hard surface floor, such as bamboo, which is great for the environment and allergies. But, perhaps the best thing you can do is have natural bedding and a mattress so the baby isn’t breathing in chemicals that are found in traditional sheets and mattresses.
You should be able to easily find a nice selection of organic baby crib mattresses right in your local stores. However, if you aren’t finding what you like, search online.
Another easy thing to do, and one that can definitely save you money, is to cut down on energy costs. Here is a short list of quick and easy ideas that you can do:
- Wash in cold water, which can also save on your clothing
- Turn the heat down a couple degrees, especially while you sleep
- Unplug electronics when you aren’t using them, not just turned off
- Take shorter showers, and let your hair air dry naturally if possible
Again, this is just a short list to show you some very easy tips in converting to a greener home, as well as save some money.
Recycling has been around for a long time, but there have been some changes that will help you save some time and money. For example, many cities offer a curbside pickup for recycled items, such as cans, plastic, and paper.
Also, you are no longer required to rinse out cans and jars, or remove the labels. This will save you time, as well as water.
Save a Tree
I think one of my favorite quick tips in going green is the pay online option that many companies offer. It obviously saves paper, but also the cost of stamps and checks. Some companies will even offer deals if you agree to pay online.
And finally, get rid of junk mail and save a tree. Well, maybe not an entire tree just for one household. But, it certainly feels like it at times when I go to my mailbox. Direct Marketing Association has a website that you can sign up for the removal of junk mail. It’s similar to the Do Not Call idea, with the exception of having a $1, one-time fee.
Benjamin Baker is a self-proclaimed addict of writing. He thoroughly enjoys his career as a freelance writer, especially the research. Benjamin will often find inspiration when surfing the Internet, such as www.ecohomeinspired.com, which inspired his series on creating an eco-friendly environment. Married, with 3 teenage children, Benjamin and his family reside in Denver, Colorado. On his down time, he enjoys playing his guitar, fishing, and camping.