In one of our earlier posts we talked about the way Melaleuca.com uses YouTube to promote a lifestyle of green living. In so many words, green living consists of doing everyday things that benefit the environment.
When it comes to designing an environmentally friendly home, there are really two parts. First, is the construction design itself. Is your home outfitted with energy-efficient windows and doors? Is it well insulated to cut down on energy costs? Was it constructed using recycled materials?
Many of us end up purchasing and living in homes that were built long before we showed up, without our input. We can choose to do an eco-friendly remodel, but that can be very expensive. However, there are ways we can re-design our existing home to help protect the environment without breaking the bank.
Here are a few, relatively inexpensive tips for designing a green home:
1. Recycling. Whether you live in a community that provides recycling pick-up or you have to pay for the service/so it yourself, one great thing you can do is set up a recycling station or stations in your house. Head to a hardware or office supply store to pick up a few blue bins for just a few bucks. Place these bins in areas where you throw away a lot of recyclable material. Office spaces are great because of all the paper waste, and kitchens are ideal due to the cardboard cereal boxes, plastic milk cartons, etc. By getting in the habit of recycling as much as you can at home, you will be doing your part to help keep the environment clean.
2. Lowering your thermostat. There are “smart thermostats” these days, but you don’t really need one to help the environment. By manually lowering your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and raising it a few degrees in the summer, you will save quite a bit of energy—which is great for Mother Earth but also for your wallet.
3. Reusable shopping bags. Buy a few of these bags, which nowadays are made from recycled material, and keep a few in your car. There’s no need to use plastic bags at the grocery store. They’re flimsy, anyway.
4. Avoid chemicals. Do a quick check of all the household products you have, from cleaners to soaps. Get rid of stuff that contains toxic chemical like bleach and sulphates, which when washed down the drain can damage waterways and harm the environment.