Our use of plastic is getting drastic. Our love of meat and dairy is making climate change pretty scary. And our reliance on fossil fuels… doesn’t rhyme with much. Nonetheless, it’s pretty poor for the environment. In recent years, we’ve become too well educated to continue burying our heads in the sand. We know full well that the choices we make as a consumer can wither damage or help to protect the planet we all share. We’re all doing our best to eat more plants and less of everything else (animal agriculture contributes more to climate change, deforestation, animal habitat loss and ocean dead zones than any other industry). To walk and cycle more, and only use our cars when absolutely necessary to reduce our carbon footprint. And to implement ways to save water and energy.
But in your zeal to make better consumer choices and do your part to save our planet, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to spend a fortune on new, more eco-friendly products. While there certainly are a great many eco-friendly replacements to familiar products from toothbrushes to kids’ toys, very often you don’t need to spend money to make a difference. Often, it’s simply a matter of making the most of what you already have. Especially when it comes to the gifts we already receive from the natural world. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can let mother nature do the heavy lifting when it comes to making your home more sustainable…
Find natural alternatives to familiar cleaning products
The cleaning products we use to keep our homes sparkling can be surprisingly damaging to the environment. Our addiction to the results provided by bleach-based cleaners have flooded our waters with chemical compounds which can form harmful dioxins. Not to mention the fact that the cleaning products we rely on tend to be packaged in gaudy non-recyclable plastics.
There’s very little that these harsh chemicals accomplish that can’t be replicated with water, baking soda, lemon juice, spirit vinegar and elbow grease. Making your own cleaning products helps the environment, reduces your household waste and saves you a small fortune.
Make the most of your natural light
You put a lot of effort into making your home look beautiful, so it’s only natural to want to shine a light on your hard work. But rather than relying on electrical lighting (which can drive up your energy bills and my or may not be renewable), you should consider taking steps to make the most of the natural light coming into your home.
Tying back heavy drapes, making sure your windows are clean and shiny or even investing in a roof lantern from RLS could make a huge difference in showcasing your home using natural light. Natural light can help to make us feel far calmer and happier than artificial light and also helps us to maintain our circadian rhythms for healthy sleep. So we should all make the most of every hour that we get, all year round.
Let plants be your air purifiers
Of course, it’s not enough for your home to look clean and tidy. We all know how much the smell of a freshly used cat litter box or a ripe pair of trainers can undo the hard work you’ve put into beautifying your home. But does that mean you have to pay top dollar for an expensive air purifier?
In most cases… probably not. Save yourself the expense and carbon footprint associated with running an air purifier and let the outside in. Houseplants are a great way to purify the air in your home naturally. They oxygenate your living space and can help to imbue it with a wonderful sense of calm and tranquillity. Some of the best air-purifying plants include;
- Mother in law’s tongue
- Bamboo palm
- Aloe vera
- Lady palm
- Golden pothos / Devil’s ivy
When it comes to really strong odours such as litter tray smells, try leaving a bowl of activated charcoal close to the offending item. This can help to absorb the nasty stuff that’s causing the odours and purify your air naturally.
Use essential oils to make your home smell gorgeous
Finally, when it comes to adding a beautiful scent to your home, in order to make your home more sustainable you must first stop using those awful plug-in room deodorizers. Not only do they waste electricity but they can also contain harmful chemical compounds. Instead, use a diffuser filled with essential oils. You can experiment with different kinds of natural oils to set the perfect ambience for each room.
Stimulating peppermint is a good choice for bathrooms and home offices while citrus is great for helping your kitchen to smell nice and fresh. Warm sandalwood is a good choice for the living room. And in the bedroom, think about trying lavender to help you to drift soundly off to sleep, or jasmine if you’re feeling a little more sensuous.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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