“It ain’t easy being green”-Kermit the Frog
As much as I love the “green” guy mentioned above, I must disagree with him & state that is IS easy being GREEN…it’s just a matter of knowing where to look & how to implement it into your space. Here are some easy-to-apply tips that you can implement in your spring home/office to-do list:
- Make use of any natural light that enters the space. This also helps in the production of melatonin in our bodies (lack of this is cause of the SADD disorder). Strategically placed mirrors can also help bring this light throughout the space.
- Hang/place plants by computers, copiers and printers. All emit EMF (electromagnetic fields) and the copier and printer toner also off-gasses which we breathe in. Plants such as spider plants help detoxify the air. You should ideally have 1 plant for every 100 sq feet of space to help clean the air!
- Use eco-friendly, natural cleaners….or better yet, make your own.
***Check out Sun & Earth products available at local grocery stores or your local Health Hut for a great selection of cleaners and other household products.***
- Use no VOC (volatile organic compounds) in flooring, paint & wall-covering options. Think bamboo, rubber or cork for flooring, with wool or cotton area rugs. All paint manufactureers make no VOC paint now, just ask if you don’t see it. I’m not a fan of wallpaper, but if you must use, look for paper or anything made of recycled materials and then a NO VOC adhesive!
***If you don’t see the NO VOC option at your local hardware or home improvement store, ASK!***
- Implement the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and I’d like to add a 4th…re-purpose. Minimize packaging on what you purchase, reuse what you can, recycle and compost when ever possible and think out of the box to see if/how you can re-purpose an item for a different use.
- Buy local whenever possible: this includes food…AND items from local artists, bakers, designers…This helps reduce transportation costs (lowering the price AND fuel emissions)
- Switch to low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets
- Change lightbulbs to LED whenever possible to help reduce energy costs AND how often you have to replace the light bulbs.
- When purchasing bedding/mattress, purchase natural fibers: wool, cotton, cashmere….We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and this is vital to overall respiratory health! There are even latex & hemp mattresses available. This includes mattress pads, pillows, pillow protectors & bedding. And make sure to change out & wash your bedding 1x a week, pillows 1x a month and blankets as needed…at least 1x month if pets sleep on the bed.
***All major mattress companies now have “healthy”, “natural” and/or “eco-friendly” options!***
- Use HEPA filters in your HVAC system
- Choose HARD flooring options such as tile, stone, rubber, cork, hardwood as SOFT options (carpet) trap & hold dirt, dust and all the other things we drag in from the outside. And if you have pets, traps pet hair! Plus, hard flooring options are easier to maintain & keep clean.
- For textiles/bedding, look for natural fibers (wool, cotton, jute, bamboo…) and ORGANIC with minimal chemical additives in the manufacturing process (includes all the anit-stain, anti flame retardant…as these are just more chemicals for you to ingest as you inhale). This especially applies to cotton as cotton is one of the most heavily toxic fibers out there due to the production/manufacturing process of this fiber.
***Check out Bed, Bath & Beyond for a great selection of bamboo, jute & organic cotton bedding!***
- Help reduce energy and water bills
- Help the environment by reducing waste in landfills
- Support local businesses
- Better indoor air quality which can be up to 3x MORE polluted than outside!
- Help increase life quality of all family members who have environmental sensitivites and/or upper respiratory issues. This includes the elderly, babies/toddler & pets (crawling around on the floor where household cleaners can impact their health).
Just implementing a few of these tips can help the indoor air quality and “health” of your home and positively impact the health of all your space’s occupants.
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