Around seven in ten American households consider themselves to be an eco-friendly household. Many people say they would like to be even greener and healthier and are encouraged by their children to improve their homes’ eco-credentials. From improving your home ventilation to switching off appliances, there is so much more you can do to create a green and healthy home.
The average family home has indoor air quality levels equivalent to a major polluted city, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder. This poor air quality in our homes is often caused by dust, pet hair, cleaning chemicals, cigarette smoke, and poor ventilation. This can lead to allergies and asthma while also having a significant impact on your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. By doing simple things like not using harsh cleaning chemicals, not smoking in the home, putting live plants around your home to naturally absorb pollutants and using an air purifier and humidifier, you can have a clean and green home.
While it may seem healthy to have a very clean home, using harsh chemical cleaners can pollute the environment and are harmful to your family’s health. Some cleaning products release harmful ingredients which can contribute to headaches, allergies, and chronic respiratory problems. Meanwhile dangerous chemicals are released into the environment contributing to air and water pollution. So instead, look for non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products or you can make your own cleaning solutions. Switch to baking soda for your general cleaning, use borax and white vinegar to clean the toilet and citrus oils or tea tree oil as a natural, gentle disinfectant.
Most Americans homes have at least 25 electronic devices. When they are plugged in, most of these devices will still be using energy, even if they have been switched off. This attributes to the average home using 90 million Btu of energy each year. To reduce the energy consumption in your household, simply unplug all appliances and devices when not in use. It will also help you save on your energy bill too.
You can extend your home’s green credentials into the garden by growing your own fruit, vegetables, and herbs. While you are providing healthy food for your family to enjoy, working in your garden can help reduce soil erosion and air pollution. Avoid using chemical pesticides or fertilizers on your garden, instead choose organic, earth-friendly products. It shouldn’t end there. After each meal, compost your kitchen food scraps so the waste doesn’t end up in landfill where it will generate methane. Instead, feed it to your garden, your plants and flowers will appreciate it.
One of the biggest environmental issues in the news in recent years has been about plastic and the huge threat it poses to our environment. One single plastic bottle can take up to 1,000 years to fully biodegrade, contaminating the surrounding soil and groundwater in the process. Meanwhile, millions of plastic bottles end up in the ocean, devastating marine life. It isn’t just plastic bottles that are harmful, all single-use plastic poses a serious threat to the environment. So instead, choose reusable bottles, snack bags, and metal straws to reduce your impact on the world.
By making a few simple changes in your home, you can not only help to reduce your home’s carbon footprint but also ensure it’s a healthy and happy home for your entire family.