Decluttering the Eco-Friendly Way: Tips for Environmentally Friendly Cleaning

 

 

Decluttering a home that’s overrun with the flotsam of daily life is an excellent way to create a clean and orderly home environment. Unfortunately, getting rid of junk means introducing it into the natural environment, including loading up landfills, expelling toxic material into the atmosphere, and sapping precious natural resources. Enhanced environmental awareness among homeowners and a renewed appreciation of nature’s gifts have led many people to seek eco-friendly ways of discarding household material. Today, dragging old mattresses to the dump and using bleach and other harmful liquids to clean are giving way to healthier, safer alternatives.

Recycling the Big Stuff

Appliances are a major problem when it comes to disposal because of their size and composition. Unfortunately, people often throw them out because they’re upgrading to a newer, better-looking model, not because they’ve stopped working. This throw-away mentality lies at the root of many environmental issues we’re grappling with today. If that trusty old microwave or refrigerator has looked better, donate it to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity rather than sending it to the landfill. You can also wait for a community scrap metal drive or post it on a free-exchange website like Freecycle. When it comes to bedding and furniture padding, many people are unaware that these materials can be reused. Look for textile drop-off points in your community, or look for a clothing and textile recycling facility nearest you.

Electronics and “e-waste” represent one of the greatest threats to the environment. Last year, more than 44 million tons of e-waste were discarded, according to the United Nations, but only 20 percent of it was disposed of responsibly and safely. Many of these products contain heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium. Consider donating old cell phones, keyboards, and tablets to a local non-profit or charity or to organizations like Dell Reconnect or the World Computer Exchange, which refurbish and donate electronics to people in developing countries.

Embrace the “Cloud”

Old photos and documents can create a tremendous amount of clutter because they tend to accumulate with alarming rapidity. Fortunately, technology and the storage miracle known as “the cloud” makes it very easy to remove all those loose papers and pictures with a few clicks of your computer mouse. Simply scan photos and documents and upload them to secure digital storage space. That frees you to take it all to a shredder and free up your drawer space. Be sure to consult a tax accountant before you dispose of something you might need to keep a hard copy of.

Green Clean

Cleaning your home with products that contain toxic materials is not only bad for the environment, but it’s also unhealthy for you and your family and can cause problems over time. When people clean using products and methods that are free of toxic or unsafe materials, and that are safe for the environment and human health, it is called green cleaning. There are many environmentally safe, eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today that are as effective as anything you’ve ever used. You can also use natural household materials, like vinegar or baking soda, for a number of cleaning needs. Avoid bleach and ammonia, which emit fumes that can cause respiratory problems and are toxic pollutants. Instead of aerosols, use an essential oil like lavender or lemons to get rid of odors.

Decluttering your home can be a freeing experience that opens up new vistas of practical and aesthetic possibilities. Decluttering the eco-friendly way takes a little extra effort. It’s as much an investment in your health as it is a means of protecting our environment.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Brighter Futures – What You Should Consider Switching to Solar Power

 

Image: http://climate.org/smart-solutions/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Solar-Panels-on-MCM-Home.jpg

Cutting the cost of heating our homes can be a long and daunting project. Just keeping the water warm can be costly enough, let alone the whole house. If you live in an older house that is difficult to keep warm or are considering building a new house, you should consider switching to solar power and do your part for the environment.

Solar panels are a great way to go to keep costs low but they also cut back on non-reusable fossil fuels for electricity. With solar panels installed you don’t need oil, gas, coal or timber to keep your home warm and cosy. Solar panels work by absorbing power from the sunlight, storing it in the panels and converting that power into electricity. The result is truly clean energy and it never runs out. It’s a great alternative to using fuels that pollute the environment and run up your monthly household bills.

Keep reading to find out what you need to consider when making the switch to solar.

Invest in the Future

Costs of panels can vary, however, it’s important to invest in a quality setup to save yourself money down the line and get the most from your panels. Despite the initial investment, solar panels will pay for themselves with the amount of money you save on fossil fuels and the reduced impact you will be making on the environment.

When it comes to getting the best return form your solar panels, more is more. If you want to install enough panels to make your home generate enough to be self-sufficient, then it will be more expensive than just installing a few to help ease the cost of heating. Make sure to consider the size of your home and what your expectations are before choosing a setup.

A solar panel can store about between four and five watts per square metre, so for every kW you generate, you need about forty to fifty square metres of solar panels. Many companies offer incentives and there are also tax benefits for businesses for having these panels installed, and the costs saved in the long term are definitely worth it.

Your Usage

Usage and other factors will play a big part in these equations, as well. If you have several people living at home, all taking showers, running appliances, and are in your home around the clock, it will cost more than a couple who are not home much, eat out or go away at the weekend.

The cost of installing enough panels to meet your usage will vary between suppliers. Other factors, like where you live, if you are running a hot tub or air conditioner and whether incentives are offered, are also worth considering.

Having panels installed in a new house or an older one can make a difference in the overall cost for installation, as more work or materials may be involved in an older building and this can be worth taking into account.

Ask around for pricing and talk to your neighbours and friends about their solar panels. It’s always good to go with a reputable company that someone you know can vouch for.

Spend Now and Save Later

The savings solar panels offer in the long run are well worth it, not only for the money you save in electric bills but also the reduced impact on the environment. Once the systems are in place, they need very little maintenance and will pay for themselves for years to come.

The beauty of solar panels is they produce zero waste and cut your costs considerably. You will need to shop around for the best pricing and for what will suit your needs best. It’s also important to consider the size of your home, your energy usage and what your goals are with your new panels before starting your installation. However, once your panels are in place, you’ll be ready to enjoy all of the benefits they provide now and long into the future.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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6 Ways New Moms Can Be Eco-Friendly


There are few experiences so exciting and nerve-wracking as being a new mom. Whether this is your first time being a parent or you are simply adding to your family, you are likely overwhelmed and wondering how to manage life with your new bundle of joy. Your baby is your first priority, but you also care about the environment and want to minimize the impact you are having. With the market of baby products claiming to be eco-friendly, this might seem easy, but you likely know it isn’t that simple. Being an eco-friendly new mom is a deliberate lifestyle choice.

With the right attitude and approach, you can be supermom and save the environment all at the same time. Simply being conscientious is half the battle, and for the rest of the struggle, the following tips should give some guidance. Get ready to save the world, one diaper at a time.

Consider Your Diaper Choice

Diapers, in fact, are one of the most important considerations for new moms. It is not shocking that disposable diapers may not be the best choice for the environment. They create massive amounts of waste and are generally not recyclable. Some suggest that cloth diapers are the better alternative, but according to the Washington Post, these are not necessarily any better. As a mom, it’s up to you to decide what works best for your baby and your family. While the environment is important, your child’s wellbeing is more important. Find the diaper that meets your eco-friendly standards.

Read the Baby Food Label

How often do you read the label of the food you are eating? Every day…or rarely? If you are like most people, you probably pay little attention to exactly what you are consuming, but you are likely far more careful when it comes to the food your baby eats. Not all baby food is created equal—some are filled with harmful and synthetic ingredients, while others are organically produced. Needless to say, one of these is better for both your baby and the environment. Choose the food your child eats wisely for the sake of their health and the environment’s.

 

Be Smart With Resources

Natural resources are limited. As a new mom, though, you may be relying on such resources heavily. Water is just one example. A new baby necessitates baths, additional laundry and plenty of other activities that take up more water than you might usually use. This might be fine were it not for the many areas experiencing droughts. Southern California is notoriously dry, and using excessive water can be irresponsible. Initiatives such as the Cadiz Water Project aim to remedy that, though, by providing sustainable access to water even throughout droughts. Still, you should use natural resources sparingly.

Invest in Sustainable Products

While buying the right products certainly won’t fix all of the environment’s problems, it is a good place to start. Shopping responsibly is an important undertaking, and this is especially true when you are a new mom selecting the products you will use for your baby. Investing in sustainable products means more than just buying items that are labelled “green,” though. It means researching companies, looking up reviews and educating yourself on the different products you are considering. This process can be overwhelming, but it is certainly worth it for both the environment and your new baby.

 

Be Aware of Community’s Needs

As a mom, you are automatically attuned to the needs of your child. Perhaps it is more difficult—and seemingly less important—to determine what the needs of your community might be. Immersing yourself in your community is a great way to build a support system as a new parent. You might consider, environmentally, what your community needs. Do you have access to sustainable produce, for example, through a farmer’s market? Is there consistent access to water, or are there issues complicating this? The Cadiz Water Project is a great example of community response to issues with resources.

 

Favor Hand-Made Over Store-Bought

One of the best ways to minimize your environmental impact is to ditch store-bought baby goods and go for hand-made. This is beneficial for so many reasons—of course, you are eliminating the wasteful packaging that so often accompanies items bought in a store. More importantly, however, you are creating completely unique artifacts of your child’s infancy. Rather than buying diapers, for example, sewing simple cloth nappies can be a simple alternative. There are a myriad of other ways for new moms to make the switch from store-bought to hand-made and support sustainability in the process.

Caring for a new baby is overwhelming, but it is also an incredible journey. Any parent who cares about the environment can be eco-friendly while also ensuring their child is nurtured and loved. Invest in your child and the environment by following these tips and becoming the environmentally-minded supermom you were meant to be.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Grow your own Avocado Tree at Home with Avoseedo #avoseedo

GROW YOUR OWN AVOCADO TREE AT HOME!

AvoSeedo avocado tree germinator bowl that makes it easy for everyone to grow their own plant at home from a simple avocado pit. Easy to use for all ages of amateur avocado arborists.

Clever AvoSeedo bowl design keeps the avocado pit immersed in just the right amount of water to grow effectively. Made for durability from recyclable, non-toxic materials and is reusable for other vegetables like lettuce, celery, carrot tops! Germinate and grow an avocado tree in your own home, whatever the climate. Fun family (Millennial parents, their young kids, grandma/grandpa) project to make a tree sprout and watch it grow from the pit of a common avocado. Increase kids’ understanding of ecology, interconnections in nature, responsibility and care for the environment in a participatory and concrete way.

Save 20% on any AvoSeedo avocado grower with code sp20 or any other product and enjoy FREE shipping too. Visit the AvoSeedo Shop today and get growing today!
https://shop.avoseedo.com/ 

Marijean

My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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How to Run a Green Household on a Budget

*This is a guest post. 

 

More and more people nowadays are getting into the green movement. They are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save the environment. But even in these times, some people think going green entails spending a lot of money. But that’s far from the case. If you are one of those homeowners who want to run an environmentally friendly home without spending more than you can afford, the following are some budget-friendly tips you can follow:

  • Switch to a programmable thermostat. You don’t need to heat your home during the hours that you and your family are not there. Upgrade to a thermostat that you can easily program so you can choose when to heat your house and when not to.
  • Unplug all electrical appliances when they’re not in use. These appliances and devices still use up energy even when they’re not powered up, so make sure you remind all your family members to unplug them when they’re not using them.
  • Learn how to compost. Not all your household waste needs to be collected by the local garbage collection company. You can use your biodegradable waste and to create a compost, which is useful for conditioning and fertilizing your garden or backyard. Some examples are leftover food and even your fireplace ashes.
  • Go paperless. If you subscribe to a local newspaper, cancel your subscription and go online instead to update yourself with the news. Do the same for your magazine subscriptions. You can use your old newspapers and magazines for your compost or donate them to organizations that collect used goods.
  • Buy and display house plants. Plants are useful for enhancing the air quality in your house as they absorb dust and pollutants emitted by electrical devices, furniture, and the like.
  • Repair any leaky faucets you have around the house and install low-flow faucets for your bathroom and kitchen sinks. You don’t need to have water flow that has the strength of a fire hydrant just to wash your dishes or clean your face.
  • Store your own water. Make use of the resources that nature gives us and store rainwater in containers that you can buy from Rain Water Tanks. You can use your stored water for chores such as watering your garden and even as a backup supply.
  • If you and your family have hoarded a lot of unnecessary stuff or things that you no longer need, this is your opportunity to get rid of them by organizing a yard sale. Not only have you earned a bit of money out of the endeavor but you’ve also made your home more spacious.
  • Make the switch to non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaners instead of traditional cleaners that have a variety of harmful chemicals that wreak havoc not only on your family’s well-being but also on the environment.

With the costs of food and utilities increasing, as someone who runs a household, you have to find creative but effective ways on how to make your home more environmentally friendly without going beyond your budget. You just need to educate yourself and practice the value of resourcefulness.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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