How to Incorporate Green Living in Your Household

 

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In this technologically advanced world, it is easy to get caught off guard with all the things that you have to do that it is often tempting to do something the easier way. Sometimes, a more comfortable way means neglecting the environment. Time and again, the issue of climate change creeps up, especially now that several natural disasters are occurring. That said, here some green living tips you can incorporate in your daily lifestyle:

Use Less Paper

Once you consume a lot of paper, you have to think that to create one ton of paper, about 24 trees are cut down. Necessarily, when you use more paper, manufacturers would need to produce more paper to meet the demand. As a result, they would have to cut down more trees. Use less paper by recycling. Used paper bags can serve many other purposes. Brown bags, for one, can be reused as a gift wrap for any occasion.

Use Canvas Bags

When you go shopping, make sure to bring a canvas bag to carry your grocery items. Bringing canvas bags helps you lessen your paper and plastic use.

Build a Compost Pile

If you want to help the environment, start a compost pile. If you have food leftovers, instead of throwing them away, stash them in your compost bin. It can serve as a sustainable and eco-friendly fertilizer for your plants.

Cut Down On Energy Use

If you haven’t yet, switch to LED lights. LED light bulbs use less electricity and fewer fossil fuel to power your home. LED lights use 80% to 90% less energy compared with standard energy bulbs. Aside from contributing to the environment, it also helps you lessen your energy costs. You can also cut down energy use by using lighting less often. Open your curtains and windows, so you don’t have to turn on your lights and fans. Make sure to turn off the lights and the electric fan each time you are leaving the room. You may also consider using solar panels in your home.

Borrow from Friends

If you are going to use something for only a short period, consider borrowing from a friend instead. Similarly, practice sharing with your friends and family. When fewer people buy specific items, manufacturers would be forced to produce less, and this can result in lesser carbon emissions that can ruin the Earth’s atmosphere.

Use Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning Products

Most commercial home cleaning products use harsh chemicals, and this can have a devastating effect on the environment. If you hire home cleaners, make sure that they are using eco-friendly cleaning products, as well. Most house cleaning services in Fort Wayne use eco-friendly products as their way of protecting your home, their crews, and the environment.

Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

If possible, try replacing your appliances with models rated by Energy Star. Make sure regularly used appliances such as ovens, washers, refrigerators, and stovetops are energy-efficient, so it is easier for you to live sustainably without changing your lifestyle drastically.

Try Making Your Own Products

If you are pretty handy with repurposing and recycling, you can help the environment by trying to make your own products. Some of the items that you can produce on your own are soaps, toothpaste, and cleaning products.

Avoid Single-Use Plastics

If you have the budget, buy items packed in reusable packaging. Also, make sure to purchase things that are not packed in single-use plastics because they’ll just end up in garbage pits.

Buy Only What You Need

Green living means that you have to live sustainably, and buying items that you don’t really need just because they are on sale is something that you should avoid. Declutter if you must.

Running a green household should be a part of our lifestyle. When it becomes a habit, it won’t be as taxing to do. Start now, and thank me later.

 

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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Effective Ways to Save on Your Energy Bills

 

 

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Keeping the home at a comfortable temperature is a common priority for many homeowners. However, they often want to keep their energy bills as low as possible at the same time. If this sounds familiar, there are several ways you can reduce the money spent on energy bills without making dramatic changes to your lifestyle.

Lower Your Thermostat

Have you ever stopped to think about how you might be keeping your home too warm when you’re not even in it? Statistics indicate that you could save approximately 10% on annual heating and cooling costs by turning your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for at least eight hours per day. Think about doing that when the house is empty or when you’re asleep. That way, it’s easier to make the adjustment.

Check for Leaky Seals

Doors, refrigerators, and freezers are some of the things around your home that may have improper seals. In that case, air could leak out or come in, causing unwanted temperature changes in your home.

For example, if your front door has an extremely leaky seal, there could be a cool draft that comes in even when the door seems tightly shut. It’s easy to take care of poor seals yourself by buying replacement sealing material from a home improvement store. Also, if you notice air entering a room from underneath the door, think about using a draft stopper.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Many households want to make their homes “smarter” by investing in intelligent gadgets like smart speakers, smart security cameras, and smart plugs. Those things typically connect to apps and let users control items in their abodes without being in the same room. If having smart stuff in your residence sounds appealing, smart thermostats could help you save money, along with offering other benefits.

For example, some have a special display that shows you the optimal thermostat temperature for achieving the best energy savings. Others can track trends over time and show you if you’re keeping the home cooler or warmer than usual from month to month. Other smart thermostats have sensors that detect whether a room is occupied or not. They respond accordingly so that you’re not wasting energy in an empty room.

Upgrade Your Windows

Installing new, energy-efficient windows can have more positive effects on an energy bill than many people think. For example, choosing a window with an ENERGY STAR energy rating could save you several hundred dollars per year. Also, choosing particular kinds of glazing for the new windows can affect heat transfer and insulation.

If some areas of your home receive substantial amounts of direct sunlight during the day, consider adding shades to your new windows. Then, you can take advantage of the natural heat source during the colder months of the year and use the shades to avoid excessive warmth when summer arrives.

These tips will get you off to a great start if you’re thinking seriously about simple ways to save on your energy costs. It’s also smart to consult with a professional and let them know that cutting your energy bill is a priority. They may have ideas you haven’t thought of yet.

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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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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DR. JACOBS NATURALS SOAP REVIEW @usfg

 

I am a big fan of natural products, especially ones used on our bodies. I was able to review some natural soap products from Dr. Jacobs Naturals. I am excited to share my thoughts with you on these great natural products.

 

 

About Dr. Jacobs Naturals:

Dr. Jacobs was a Swiss chemist that perfected the long-standing Castilian tradition of making Jabon de Castilla or Castile soap before the turn of the 19th century. Today, we still use the same recipes and work to uphold the long-standing tradition of making natural Castile Soap products.

The company Dr. Jacobs was created by Joey and Ezra Aini in the spring 2011. Familiar with cosmetics and skincare from other brands they have launched, they are answering the call of demand from customers for a multi-purpose natural soap product.

Dr. Jacobs Naturals offers a line of natural bar soaps and also liquid soaps. I love how these products are free from all the nasties: NON-GMO, Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Gluten Free, Free of artificial dyes & coloring. PETA Cruelty Free & Vegan.

 

 

 

 

I was able to review 3 products that are offered. Two of them are liquid soap/body wash and one is a body soap bar.

Dr. Jacobs Naturals Castile Bar Soap – Coco Loco Limeade

$5.95 for 5 oz

DESCRIPTION

Say hello to your tropical paradise. Your shower is transformed into a mini cabana in Hawaii while your body is treated to the indulgence of a pina colada bath. Hydrate and enrich your skin with coconut oil and allow the freshly peeled lime bits to exfoliate, brighten, and renew. The rich pairing will tease your senses and awaken you for the day ahead. Our Triple Milled Castile Soap with Organic Shea Butter is made with all-natural ingredients void of any chemical derivatives to give you an experience like you’d find in nature. Dr. Jacobs soaps are the most superior as our process allows them to retain their natural glycerin content producing a much more moisturizing experience than traditional bars can offer. No parabens, petrochemicals, sulfates, phthalates. Gluten free. 100% Vegan. 100% recycled paper. Made in USA. Directions: Pour on a washcloth, sponge, or hand. Lather and rinse. Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerin, Blends of Essential Oils and Fragrance, Organic Shea Butter, Mint Leaves, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Rosemary Extract, Chlorophyllin.

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerin, Blends of Essential Oils and Fragrance, Organic Shea Butter, Mint Leaves, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate, Rosemary Extract, Chlorophyllin.

This bar smells so good! I love the coconut smell with a hint of lime. It is smooth and does not leave a film on your body when you wash it off.

 

Dr. Jacobs Naturals Castile Liquid Soap – Almond Honey

$10.95 for 16 oz or $17.95 for 32 oz.

DESCRIPTION

This gentle blend of almond and honey is nourishing for the skin and rich in antioxidants. Enriched with sweet Almond Oil, the Almond and Honey blend provides a natural source of Omega 9 to add moisture. Real honey lends its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, as well as offering the protective ability to retain moisture, keeping the skin hydrated all day, soft and smooth to the touch. Almond oil is a popular essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy and is suitable for most skin types. It is rich in vitamin A, B and E, which are great for skin health. Directions: Pour on a washcloth, sponge, or hand. Lather and rinse. Ingredients: Organic olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, sodium hydroxide, almond oil, aqua, fragrance, honeycomb, jojoba oil, vitamin E.

INGREDIENTS

Water, Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Olive Oil, Potassium Oleate, Vegetable Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Natural Almond Fragrance, Sea Salt, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E

My favorite scent in the world is the smell of Almonds. I just love it. Mix that with honey….oh my gosh I am in heaven. This soap is just amazing, smell wise and lather wise. It goes on thick and the smell is light when you wash it off. Makes my skin so smooth! The 16 oz comes with a soap pump while the 32 oz does not.

 

Dr. Jacobs Naturals Castile Liquid Soap – Peppermint

$10.95 for 16 oz or $17.95 for 32 oz.

DESCRIPTION

Peppermint will cleanse and deliver a soothing and cooling effect for your skin while providing a pleasantly refreshing and tingling sensation. Modern Science has been catching up with Mint and some of the most recent findings show that it is neuro-protective, offering benefits for reducing the risk of reactive oxygen species-related diseases. It soothes the skin and helps to cure infections and itchiness, as well as being a good way to reduce pimples. Its anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats. The cooling sensation will relieve you of the irritating sensation to scratch. Directions: Pour on a washcloth, sponge, or hand. Lather and rinse. Ingredients: Aqua, organic coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, potassium hydroxide, glycerin, clove oil, tea tree oil, citric acid, caramel.

INGREDIENTS

Water, Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Olive Oil, Potassium Oleate, Vegetable Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Peppermint Oil, Sea Salt, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E

Who doesn’t like the smell of peppermint? I was a little skeptical of this scent because I have never thought of washing my body with a peppermint scent. It is wonderful! Very light but pleasant. The liquid is just like the Almond Honey, where it is thick and makes my skin very smooth. The 16 oz comes with a soap pump while the 32 oz does not.

 

I am very happy with these natural body soap products. As you can see, there is nothing artificial about the ingredients at all. It feels good knowing what I put on my skin. This soap is made in the USA and is safe for the whole family.  Check out their whole line here at: https://drjacobsnaturals.com

 

Free Shipping Now! – Free Shipping on all Dr. Jacobs Naturals products totaling over $20! Use code freeship20 
 

I received the mentioned products in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own. 

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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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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