Green living doesn’t have to be hard. We’d never suggest that anyone clean out their house and replace everything all at once with sustainably-made furniture and accessories. While that sounds like a great idea on the surface, the fact is, it’s not really very green. We’re more about an incremental approach. When the time comes to update your décor, replace the towels, or get a new couch, that’s the time to shop green. It’s simply moving forward with the environment in mind. It can be easy, and it can be fun, and most of all, it can be stylish, too. Here are some quick, easy ways to inject a little green into your life!
- Renovating? Check out Habitat for Humanity, or even Home Depot and other sources to accept used building materials in good condition. Instead of going to a landfill, those old cabinets you just yanked out can find new life.
- When you’re buying new, consider the entire lifespan when you calculate cost. That low—priced furniture may seem like a bargain now, but it won’t when you have to replace it in five years, and have to send yet another thing to the landfill. Buy good quality, sustainable pieces that are built to last. In the long run, it’s the better bargain.
- Putting in a new floor? Look at environmentally-friendly options like bamboo, reclaimed wood or certified sustainable woods. They’ll look just as beautiful, last just as long, and reduce your carbon impact while you’re at it.
- Switch to environmentally-friendly cleaners. It’s amazing how many harmful chemicals lurk in regular cleaners. They’re bad for you, bad for the planet and they don’t smell nice either. Eco-friendly options will leave your home just as clean, and smelling better, too.
- Ditch the disposables – batteries, razors, coffee filters, ink cartridges and more all have reusable, refillable or rechargeable alternatives.
- Don’t toss or recycle those old books, donate them to your local library, or used book store instead. Help them find new life, and new readers, and keep them out of the waste stream a little longer.
- Look for products that use minimal packaging, or that use compostable or recyclable packing alternatives. It’s a small thing that really adds up quickly, especially as the holidays roll around!
- Get creative when it comes to reducing paper use. Print on both sides, switch to cloth napkins, use tea towels instead of paper towels. Keep looking for ways to limit the amount of new paper that goes through your home and office.
- Old electronics. We all have them, if yours are still in working condition, consider donating them to a charity – many raise funds by reselling used electronics to recycling or refurbishing companies. If they’re completely dead, don’t just toss them in the trash, dispose of them properly.