What follows are the golden gates to the kingdom of your greener home.
Seriously, the littlest touches make a big difference when trying to spruce the place up for a showing…for yourself!
From Yard To Table, To The Toilet, To The Basement Pipes…Why Keep Habits That Cost You and Our Environment
The Lucky 7 List To Be A More Ethical Homeowner
#1 Insulate your pipes
This will make your heating and gas bills go down. Less heat lost to the air around the pipe. Easy fix.
#2 Make your own cloth napkins and while you are at it…snack baggies.
Just an hour at your sewing machine and you could gain some skills. Take a rectangle of your favorite fabric, which totally could have been an old piece of clothing. Use an iron to fold each side in just a little. Fold it over again. Iron again. And now sew a straight line down each edge. That’s called a hem, and Wa-la napkins! Roll them or fold and stack them in a basket you keep handy by the table. Keep a laundry basket somewhere…maybe in step 3.
An old t-shirt doesn’t need to be hemmed because it won’t fray, so in a pinch…it’s better than paper towels. Easy to wash and return to the basket.
Snack baggies are just as easy to home-make… only you add an old plastic table cloth as a double layer. Oil cloth works as well, just don’t use the iron directly on easier slippery fabric. Once you hem all sides as with the table napkins then fold nearly in half, leaving a little flap; sew up the sides.
#3 Build a recycle center
Your kitchen is the first place to collect a lot of junk. It’s easy to just throw everything in the trash. It’s not the best for the environment. Sometimes the path of least resistance will lead to demise. You can still make it easy to recycle. Cool containers in your pantry or garage or somewhere handy…will really help. A bin for your dirty napkins, towels, snack baggies.
Through the recycling center you have eliminated a lot of your waste for the trash. How about a little more. There is nothing more frustrating in the spring season than paying for dirt – no matter how earth deprived you are. Why not use your scraps from the kitchen and make your own. A pile under a piece of cardboard, that you shovel around sometimes is great…in a country setting, where the smell or sight bothers no one. If you have a smaller yard in an urban area composting isn’t advised, until a compost ball was invented. The big plastic sphere will roll around your yard – hands free. You just open the hatch and feed it the scraps.
#5 Create your own all-purpose cleaner
Vinegar + baking soda = Magic. Also, toilet bowl cleaner. 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub. Some hot water added to this combination with some essential oil for smells is an ideal cleaner for a spray bottle. Use it liberally and safely all over your home. Bleach though is the best cleaner for the dirty, germ ridden kitchen sponge. Soak it in a bowl with a little water and a little bleach overnight. The food grime melts right off.
#6 Take advantage of the rain
Turning on the hose costs you. A rain barrel to catch water for the garden and even those house plants is an amazing way to save water and money long term. For low tech placement, put the barrel by different sections of the garden and tip it when the ground is dry again after a rain. For high tech and high yield, cut your drain pipe and let the roof water go in the barrel. Buy a pump with a hose connection and
Da-da! the gardener’s dream – water, cheap…even when it’s not raining.
#7 Set up a plant stand
House plants living inside is incredible for your mental, physical and spiritual health. Mentally because seeing green has a calming effect on a person. It’s biological. Physically because there is more oxygen in your environment – cleaner air for you. And spiritually because the act of caring for the plant…water pulled out of your rain barrel…and the occasional re-potting and or pruning…is a symbol for your growth. Remembering to care for the plant teaches you to remember to water yourself, with whatever feeds your soul.
Are you lacking your plot and structure for creating this greener home dream?
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