Make Your Space Green

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Spaces-Go Green stock.xchngMaking your home green does not mean painting the walls–it means making sure various aspects of your home are environmentally friendly. Try these simple steps to reduce your home's carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment around you.

  • Update your cleaning closet. Using plant-based household cleaners is good for your nose and your home. Cleaners containing some chemicals trigger asthma and allergies, and can be harmful to pets as well. Check the labels of cleaning products before you buy, and make sure the ingredients are eco-friendly.
  • Go veg, if only for a day. Cutting out meat from your family's diet once a week is just as earth-friendly as driving a hybrid car. Reducing your meat intake just one night a week puts a dent in the amount of greenhouse gases produced by raising livestock.
  • You are what you eat. When you do eat meat, make sure it is organic or of sustainable stock. Meat marked otherwise may have been treated with hormones or antibiotics which can be harmful to your body. Check the label for "free-range," or "organic" certification.
  • If you must microwave, use glass. Plastic containers may say "microwave safe," but they are not safe for your body. When plastic is heated, it releases hormone-disrupting compounds. Ceramics are also a better container alternative for zapping meals.
  • Pots and pans can be made with harmful coating too. The safest materials in which to cook over the stove are cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, and stainless steel. Teflon and other non-stick substances chip off over time and can be harmful if eaten.
  • Dot your I's. Insulation should be updated to prevent heat from leaking through the cracks. While this can be pricey, it's not the only way to insulate your home. Thermal shades over the windows and draft guards on the outside of your doors will also keep you from heating the outside.
  • No shoes in the house. Take your shoes off at the door to prevent germs, dirt, and chemicals from the outside from coming in. Shoes are coated with car exhaust, pesticides, dirt, and other grime. Is that what you want hanging around on your floors?
  • Reuse, recycle. Instead of pitching the clothes you don't wear, bring them to a thrift store. You'll be doing the environment a favor by reducing the amount of new manufactured clothing needed, and you'll be helping someone in need.
  • Be careful what you spray. What do perfume and pesticides have in common? Both contain chemicals that are harmful when absorbed into the ground. Fragrance-free perfumes in soap, cosmetics, and cleaning products are not dangerous when washed down the drain like their fragrance-filled counterparts. Bug spray is equally dangerous if absorbed into the ground water. Keep pests out of the house by keeping food high and dry, and closing up cracks that lead to the outside.

Do your part to better the world around you. Even one person makes a difference.

Source: Alexandra Zissu Photo: stock.xchng

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