It’s actually super simple! Keeping your home green is as easy as these steps!
We, as a species, have slowly come to a dawning realization… There is no planet B. We only have one planet, and over the past century we have done a lot of damage to it. Damage that, unless we all do something to remedy is right now, could well be irreversible. No less a personage than the late great Stephen Hawking has suggested that unless we change our habits dramatically, we could render the planet inhospitable within 100 years.
While there are a small but vociferous group of climate change deniers who may try and deny it, we’re nearing the end of the margin of time within which we can make a real difference for the planet. Of course, governments, industry and big business must all do their part, but in order for us to effect real change, we need to evolve as a society. There are different environmental organizations like the The Solutions Project that are working for a clean energy. We all need to pull together to create a better world for our children and our children’s children.
There’s already a mounting body of evidence to suggest that we’re seriously ruining our planet.
At our current rate of plastic usage there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish by 2050. The rainforests are victim to widespread deforestation and the animals that live there are threatened by habitat loss so that we can raise more cattle.
Polar bears are drowning because they have to swim further and further to reach ice flows. If we do nothing, we run the risk of spoiling this fragile and beautiful planet for future generations. We will over farm the soil until it can yield no more, the animals we’ve husbanded to feed us will starve to death and eventually so will we.
This is no longer a hypothetical scenario for science fiction writers to ponder, it’s no longer a “what if” scenario. It’s what will happen unless we do something about it.
Keeping Your Home Green – It’s Serious & Yet EASY!
There are a few reasons why most people have a laissez faire attitude when it comes to climate change. It doesn’t help that the man in the most powerful office in the world is a rabid climate change denier who believes that (this isn’t even a joke) that climate change is a conspiracy concocted by the Chinese to undermine US manufacturing.
Perhaps the most egregious culprit, however, is apathy. We’ve been lulled into a state of apathy by convenience. We live in an age where we’ve become so accustomed to having whatever the heck we want whenever the heck we want it that we’ve come to expect it as our birthright.
We live in an age where light, heat and water are never more than a flick of the wrist away. The sum total of all human knowledge can be accessed through a glass rectangle sitting in our pockets. Most homeowners don’t even know that their house can produce a large amount of waste throughout the year, especially with disposable waste like garbage and water waste, this goes for all the water used in the home and water waste produced by showers and toilets.
Not only have we grown accustomed to convenience, we’ve become reliant upon it. Thus, when challenged with anything that asks us to compromise our convenience (even if only ever so slightly) we rail against it like a spoilt child whose been asked to put their toys away.
The true tragedy, however, is that we can all make a huge difference to the planet without really needing to do all that much at all. Effecting change and making our homes greener and more sustainable is simply a matter of evolution, not revolution…
Natural substitutes for caustic chemicals
Everybody wants a clean, tidy and beautiful house. Not only is a clean home aesthetically appealing, it’s conducive to relaxation and mental health and maintaining our family’s good health.
Unfortunately, many of us use a slew of harmful caustic chemicals encased in non-recyclable plastics to achieve it. The products under your sink are not only a hazard to your young children and pets, but they release volatile organic compounds into the environment after they have been flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink.
This damage is not only egregious, it’s totally unnecessary. Especially when there are far gentler products on the market that use all natural ingredients. Just check out some of the products on offer at Cleanhappens.com. They’re not only free of harmful chemicals, they’re locally made and so have a lower carbon footprint, and they’re made using renewable solar energy.
Eat more plants
I like eating meat. I always have and always will. But I understand and respect people that choose vegetarian or vegan eating habits.
There are many reasons why more and more people are eschewing the meat and dairy products that they’ve become accustomed to and chosen instead to pursue a plant based diet and lifestyle. Indeed, over 160,000 people signed up to veganuary at the start of the year.
Of course, animal rights plays a huge part. In an enlightened age, the mass slaughter of animals for our delectation is getting harder and harder to justify, not to mention the horrendous conditions many dairy cows and cattle are kept in. Then of course, there are the health benefits. Plants are low in saturated fats and full of the phytonutrients we need to stay healthy and keep serious illnesses at bay.
But the environmental reasons for giving up meat and dairy cannot be ignored. Livestock, especially cattle, require enormous amounts of land, water and feed in order to produce enough meat to feed a handful. Our meat addiction isn’t doing our health any favors, but it’s doing even less for the environment.
But you don’t have to go full vegan or veggie to make a difference. Simply make a concerted effort to eat more plants and less of everything else. In fact, simply giving up beef will reduce your carbon footprint more than getting rid of your car.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of air and water pollution, habitat destruction, deforestation, ocean dead zones and species extinction. With advances in plant based meat substitutes delivering us the same delicious foods at a fraction of the environmental cost, we don’t even need to completely transform our eating habits to make a huge difference.
Keeping Home Green By Removing Plastics
We, as a species have become addicted to plastics. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a world without them, even though they’ve only been around since the 1950s. They are so inexpensive and versatile that it’s understandable why they’re the material of choice for packaging and production. But the plastics upon which we have become reliant upon are currently wreaking havoc with our environment.
The trouble with plastics is that many of them are unrecyclable and when they go into landfill waste they never truly go away. Unlike other biodegradable forms of packaging like wood, paper or card, plastics may lose their shape but they’re all still floating around out there.
Here’s a sobering thought, every plastic toothbrush you’ve ever had is still out there somewhere. Once plastics get into the ocean, they can leak dangerous compounds into the owner threatening not just the marine life, but the people and communities that are reliant upon them for food. Plastic bags are often consumed by marine predators like whales which believe them to be jellyfish.
These bags become entangled in their digestive systems and they die a slow, painful death from starvation. Marine birds often consume plastics believing them to be fish eggs or shellfish. The results are… difficult to watch.
Plastics may be ubiquitous but harmful disposable plastics and single use plastics are surprisingly easy to avoid. Use recyclable carrier bags for shopping, buy a reusable water bottle and remember to fill it regularly, avoid products like exfoliants or beauty products that use harmful microplastics.
Carry your own food containers for leftovers or takeout food and buy food from farmer’s markets and whole foods stores rather than supermarkets. Cutting down on plastic packaging and reusable plastics is far easier than you’d think, requiring only some prudent choices in where you shop and what you buy. Plus, since packaging costs are reflected in the cost of the food you buy, you’ll also save money… And that’s always good!
Recycling should be your last line of defense
Most of us recycle, and many of us believe that we should be recycling more… But the reality is that we should actually be recycling less. Recycling should be considered a last line of defense for households. According to Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, recycling is just one of 5 Rs that every home should keep in mind when it comes to household waste. These are;
- Refuse- Potentially the most powerful. Every time you refuse to buy a disposable product, you’re sending a clear message to manufacturers that the market for these environmentally damaging products is dwindling.
- Reuse- Recycling is a fairly wasteful process that uses a lot of energy. Thus, we should never recycle when we can reuse or repurpose.
- Reduce- Reduce the amount of stuff that we have. Most of us have way more than we need. Give it to charity or sell it.
- Rot- Use biodegradable products that decompose naturally and use them to fertilize your garden.
- Recycle- Your last line of defense.
In addition, if you have old tires that need to be recycled, you may consider taking them to a professional tire recycling service for proper disposal.
As you can see, making your home greener needn’t be a sweeping, disruptive or expensive change. It’s simply making a number of small changes that can make a big difference.