Going green in the home has come a long way and now people everywhere are able to try it for themselves. Going green can easily be implemented in the home with old and new designs. It has become an everyday lifestyle change that anyone can try at any stage of their life, whether they have a partner, children, grandchildren, or live alone. A simple step to implementing this concept is to start within the home. Below are seven different ways anyone can implement going green when furnishing and building a home.
1. Under the Covers
The mattress or mattress pad is the item that makes a bed, well, a bed. For families with children or people looking for a smaller bed solution, a twin mattress is never a bad choice. For everyone else, there are queens, kings, or California king beds.
Buying a traditional mattress can come with a ton of packaging and often the mattress only lasts a short time before it loses its bounce and quickly resembles what you were trying to get away from. Mattresses have been innovated since then to be more portable and flexible on their own. Some companies make mattresses latex-free, non-toxic, and mineral oil-based. Many people may not consider that their mattress could be filled with toxic material. On the next mattress purchase, whether it’s now or in the future, consider doing research into the brand and products beforehand.
2. The Bedding and What It’s Made Of
The greenest option for the environment is to use what you already have before picking out a new item. However, if you are in the market to pick out a new blanket, it would be good to consider where you live (climate/season), where it was made and what it’s made of. There is a wide selection of blankets like bamboo fabric, cotton, recycled textile, and second-hand items. The blankets’ performance is often rated by other customers. For the most part, you can read a few reviews and test the product out to see if it fits your home style and ethics. The safest option for most people is cotton. It is the most well known and absorbent. The breakout star is bamboo which has become a more sustainable option to many people since bamboo takes a lot fewer resources to be regrown. This is important for deforestation.
3. Painting From Top to Bottom
Painting the home can be tough and it can be even harder on your health if proper safety is not taken. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are ingredients in common household paints that are deemed the hazardous components of this product. A green option for traditional houses is low or no VOC paint with the green seal. The green seal on low or no VOC paints means it is certified to not include hazardous harmful ingredients like carcinogens, toxic components, and heavy metals.
4. Lights, Lights and More Lights
The New York Times goes into detail about the importance of going green and its impact. The detail that stuck out the most that is often forgotten is the switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. LED lights are more energy-efficient, consistent, and long-lasting. More than 90% of LED energy is converted to light only, and around 5% is wasted as heat. Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs produce a lot more heat of light energy and over a short period of time they can burn out, make the summer heat hotter, and run up energy costs.
5. The Lawn
Yards are known for being green so you are already off to a good start. Artificial turf can replace grass which will reduce water bills and supplies to maintenance or upkeep the lawn. Another alternative is to invest in a grey-water system, this will convert grey-water from the home to water that can be used for the grass. This is essentially recycling water. Below is a shortlist of lawn alternatives:
Native Perennial Beds
6. How Old is Your Sofa?
Old sofas can be chic; however, when it’s time to buy a new one, it might be worth looking into the ethical and ecological impact of the couch before settling on a new one. Some high-end sofas can offer more long-lasting use, which is eco-friendly since tossing a couch is a lot of waste. An eco-friendly idea for a couch is a couch that has removable pillow/cushion covers that can be washed, this will keep the couch clean and make it last a lot longer.
7. How New is Your Refrigerator
How old is your refrigerator? Often the energy efficiency in a fridge can determine how environmentally sound it is compared to the newer model refrigerators. Buying a new product is not always the most economical and ecological choice, but often running an older fridge can be more costly than its worth. The fridge does not always have to be brand new out of the box. It can be a floor model, refurbished, or a second-hand purchase. The goal is to find a fridge that is energy efficient. Often, the refrigerators have an energy efficiency certification sticker. The older the product, the more it wears down and loses its power-saving abilities. It is always good to find the brands you trust.
Doing a little research and picking products based on your ethics will be the quickest way to go green. The more you cherish the item or choice, the longer they will last in the home.