Around the Home
If you own or rent a home where you are able to control what goes into keeping up that home and you want to reduce your environmental burden, this is the article for you. However, if you have roommates or live in a dorm or apartment situation visit the article on dorms and shared living spaces.
One of the best things about having your own place is the freedom to control what and how things happen to and in your home. You can paint it any color you want or change the style completely, but more importantly, you can make your home an environmentally friendly safe haven for yourself. From household cleaners to gardens and lawns, a home can be a hotspot of thousands of chemicals that are harmful to us and the environment. But as a homeowner, you have the ability to change that.
Below are a few things you can do to reduce your home’s environmental and health burden.
Clean up your home by…
- Phasing out chemical cleaners in favor of a diluted vinegar solution
- Avoiding chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides and choosing pest deterring plants and natural solutions
- Choosing more natural, additive free, dye free, synthetic fragrance free laundry detergent and dish soap
- Line dry clothes
- Opting out of fabric softener entirely (clothes still come out soft without it and they’ll last much longer)
- Avoiding furniture made of plastic materials and opting for organic cotton, wood, or metal furniture and organic cotton linens
- Switching out plastic Tupperware for glass and metal containers
- Foregoing “lawn culture” and turning your front yard into a edible, pollinator, or native garden
- Creating a compost system in your backyard
- Replacing your plastic cleaning brushes and rags with natural compostable materials like wood and hemp
- Install solar panels
- Turn down your water heater (while still maintaining a safe temperature)
- Bundling up when it’s cold and wearing less when it’s hot instead of using the A/C and heater
Alane Ertel is a graduate from the MPH program at the University of North Florida, and was an Intern at their Environmental Center during the creation of this project. Alane’s goal in creating this project is to increase awareness of environmental issues, spread zero/low waste practices, and improve environmental and human health by utilizing her passions for the environment and for creating a healthier society.