Tuesday, April 17

Greener Living: Top Tips for Eco-Living Around the Home

This is a guest post from Lisa-Jane Redskin, a freelance writer from England who believes all businesses and homes should embrace more sustainable practices whether it means sending less packages through Parcel Force or simply learning to use natural products instead of the popular brands.

Being eco-friendly, sustainable, or green doesn’t have to be hard at all, and can even save you some money. There are plenty of ways to change the way you do things around the house, and it is much easier to change your usual habits than you think.

Some things you may already know about, and hopefully there are some you don’t, but by doing all of them you will be making a difference, and contributing to the millions of individuals efforts to help protect our natural environment.

Keeping cleaning green:

When it comes to cleaning your home, no doubt your cupboard under the sink is full of nasty bleaches, cream cleaners, and other toxic chemical based substances. Ok, so these do have a purpose and you might think that there really isn’t an alternative to good old fashioned bleach, but there is! You don’t have to go out and buy these products when you realise that there are natural products available to do the same job.

To start with, ditch the cream cleaners for bicarbonate of soda. Just a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda on a damp cloth will have the same effect as cream cleaner when you start scrubbing your bathroom or kitchen surfaces. Vinegar is a fantastic substitute for glass cleaner, so fill a spray bottle with a half vinegar and half water mix and forget about buying more window cleaner. For disinfecting surfaces, a great substitute for chemical disinfectants is tea tree oil. Other essential oils can be used to, but tree tea oil is especially good at disinfecting surfaces, and leaves a pleasant clean fragrance too.

Eco-friendly clothes washing:

There are quite a few eco-friendly clothes washing detergents out there already, so if you’re not using one switch now. Also, don’t use the manufacturers recommended amount unless you’re clothes are really dirty, using just half will do fine. When you’re doing your whites don’t notch up the temperature and use more energy, instead just pop a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into the drum to give a natural whitening boost.

If you want to be super green, and do away with chemical detergent altogether, there is a pretty good option available. Commonly known as soapnuts, the drupes from the sapindus genus of shrubs contain saponins which are a natural surfactant. This means that there are a completely natural alternative to chemical detergent, and have already been used for washing in Asia for thousands of years. Try them and see, they are much cheaper and economical than normal detergents, lasting months if not years. If you can’t find any in your high street shops, order them online instead, you won’t regret it.

Lowering the amount of energy you use:

Living without energy entirely would be pretty difficult, but there are plenty of ways to stop using as much as you do. Until you really sit down and think about, you don’t realize that a lot of the energy you use is wasted. The first place to start is by replacing all your incandescent light bulbs with new energy saving light bulbs, but there is much more you can do. Get hold of a solar power charger for replenishing things like your mobile phone, tablet, MP3 player, and other electronic devices. A lot of energy is wasted by plugging these devices into the mains and leaving them in too long. On a similar note, don’t leave chargers plugged into the wall when you’re not using them, because they still drain energy whether something is plugged into them or not!

Avoid using a tumble dryer at all costs. These things use a ton of electricity to run, and in most cases you can just hang your clothes out to dry for absolutely free. If the weather prevents you from doing this, then use radiator clothes hangers to dry you clothes using their heat, then you are getting two uses out of your central heating energy.

Keep checking for alternatives:

Being green is a choice for now, but as time goes on it will no doubt become a necessity for everyone whether they like it or not. So always keep an eye out for new energy saving methods and innovative eco-living techniques to stay one step ahead!

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