Many people are completely intimidated by the concept of going green. It really feels like if you don’t start using a rain barrel, install solar panels on your roof, eat, drink and breathe 1000% organic, and compost every living thing under the sun, you’re a failure. But I’m here to tell you that simply isn’t true! There are tons of ways to be green simply and cheaply – and I know because as a young mom, I’m forever on a tight budget. So read on to find out my simple ways to go green, room by room.
First up, let’s talk entryways, hallways, and stairs. They say that the entrance to the home is like a first impression – you really want to put your best face forward from the get-go. For me, this means making sure my house doesn’t smell like four cats, a dog, a baby, and a wrestling coach live here (because we all do), having great ambiance via light sources, and stopping paper clutter before it starts.
Aircare My standby has previously been Method aircare products, but those have recently been discontinued. Mrs. Meyers’ also offers plug-in scent diffusers and scented candles, so I’ll be trying those out as soon as my Method stash runs dry.
They both use all-natural aroma-therapeutic ingredients (sans harmful chemicals) and have recyclable packaging while lightly tickling your nose with flavors like gingerbread spice, vanilla apple, peppermint, geranium, and lavender.
Ambiance I love a good lighting fixture. And a super easy and cheap way to make a lighting fixture more environmentally friendly without replacing it is to go with fluorescent bulbs. CFLs come in so many different wattages and light effects (like soft white, bright white, and daylight varieties), so it’s easy to find something that works for you and your home.
We got a contractor’s pack of 12 bulbs at Home Depot on sale for roughly $3 and have just slowly began replacing old burned out incandescent bulbs with the new CFLs. Sure, the difference in light takes some getting used to, but once you have a majority of them illuminating your home, you’ll hardly notice the change (except maybe on your electric bill).
Clutter No matter how many times we sign up or opt out, we still get a lot of junk mail. And if you’re not careful, discarded mail can pile up not only by the front door, but all over the house, which just adds to the clutter of a busy household. The thought of throwing away all that paper made us both uneasy, so we agreed on a simple solution – we keep a large cardboard box (left over from shipment packaging) tucked away out of sight next to our storage bench in our foyer, and we toss our unwanted mail (after tearing it up, if necessary) into the box for recycling.
Both my husband’s school and my animal shelter offer paper recycling programs for which they receive kickbacks, so when the box is full, one of us takes the whole thing with them to work to recycle. That way, we’re not only helping out the planet, but also our community.
What are some ways that you keep your entryways, hallways, and stairwells more green? Share your tips in the comments, and come back to talk about ways to make your living room simply and cheaply green!