Indoor air pollutants, chemicals, common allergens and other environmental hazards can wreak havoc on your health and home. Here’s a list of eco-friendly tips to help you get it all under control:
1. Kick off your shoes
Avoid tracking in pollutants, pesticides and other unpleasant things by removing your shoes when you come indoors. Designate a storage area for shoes, umbrellas and other outdoor items.
2. Cut CO2 – and costs
The average American is responsible for 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year. Reducing your energy use with a programmable thermostat not only curbs CO2, but can cut your utility bill as well.
3. De-bag your dry cleaning
Remove the plastic bags that cover your freshly dry-cleaned clothes to reduce toxins brought into your home. Better yet, switch to a green dry cleaner.
4. Shut out allergens
Falling asleep amid the spring breezes seems romantic, until you wake up with a scratchy throat. Close the windows before you head for bed, and if you have allergies, consider installing an air purification or air filtration system.
5. Select thin-skinned organics
When organically grown fruits and vegetables are more expensive than conventional choices, prioritize your produce shopping by focusing on organic apples, berries, peaches and other thin-skinned items.
6. Clear the clutter
Start your spring cleaning by pruning your home first. Empty out junk drawers, and clean out closets. Donate unwanted items to charity.
7. Trade in paper towels
Choose sponges or reusable microfiber cloths for a more eco-friendly spring cleaning.
8. Hit the shower after digging in
Gardens beckon in spring, but this is prime time for pollination. If you’re outside for a couple of hours, take time to shower and change into fresh clothes to avoid bringing pollen indoors.
9. Avoid petroleum-based paints
Sources of volatile organic compounds, these paints contribute to poor indoor air quality. Instead, look for paints made with plant oils and resins.
10. Get exhausted
Use your kitchen’s exhaust fan to remove grease and smoke that can cause dirt and dust to stick. Turn off the fans when they’re no longer needed to avoid wasting energy.