1 | For the home
2 | For your health
3 | Around the garden
4 | In the bathroom

Let's be honest. Everyone wants to pretend that they love the environment and that they do their best to be green—even you. But, you have probably found yourself thinking, "I can't do all this. I can't switch my whole life around." So, you do what I used to do. You sit there, planning to one day go green, and saying you're green… without ever really going green. The truth is, going green is NOT that difficult. It isn't going to rob you of hours you can't get back or completely change your whole lifestyle. That is why I'm here, to help you realize the easy, and even free, things you can do to make your home greener and healthier for you family. It really is the little changes that count.

Want to save money, improve your health and better the environment?

1. Collect Rain Water

Yuck! Rain water! You may be asking yourself what that could even be used for. You have probably heard the news stories that the acidity makes it undrinkable and that bathing in it really doesn't make you cleaner. Still, there is a lot you can do with rain. Rain water can be used for a variety of uses like doing laundry, watering plants, or giving pets a drink.Whether or not you live in a particularly rainy climate, use a barrel to collect rain water that you can use in place of a hose or faucet.

2. Clean Your Ducts

Sneezing a lot lately? Suffer from chronic sore throats? You could be breathing dirty air! Your vents and ducts can be a huge source of dust, dirt, and other unhealthy irritants. You can greatly improve your home's air quality by cleaning it all out every month or two. But, don't be fooled, a professional isn't needed to do this. Your vacuum and its attachments are perfect for cleaning the ductsand making your air quality much better.

3. Be Conscious of Your Lights

You may feel like a nag, but you're not wrong to tell your kids to turn off the light when they leave a room. If you're home this gives you the perfect chance to turn off the lights, open the blinds, and let natural light flood your home. Not only can you soak up some much-needed Vitamin D, but you can also decrease your electrical bill; both of which are great things for your health and creating a green home.

4. Get Unplugged

You know that electronics always need to be charged, and it seems like every time you turn around something has lost its charge; whether it be your tablet, phone, or laptop. Because of this you have probably become one of those people who either leaves their electronics plugged in all day or the outsidecharger attached to the wall. After all, it's so much easier that way. But, this is one of the leading causes of electrical drainage in your home. Even in standby mode, they are still using copious amounts of electricity. To help keep your electrical consumption down make sure to unplug your electronics when they are fully charged and only charge them when needed.Chargers should also be unplugged when not charging a device. Chargers still use electricity even when they are simply just plugged in, and keeping them unplugged when not in use can greatly decrease your electrical consumption. It can also keep young children safe from accidentally being zapped by an uncovered electrical outlet, if they become curious.

5. Invest in an Air Purifier

Keeping your air quality good can help keep your family healthy because irritants in the air are a leading cause of breathing issues and can cause asthma and allergy attacks. An air purifier is used to pull toxins out of the air and traps them within the system, keeping them away from your family.

6. Get Rid of Smoking

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, whether it be plain tobacco cigarettes, marijuana, or vaping. All of these release harmful toxins into the air that contribute to pollution and can harm wildlife, such as birds. Even more troubling than this is how smoking any kind of substance is harmful to the air quality within your own home. Poor air quality is one of the biggest causes of asthma attacks, uncontrollable allergies, and breathing issues within the home.Smoking increases the pollution of your indoor air, making your family more at risk for serious issues, including breathing problems, infections, and sinus issues. Ban smoking in your home for a healthier environment and aim to quit smoking all together to help reduce the amount of toxins you are releasing into the environment.

7. Check for Radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United Statesand it is prevalent in soil and can leak through the cracks of your home's foundation. Check regularly for radon in your home, using a test kit. You can buy these test kits for an affordable price at any local hardware store. If radon happens to be in abundance in your home, call a contractor who can help you decide what the best course of action is to keep your family safe from the harmful chemical.

8. Use Microfiber Cloths

Stop wasting paper towels! Use microfiber towels instead. These cloths are perfect for cleaning up messes and they reduce the amount of paper towels you use. They are washable and trap dirt and liquids inside of them. This means nothing is getting left behind on any surface. Some cloths even come with disinfectants in them, meaning you have a one step process for all messes. Microfiber clothes can also help you reduce your carbon footprint, because they reduce the amount paper towels and other throwaway cleaning products you use.

9. Plant an Edible Garden

Get rid of GMO's and chemically altered food by growing your own. You can grow fruits and vegetables in a small backyard plot or even build a greenhouse to properly alter temperatures and climate. Chemicals and preservatives in food not only hurt the ground the food is grown in, but they can also be dangerous to your children's health. Growing your own tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, carrots, etc., will keep these chemicals out of your systemwhile also helping create oxygen outdoors via the plants.

10. Leave Your Mowing

Grass clippings make a fantastic fertilizer when they decompose. So, instead of cleaning up after you mow and loading clippings into a plastic garbage bag, leave them where they are. This is a great way to keep your lawn luscious and full without buying chemical fertilizers. Although some people think this makes a lawn look unkempt, it's healthier and will make your job of mowing so much easier. And, everyone can deal with a little more ease in their life.

11. Think Before You Flush

Every time you flush your toilet you use approximately 5 gallons of water. Environmentally friendly toilets can use as much as 3.5 gallons and older toilets can flush up to 7 or 8 gallons of waterevery time you push down that handle. Just hearing that number should make you cringe, it's a waste of water. I know this might sound gross but If 'it's yellow it's mellow, if it's brown it goes down.'

12. Take Showers

Baths can be nice and relaxing, but you really should save them for special occasions only. Showers take only half the water that baths do, helping conservation efforts. To increase your efforts you should also try to keep your showers under 5 minutes, and this can even become a fun competition for children in the home. And, if you're a busy mom, you can take pride in the fact that your quick showers have been helping save the environment for years.

13. Dispose of Toxic Waste Correctly

Old electronics, dead batteries, used motor oil, old paint, and expired weed killers are all found under cabinets in a home or buried behind boxes in a garage or basement. However, many people simply do not take the time to dispose of these items properly and simply throw them in the garbage or dump them down their drain. Not only can this contaminate your water supply, but just throwing it away can land these items in a landfill, contaminating the environment for animals and plants. Look up ways to properly dispose of these items and always help make sure that your family and the surrounding environment are safe.

Going green isn't meant to give you a headache. It is supposed to give your family a heathier life and protect the environment for future generations. Small changes like these are all you need to do. No big, new, expensive technologies or huge life changes. Just, a little bit of common sense.

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