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Article: Eco-Friendly Around The Home Ideas

Eco-Friendly Around The Home Ideas

Eco-Friendly Around The Home Ideas

There are many eco-friendly activities to do at home, such as planting a garden to help offset carbon emissions and provide flowers for bees to pollinate with, all whilst helping  make the planet a little happier and cleaner place for all of us to live. 

Plant a Garden

Growing your own fruits and vegetables is often an under-appreciated task. Many feel it is too tedious and drawn out to be exciting. Not only can gardening be fun, but it can also be extremely rewarding–for both you and the environment.

Even if you don’t have a large yard or the land available, you can use large terracotta or ceramic pots and the like to create a garden space. Or, if no land is available, you can consider window gardening, vertical gardening, or even rooftop gardening–all are great options to get around the issue that work just as well. You can even take that extra eco-step and upcycle plastic bottles to make hanging planters and the like.

If preferred, you can take the garden indoors. Smaller plants like herbs (basil, oregano, etc.) can be planted in mason jars, which make for a fun addition to the kitchen counter–and are super convenient come cooking time. Shopping from local farms and food suppliers is an eco-friendly step to take, but the next step is being your own supplier of food.

If growing fruits and vegetables isn’t your idea of a fun garden, consider medicinal plants like ginkgo, echinacea, and lavender that you can use for some homeopathic therapies. Lavender is also a flower that bees love because of their abundant nectar. 

Make a Compost Bin

Help to reduce food waste by using your leftover scraps to make compost. This can be used in your garden instead of those nasty, chemical fertilizers, which are no good for you or the environment.

You can find a few variations online, but you will need a bucket or bin with a lid for starters to make a compost bin. Holes need to be poked into the sides and base of the bucket, and you will also need loose soil, paper, and buttermilk (or water) to add to the food scraps.

Add fruit and vegetable peels, used tea leaves, or coffee grounds in the bucket and place in a shady area in your yard or patio. Add paper to the food scraps and layer with soil. Sprinkle with buttermilk every four or five days to maintain moisture and turn the pile to aerate the mixture. 

You can add kitchen scraps, soil, and paper every few days until the bucket has been filled. When that has happened, give it a top layer of soil, and cover it to sit, untouched for 4 weeks. After a month, you will have a wonderful compost that your garden will love.

Create a Home Recycling System

If you are still just throwing everything instead of recycling, there’s no time like the present to start. Even if you already recycle, you can always consider adding additional bins to further separate what may otherwise be considered trash. 

Consider a bin in which to collect “clean trash” for upcycling and craft projects, and don’t forget about things like old electronics or e-waste. Make straight-forward labels marking what should be put in each bin so everyone in your household knows what should go where.

In general, e-waste management takes a pretty hard toll on the environment. Recycling e-waste helps reduce these damages, but it has to go through a strictly regulated process to be successful. Thousands of retailers and manufacturers of consumer electronics nationwide sponsor or operate as a reputable site, which can be found by asking a few questions to your favorite search engine.

However, even the reduced effects that recycling e-waste has on the environment are still pretty bad. (Indeed, it is the unfortunate catch-22 of technological advancement.) Instead, you may wish to consider upcycling your electronics by using them for craft or, if you are tech-savvy, reusing or selling “scrap parts” that are still functioning. 

Make Your Own Zero Waste Products

A zero-waste lifestyle takes all the basic eco-friendly principles (reduce, reuse, recycle) and applies them to all facets of life. It requires a thorough self-audit of one’s lifestyle and even making just a few simple changes in your home can have a significant impact.

We love making our own zero-waste products and with an abundance of resources available to us from Youtube to Google it has never been easier to find the perfect home-made recipe. Things like toothpaste, deodorant, cleaning products, and more are just a few easy steps away.

Undertake an Upcycling/ DIY Project

One of the best ways to recycle broken, old, or tired items is by upcycling them into something fresh and new. This helps protect landfills from growing as quickly and spares raw materials being used that would be otherwise needed for manufacturing. 

It’s fun and easy to turn old T-shirts into tote bags, or plastic bottles into planters, or plastic bottles into storage containers, or plastic bottles into LED-tealight holders (plastic bottles are an overwhelming landfill issue these days, and, as you can see, many people are coming up with creative reuses for them).

Upcycling things to make jewelry can be lots of fun and is a great way to reuse items that you may have otherwise thrown away. You can use pieces of broken jewelry, buttons, coins, papers, or felt scraps–anything you have just sitting around the house is at your disposal. Just let your creativity run wild.

Together we can help reduce our carbon footprint and make the world better together!

Nicole Smith

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