This topic has been on my mind a lot lately; how do we make ourselves, our homes and the environment healthier. While working on our house we are trying to make the best choices for our family, wallets and the environment. It's definitely a fine line trying to balance all three.
A couple things we've done:
used primer and paint that was being thrown out
(instead of buying new)
purchased a Viking stove on Craigslist
(instead of buying a new stove)
used what was left by the previous owners; including the
basic floor plan, the shed out back that will
be turned into my studio (yay!!) and ripping up carpet
to reveal hardwood fir floors that we'll definitely be keeping
(instead of changing the floor plan or tearing the house down, tearing down the dilapidated shed and rebuilding a studio or ripping out the flooring and installing my dream wide-plank hardwood floors)
used "eco" insulation to install below the floor
(contains more than 99% natural ingredients, is certified to include a minimum of 58% total recycled content and is formaldehyde free)
Gladly taken hand-me-down materials and furniture - a little elbow grease goes a long way and makes a unique space
(instead of purchasing all new materials and furniture)
chipped all of the branches that we limbed - about 20 piles 10' high...that was a ton of work!
(instead of hauling to the dump)
So you might be not be remodeling an old Farmhouse, but there are definitely easy everyday things we can do to make our world a little better. Here are a few to get you thinking...
- Focus on organic or locally-grown foods.
- Reduce the amount of meat and dairy in the diet ~ a vegetarian requires 1/4 acre of land/year, while a carnivore requires over an acre.
- Buy bulk food instead of packaged products.
- Use re-usable bags for produce and groceries.
- Drink more water. Use re-usable water bottles, instead of buying bottled water.
- Use green household products instead of chemicals. Or make your own (check out this home-made laundry detergent).
- Wash clothes in cold water (when possible); always rinse with cold. Learn more green laundry tips.
- Save energy. Unplug appliances when not in use, turn off lights when not in the room and if purchasing new appliances buy Energy Star efficient products.
- Save Water. Take shorter showers. Turn water off while brushing your teeth and fill a dishpan when hand-washing dishes.
- Reduce paper usage. Pay bills electronically; use washable towels instead of paper towels, order magazines and newspapers digitally and stop junk mail.
- Compost all waste. Some cool products to make this easier...a compost tumbler and a counter top compost bin.
- Drive less. Use public transit if it's available, make each trip count, walk or ride a bike when possible and carpool if the option is available.
- Plant a garden. Not only does this nurture the soul, but it can cut back on your grocery bills and protect the environment by decreasing the amount of pesticides used and transportation pollution created for purchased produce. Find some inspiration on Tin Roof Farmhouse Pinterst Board: Farm Inspiration.