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Easy Tips to Go Green at Home

Being vegetarian since 1995 and vegan since 2004, I’ve always been very aware of what I eat and where my food comes from.  But what about other areas of my life?  Sure, I recycle, turn the lights off in unoccupied rooms, shop with reusable bags, and unplug appliances when not in use, but I knew there was more I could be doing to help the environment. I already have the ultimate “green” diet, so I am now on a personal mission to “green” other areas of my life, starting at home. Here are some easy tips that you can probably try too!

1. Ditch the paper.  I’ve cut back on paper use tremendously.  I use a magnetic wipe-off board for my “to-do” and grocery lists.  I keep hankies in my purse instead of tissues.  I buy paper towels made from 100% recycled materials, and since I use them so infrequently, a roll lasts a long time.  Next up: buying some fun, funky cloth napkins.

2. Clean up your laundry.  I use natural detergents with less goofy ingredients.  Method and Seventh Generation are my favorite brands.  But once the detergents I have run out, I’m going to experiment with making my own detergents.  Line-drying your clothes also saves a heap of energy.

3. Contain it. Instead of Ziploc baggies or Styrofoam, use reusable containers for your leftovers and lunch. You save money and create less waste. Reuse other packages that would otherwise be thrown out; plastic and glass jars can be reused for so many things, such as food, drinks, craft supplies, etc.

4. Skip the weird cleaning chemicals – Make your own! It’s amazing what some diluted vinegar can accomplish when cleaning around the house.  Simple ingredients such as salt and baking soda can bring your house to a cruelty-free shine, too.

5. Shop responsibly. Make an effort to only by from kind companies.  Let the Better World Shopper site be your guide.

6. Grow your own food.  If you have the space, plant an edible garden. If you don’t have the space, team up with a friend who does and split the work and bounty.  Grow herbs on a sunny windowsill, join a CSA, shop at your local farmers market and produce stands and support local businesses.

All of these things are a pretty good start to greening any home.  I know there is more that I can do, and I’m having fun exploring different eco-friendly tips.  How have you greened your home?

Image Source: Stacie/Flickr

Amanda Just-- Contributor, One Green PlanetAmanda Just stopped eating meat in 1995 and went vegan in 2004. She blogs at Hungry Vegan Traveler, a vegan lifestyle blog that emphasizes traveling as a vegan, near and far.  Amanda currently resides in beautiful Tampa Bay, Florida.  She is an active volunteer for both animal and human rights causes.  She dreams of traveling the world, writing books, and fostering old pugs.