Your home is a reflection of the person you are. Thus, it should mirror the awesomely compassionate and conscious lifestyle you lead. However, sometimes that is easier said than done. For whatever reason, be it lack of knowledge or access to alternatives, many compassionate, conscious people’s homes are filled with products that contribute to exploitation, cruelty, and/or environmental degradation.

So take a good look around your home from the fridge to the bathroom and everywhere in between. What do you see? Chances are it is not as compassionate and conscious as you thought, but it can be difficult to see this right away. That’s why this guide exists. Follow these ideas for creating a more compassionate and conscious home starting today:

1. Create a Cruelty-Free Fridge

It is pretty obvious that a great first step in creating a more compassionate, conscious home is to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I mean, you are what you eat, right? So it makes sense that giving up eating animals and their byproducts would mean you have a more compassionate and conscious home. However, what about trade practices or corporate responsibility regarding the vegan food products you purchase?

For instance, consider whether the items contribute to mass rainforest destruction or whether they are purchased at a fair price to farmers. Always opt for the most compassionate, conscious options: organizations who give back to communities and the environment, who handle waste products responsibly, who don’t test on animals, who pay their employees a fair wage, etc.

2. Clean Green

A vegan lifestyle is great, but it doesn’t give you a free pass to ignore other areas where your home may need improvement. For instance, you may only buy organic produce to reduce exposure to pesticides/herbicides, support organic farmers or support sounder agricultural practices, but all the organics in the world don’t make up for the potential chemical cloud you leave behind when you clean your home.

Conventional cleaners are downright toxic to your body and to the environment. When we use these items thinking they protect our families from “germs,” we are actually adding health and environmental stressors to our homes.

The simple switch? Get back to basics and clean your home with non-toxic ingredients like vinegar, lemons, and baking soda. Check out this site for more suggestions.

3. Check the Furniture

Are you reading this article while sitting on a leather or suede couch? How about from a bed stuffed with baby bird’s feathers?

Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and entirely redecorate because that in itself is problematic when it comes to conscious living. However, when those items do need replacing, opt for materials that don’t depend on another being’s life being exploited.

4. Green Your Hygiene

Our hygiene routines, from shampooing to teeth brushing to perhaps putting on make-up and skin creams, are things we do regularly and typically without thinking about. However, if you want a more compassionate and conscious home, it’s time to change that.

The majority of products used for daily hygiene routines are appallingly laden with toxins that are absorbed by skin or washed into the water cycle. Day after day, this takes a huge toll on your body and the environment. Moreover, many other personal products still contain animal products, like placenta. For making the switch easy, check here.

5. Get a Rain Barrel

We’ve all been told at one time or another that fresh water is a scarce resource, although it is often times hard to remember that since it flows freely from the tap. Creating a more conscious home depends on you recognizing these things and taking action, before it is indeed too late.

Thus, while the goal of restricting one’s water usage is excellent and necessary, a further step would help. Getting a rain barrel means always having access to free, fresh water for your family and your garden or lawn. It means turning the tap on less and conserving a natural resource. If you can’t afford the $100 they typically sell for, you can substitute it with a $5 tub with a hole in its lid.

6. The Infamous Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

It’s inevitable that your home will collect waste materials, from bags to cans and more. However, the way you deal with these materials makes a big difference when considering compassion and conscious living. If you haven’t started recycling yet, now is as good a time as any. This cuts down on new resources needed for production of goods.

Likewise, reusing materials you would normally toss, like vegetable scraps that can be made into soup stock, means being conscious of their value and getting the most from them. And finally, reducing your overall consumption, and therefore waste load, does a great deal in creating a more compassionate, conscious home because it aids in conservation of vital resources.

Remember these things when trying to create a more compassionate, conscious home: many conventional household items are toxic to your family and the environment, animal products do not contribute to your goals, and resources are limited, even if they’re abundant in your local area.

 Image source: Michael Coghlan/Wikimedia