The year is drawing to a close and the Christmas spirit is well in the air. With the bustle of everyday life slowing down, it’s the perfect time to focus on greening your home. While there may be big adjustments that you could make, for instance installing a greywater system or solar panels on your roof, we believe that the smaller efforts are just as important too.
Here are some ways that you can green your home this holiday, for good.
In the kitchen:
- Re-purpose glass jars as bulk storage and leftover containers
- Replace paper towels in with cloth towels that can be washed and reused
- Collect grey water from washing dishes in a bucket to water the garden
- Do your weekly grocery shopping at local farmers markets, and take reusable bags to avoid single-use plastic
- Switch off plug points for appliances when not in use
- Separate your waste into compostable, recyclable and general waste
- Grow your own herbs in veggie crates or on windowsills
- Ecobrick the non-biological waste that you can’t recycle to avoid as much as possible from going to landfill
In the bathroom:
- Collect grey water from showering and use this to flush your toilet or wash your car
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
- Shop for earth-friendly, biodegradable shower products that are as kind to the environment as it is to your skin
- Shower together and save water
- Turn the shower off when lathering and washing with soap
- Avoid bathing – it’s a waste of water!
- Install low-flow water fittings in the shower and all taps in your house
In the bedroom:
- Choose organic cotton, hemp or bamboo linen that is preferably made locally
- Grow houseplants to improve the quality of air in your home
- Choose wool blankets over polyester blankets, as they are more eco-friendly to produce
- Sleep with lighter blankets or remove the duvet inner in summer to avoid using aircon and layer it up in winter to avoid using the heater
- Open your curtains to allow natural light to stream in instead of turning the lights on
- Instead of using synthetic fragrances, make your own room spray by using essential oils and water
- Reuse and re-purpose old furniture to avoid buying new
In the living room:
- Use rugs to cover tiled or wooden floors to warm up your home
- Feeling cold on the couch? Grab your furry friend and cuddle up!
- Change your light bulbs to LED to save energy
- When repainting, buy low or no-VOC paint to avoid hazardous chemicals
- Leave your shoes at the door to avoid carrying dirt into the house
- Open windows on either side of the living room to allow for cross-ventilation to cool the room
- If you’re celebrating Christmas in the northern hemisphere, invite friends over and have a party to generate heat in the room!