This week, we have a very special guest blog post from our new friend, Stephanie James.
From the very beginning, Room to Breathe has been wholly committed to and passionate about sustainability - ensuring our services take into account the lasting impact our 'stuff' has on the environment and the communities that we share the world with. We are always eager to highlight tips on how we can each lessen our personal burden on Mother Earth, so when Stephanie approached us about writing this article, we were of course keen to help amplify her voice.
Have a peek at Stephanie's article below - Full of simple ways to create an eco-friendly home.
The need for sustainability is greater than ever, but implementing these changes doesn't need to be difficult. With so many creative ways to reduce our ecological footprint, we wanted to share some easy and inexpensive ideas for how to make our home and lifestyle greener.
Go Green With Your Mattress: Do you know what you’re sleeping on? Conventional mattresses can be full of chemical leaching materials that are hard the environment and our health. Ensure your mattress is “green” by looking for the following:
Don’t simply trust the words “natural” or “organic” on the label. Instead, look for approval from the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) for latex mattresses.
Before you buy, check out some of the extensive reviews to help ensure you’re getting exactly what you are looking for.
Unplug: Aim to reduce technology use in the bedroom. This will not only cut down on electricity consumption, but has also been proven to aid in better quality sleep.
Bring the Indoors Out: Use repurposed furniture from inside your home instead of purchasing new. You can move kitchen chairs outdoors when the need for seating arises, or give an old piece new life by converting a coffee table into a bench or plant stand.
Invest in Area Rugs: Using a rug on hard floors can save you 4 - 6% on energy costs. In addition to enhancing your decor, a rug will help keep your feet warmer during the winter months.
Grow Houseplants: Indoor plants not only provide natural decor, they serve to purify the air by absorbing harmful toxins. Breathe easier while saving on the costs of air purifiers.
Replace Bulbs: Consider replacing old style light bulbs with energy efficient ones. Not only do energy efficient bulbs use less electricity, they also last longer, meaning you don’t have to spend money replacing them, and you're creating less waste in the process.
Overhaul Your Laundry: Upwards of 39% of a garment’s environmental impact comes from the care of the consumer. Washing your clothes in cold water, reducing the amount of loads you’re doing by waiting longer between washes for items like jeans and sweaters, using toxic-free detergent, and line drying your clothes can all help reduce your environmental impact significantly.
Cold Wash Your Clothes: 85% to 90% of energy is consumed by washing your clothes in hot water. Wash with cold water whenever possible.
Use Concentrated and Natural Detergents: Concentrated detergents have less packaging but contain more product, meaning they cost less to transport and naturally have a smaller carbon footprint. Natural products like soap nuts are berries from the saponus bush. They are hypoallergenic and an all-natural way to wash your clothes, and as an added bonus - they can be composted at the end of their life cycle.
Use Natural Cleaning Agents: Vinegar, tea tree oil, and lemon juice are powerhouse natural cleaners - effective at killing germs, bacteria, and mold. The latter two can also help keep your home smelling fresh.
Bring Your Own Bags: The average American takes home 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. Investing in a few stylish tote bags and committing to using them is one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste.
Reusable Food Bags: Instead of using single-use plastic bags for lunches and snacks, consider reusable food bags. These are just as effective and convenient as plastic sandwich bags, but without the waste!
Making your home eco-friendly doesn’t have to be hard – pick a few options above and incorporate them into your daily life. Don’t try to change everything in a day - It’s a process that takes time and dedication. With a little planning, you’ll be surprised at how easy (and impactful) these shifts can be.
Stephanie James is a freelancer writer from North Carolina, who covers a variety of topics from wellness and fitness to lifestyle. You can connect with her and see more of her published work on Twitter.