With everything you’ve got on your plate, making major changes to your carbon footprint may seem overwhelming. Luckily, even the laziest environmentalist can take steps toward greening up her home in just a few minutes. Try a few of these six, quick-and-easy eco-friendly product swaps to do your part for the environment without overwhelming your to do list.
Swap Out Your Fabric Refreshers
Popular aerosol fabric refreshers are filled with chemicals that can damage the environment and even trigger indoor allergies. The next time your carpets, rugs or upholstery could use a pick-me-up, sprinkle them with baking soda and let it sit for 10 minutes. Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer that’s perfectly environmentally friendly, so you don’t have to worry about it triggering allergies or adding chemicals to your home’s environment. After the 10 minutes are up, simply vacuum up the powder and enjoy the fresh result.
Ditch the Dryer Sheets
Not only are dryer sheets full of chemicals, you also have to throw them away after each use, adding unnecessary waste to your local landfill. Skip the dryer sheets and pick up a few dryerballs instead. These re-usable balls will last at least two years, softening your laundry and shortening the time it takes to dry your clothes.
Switch Out Your Bulbs
One of the quickest, easiest ways to improve your carbon footprint is to switch out your incandescent light bulbs for energy efficient models. Depending on your budget and your preference you can choose CFL or LED lights that will use less energy and last years longer than the old fashioned variety.
Cut Out Paper and Plastic
If you find yourself using paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins and plastic utensils to avoid doing the dishes, it’s time you switch back to the old way of doing things. By using cloth napkins and dish towels and dishwasher safe tableware, you’ll significantly cut back on your household waste, especially if you have kids.
Pick New Appliances
The next time you need to replace a small appliance, like a toaster, coffeemaker or hair dryer, make sure you pick up an eco-friendly option. While the big, energy star appliances get all the press, there’s no reason not to make every effort to cut your carbon footprint where you can, especially if you don’t have the dough to replace your stove or dishwasher. It’s amazing how much every little bit helps.
Mix Your Own Cleaner
Rather than use toxic, chemical-infused window and glass cleaners, mix up your own green cleaner in minutes. Simply combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and you’re good to go! You can also make your own furniture polish by mixing a cup of olive oil with the juice from half a lemon. Place the combination in a spray bottle and apply to a cleaning rag when you’re ready to put it to use. Wipe down the surface with the lemon oil, then wipe the surface dry.