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Tips on How to Go Green at Home
By Katherine Oakes

An awareness of our planet’s health and the appeal of living green has finally begun to fall in step with our culture’s values and perspective, but the biggest question that often holds people back is, “Where do I begin?” It may seem intimidating at first, but take heart that even the tiniest seeds planted can grow to make a hugely positive impact for your generation and the next.

Here are some simple and basic ways to go green at home.

In the Kitchen
Think for a moment about the one place in your home that gets the most use, and the answer is most likely the kitchen. Why? Because it’s the place where people meet not just to cook and share meals, but to come together to share their time as well. Your kitchen alone has the most potential for instilling long-lasting green living habits by being mindful of the food you consume, how it’s made and, inevitably, where it all ends up.

Do your best to purchase organic and locally-grown, seasonal produce to avoid toxic pesticides that leak into the water supply and your bloodstream, and when preserving or transporting your food, eliminate the use of single-use, disposable plastics like Saran wrap and plastic bags that are harmful to our fragile ecosystem. Become familiar with your town’s recycling practices and learn how to properly recycle certain materials. And of course, compost your food scraps! Composting helps to enrich the soil and provide more oxygen to the atmosphere, and it avoids adding to the ever-accumulating landfills through the natural process of biodegradation.

We guarantee that by implementing just these 4 habits, you’ll have already made a huge and positive impact on the environment.

In the Living Room(s)
Whether you live in a studio apartment or a 5-bedroom house, it’s important to take stock of your energy use. Heating and cooling accounts for almost half of the average person’s energy bill each month and a large chunk of the population’s total carbon emissions each year. Set your thermostat for comfortable temperatures during the day and lower it at night to conserve energy. Have your ducts, vents, windows and doors checked to make sure they are properly sealed and always adjust your home’s temperature for when you are not home. If it’s possible, purchase energy efficient appliances that have an ENERGY STAR label to reduce greenhouse gases. Not in the market for a new washer and dryer? Switching your most frequently used light bulbs to CFLs (Compact Fluorescents) will help them last longer and save you money on replacements.

In the Bathroom
You may not think of the bathroom as somewhere you can be more green, however, if you appreciate the beauty and functionality of a great bathroom like we at Modernize do, then you can certainly imagine the eco-friendly potential of this small space. Everything from your personal care products to how much water is used makes an impact. Avoid using products and even laundry detergents with harmful phthalates and synthetic fragrances that are dangerous to both your health and the health of our waterways. It takes a lot of energy to heat, cool, and pump water, so be mindful and minimize your consumption by turning your off the faucet when you brush your teeth, only running full loads of laundry, and taking shorter showers.

In the Lawn
What’s the best and most effective way to be more green? Plant a garden! An abundance of greenery and trees keep our diverse ecosystem working well by releasing oxygen into the air and combatting the excess of carbon emissions we produce in our everyday lives. Whether it’s a few windowsill herbs, or taking part in a community garden or a backyard garden of your own, go back to basics to make the biggest difference.