Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tips on How to Save the Environment (Part 7) - Your Home & Finances

The Home is the best place to begin our campaign against global warming. Making our homes a safe haven for our loved ones should be everyone's top priority in terms of our health and well-being. Start out by making sure we are not using any chemical-laden cleaning agents which are not only harmful to us but to our pets as well. Every bit counts - and our loved ones are counting on us to take the lead on alternative and healthier household products. (Greensleeves)

Part (7) on How we Can Help Save the Environment shows the many ways we can make our homes a safer place to dwell in....


Create a non-toxic, safe home for your family and pets. Gather up all products in your house or garage that contain unsafe chemicals and drop off at your local hazardous waste facility. Switch to alternatives containing nontoxic and biodegradable ingredients (some products labeled 'green' aren't really safe - look for green certification labels).

Hazardous Waste
: Dispose of the following products at a hazardous waste facility:

◦Building Materials - paint , varnish, paint thinner, solvents, rust remover, wood preservatives and driveway sealer

Automotive products - gasoline, transmission oil, brake fluid, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, power steering fluid, used motor oil,used oil filters, used antifreeze

Household cleaners - spot removers, rug cleaners, metal cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaner, drain cleaner

◦Pesticides - insect killers, weed killers, flea products, moth crystals, fertilizers with weed killer

Miscellaneous - photographic chemicals, acids and corrosive chemicals, pool chemicals, compact fluorescent light bulbs (mercury) , mercury thermometers, Ni-Cd batteries.

HOME MADE PRODUCTS : Suggested recipes for home-made cleaning products:

Make Your Own Nontoxic Cleaning Kit
Link :

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
Link :

The Healthy Home
Link :

Better Basics for the Home is a great resource book.

Green Certified Products: The Eco-labels center evaluates the different eco-label programs so that you can pick your products based on the most rigorous certification processes.

Dry Cleaning: If available, clean your "dry clean only" clothes at a dry cleaning facility that uses wet cleaning techniques. Or, safer yet, when
possible avoid purchasing clothes that require dry cleaning.

•Clothing: Whenever possible, buy clothing made from organic cotton and/or hemp. Locate a store that sells organic cotton products through the International Organic Cotton Directory.

•Soap Nuts: Check out environmentally-friendly soap nuts (Sapindus) to replace your laundry detergent. It can also be used as a general cleaning soap.

•PVC: Avoid purchasing plastic #3, PVC/vinyl. Information: PVC Alternatives Database and waste crisis from disposal of PVC.

•Plants: Learn about the top plants for removing toxins from the air in your home in the article: Using Plants to Clean Indoor Air Pollutants.

Natural Body Products
•Natural Products: You can find nontoxic products at SkinDeep: Cosmetic Safety Database. Head over to your local natural products store to pick up natural, cruelty-free body products.

•Cruelty-Free: To learn about and find cruelty-free products, check out Animal Ingredients and Their Alternatives and Companies That Don't Test on Animals.

•Home-Made: Great book on safe, home-made personal care products.

Building or Remodeling Your Home
•Contractor: Find a building contractor who will follow the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Homes Program. You can locate a "green building" professional through the Green Building Council Directory.

Resources: Access the Sustainable Building Sourcebook and/or Green Building Concepts for information about building an environmentally-friendly home.

New Home Location: If you are considering building a new home, seek out a location that has already been built on in the past (vs. building on "pristine" land).

Energy Efficient Mortgages (U.S.): EEM's let you borrow extra money to pay for energy efficient upgrades to your current home or a new or old home that you plan to buy.

Building Materials: Building material ideas (no endorsement of any company intended):
◦Eco-Friendly Flooring Guide
◦straw bale
◦bamboo -- two sites to check out: Plyboo and Teragren
◦true (natural) linoleum
◦previously used wood -- one site to check out: Vintage Timber Works
◦cob -- three sites to check out: Cob, Cob Cottage, and EcoBusiness-Cob Building Resources
◦composite decking -- The Latest Trend in Decking
◦samples of sustainable flooring material
◦rammed earth homes
◦ -- plant-based roofing
◦sustainably harvested wood -- search for suppliers through the Forest Stewardship Council

Buy/Sell Green Home: If you are looking to buy or sell a green home, check out ListedGreen.

•Roadmap: The New Roadmap Foundation's Your Money or Your Life program offers a wonderful nine-step program for personal financial transformation.
( Blogger's Note: Or check with your local banks for GREEN Investments available )

Investing: Information on environmentally and socially responsible investing can be found at:
◦Socially Responsible Investing (article/links)
◦Social Investment Forum
◦GreenMoney Online Guide
◦Ethical Investment Research Service

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