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Too much of a good thing comes at a price. To save money and create an eco-friendly home, it always pays to consciously conserve on energy and resources to contribute towards helping preserve the environment.
A breath of fresh air - Plants not only define spaces, but also purify indoor air, so add plants in the living room, the foyer or the kitchen. When the weather allows, open the doors and windows to bring in fresh air and natural light. Soy candles, fresh fruits and flowers naturally freshen up the home. Boil coffee or herbs to eliminate nasty smells. Having herbs and flowering plants around the house and cultivating a compost pit greatly contribute to being nature-friendly.
Reduce energy - Running full loads when washing the dishes or doing the laundry saves power and water; if possible, dry your clothes outside. Check toilet tanks and taps for leaks and drips. Use low-flow showerheads to save water. Utilise energy efficient appliances and lighting products. Unplug chargers and switch off electrical appliances to reduce electricity bills.
Reuse and recycle - Though shopping is fun, avoid hoarding to reduce clutter. Buying only what is necessary helps you save extra money. Donate or sell rarely used items. Use old clothes as napkins instead of paper towels. Repurpose jars, containers, cans and boxes to store loose items or to grow plants. Reuse plastic and paper bags, and paper.
Avoid toxic items - Keep your household free from chemical hazards especially if you have children or pets. Use organic cleaning agents like lemon, baking soda, vinegar and salt to clean any part of the house. Natural, plant-based oils (lemon, eucalyptus, cinnamon, lavender and peppermint) prove effective in warding off crawling and flying insects.
Creating a green home is a team effort, so get your kids involved to increase their awareness on environmental protection. Small actions all add up to make a difference, making good use of your money, resources, energy and time.
* House plants not only define living spaces but also help purify indoor air
* Save money and help the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling
* Natural oils (lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus) can ward off crawling insects
Source: Alfred Ocianas, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer