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Happy New Year

If your New Year’s resolutions list includes living a healthier and more environmentally sensitive life, but you’re intimidated by the cost and inconvenience of going green, here are some small steps to set you on your way. 

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If your New Year’s resolutions list includes living a healthier and more environmentally sensitive life, but you’re intimidated by the cost and inconvenience of going green, here are some small steps to set you on your way.

Clean the air inside your home

The toxic materials and substances contained in building materials, carpets and cleaning substances may well make the air inside your house or apartment, particularly in these cold winter months, more toxic than the air outside. Make it a habit to open wide the windows of the bedrooms and fill the room with fresh air for an hour at least once a week (you can close the bedroom doors to keep the rest of the house warm). And be sure to open the windows wide if you’re cleaning with toxic materials.

Filter the air – naturally

Something that helps clean the air inside your home are houseplants!  Those plants are a natural antidote to the stuffy air that gets locked up inside. Also, use a humidifier inside your home to have cleaner air.

So skip the air fresheners and sprays (aerosols are particularly bad for the environment) and invest in some plants to filter the air. If you’re feeling nostalgic for your great-grandparents’ apartment, you can find a Sansevieria trifasciata, more commonly referred to as a Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or an old fashioned philodendron. You can find these and more unusual specimens at Nurseries, both of plants that do well in the shade.

Leave your shoes at the door

The largest single source of dirt in your home is what is brought inside on the feet of family and friends. Not only are shoes and boots bringing in the dirt that you can see, they’re also transporting pesticides, lead, antifreeze, fertilizer, pollen and other elements that have no place in your home. (FYI: The EPA says that children are exposed to more pesticides by indoor shoe-wearing than eating non-organic fruits and vegetables). So make it a habit to take off your boots and shoes at the door. Teach everyone to leave their shoes in a boot tray, milk crate or any similar container that can be placed near the door.

Kick the chemical habit

When you’re at Stop and Shop, pass by the aisle filled with the harsh cleaning products that are hawked on television all day and load your cart with the two basic products that can be used to clean almost anything: white vinegar and baking soda. Hard to believe, but mix either with a little warm water and you’ll be able to clean almost anything. Alternatively, shop for the green cleaning products that are found in hardware stores and supermarkets.

Hope you have a great 2017!

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