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Eco-Friendly Living Basics

Updated on December 29, 2014
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There are so many ways to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. You could trade in that SUV for an electric or hybrid vehicle and reduce the amount of hydrocarbons being released into the atmosphere every day. You could change some basic things in your house like conserving water or using biodegradable trash bags. When you move from your current house, why not consider looking for or building an eco-friendly home? You can make a difference by learning the eco-friendly living basics.

Houses that are eco-friendly or "green" tend to be not just more friendly to the environment, but also tend to be more convenient to the residents. Living in an eco-friendly house does not mean building a funny looking structure in the middle of the wilderness. Eco-friendly simply means designing the home to be a green home form the start with the purpose of reducing consumption of energy and natural resources while reducing waste. Making the decision to go green in your home not only reduces your personal impact on the environment, it decreases the amount of pollution and waste produced.

How about living in or building a home that uses absolutely no energy form the local power company? That's what one Chicago resident did - check out the video just to the right.

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The Eco-Friendly House: A Combination of Shelter and Negative Impact

All people living on this planet affect the biodiversity, air quality and water quality every day simply by living their lives. Those living in industrialized countries with large populations residing in metropolitan areas typically have the greatest negative impact on our environment. For example, the typical modern household uses a great amount of water which must be treated and purified by water treatment plants. Garbage produced must be collected and transported to a landfill where it may eventually cause soil and water contamination. Everything a modern household uses must be returned to the earth.

Those folks who make the conscious decision to go green at home and live an eco-friendly lifestyle have decided to make changes for the better. For example, water conservation can have a significant impact on the environment through use of collected rainwater, use of grey water and drought-tolerant landscaping which requires little or no watering. Participating in local recycling programs also helps reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill while re-purposing discarded products. Driving a smaller, more fuel-efficient or electric car will reduce the amount of pollution released into the air. All of these would be considered eco-friendly living basics.

Eco-friendly home products like energy-efficeint thermostats, more efficient air conditioning/heating systems and synthetic building/decorating materials also reduce the demand for non-renewable resources. If you want to cut down on the use of polluting non-renewable resources like coal and oil, try turning your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter or up a few degrees in the summer. Install ceiling fans throughout your home to cool in the summer and disperse warm air more efficiently in the winter. You can cut back on power use and cook with eco-friendly home products like the sun oven - which can easily reach temperatures of 400˚F.

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Some great eco-friendly living basics resources...

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Remove the Threat of Toxins

If you don't do the housecleaning yourself, look for house cleaning companies that use eco-friendly home cleaning products. If you do your own house cleaning, you can purchase "green" products from the store that don't use harsh, toxic chemicals. If you want to save even more money, you can make your own cleaning products for just a few common, inexpensive items that are probably already in your house.

These eco-friendly, green cleaning solutions include using salt, lemons, baking soda, borax, olive oil and distilled white vinegar. From these simple ingredients, you can mix up a cleaning solution for anything in your home. Skeptical? Well, I was when I first heard about this, but I have to tell you, some of these homemade green cleaning recipes work batter than the store-bought cleaning products. The best part is that no harsh, toxic chemicals - or the fumes and residues - are present in my eco-friendly home today.

Eco-friendly bags include reusable bags that can be used for transporting groceries or any other items from the store. Eco-friendly trash bags are PVC/plasticizer free and made form recycled materials. These trash bags will begin to degrade in landfills as soon as 12 to 24 months. All of these actions can help you create a more green and eco-friendly home.

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Green Home Builders Design Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

These days, green home builders are becoming more and more common. Eco-friendly homes include items like floors made form recycled tires, decks constructed of re-purposed wood and greenrooms that absorb rainwater to be collected and used in the home. Triple-pane windows are equipped with special sensor-controlled shades that automatically close when in direct sunlight to keep summer temperatures out and automatically open to let sunlight in during colder winter months. Building a green home simply means using available resources more efficiently and replacing out=dated or energy-wasting technologies.

Other items used in eco-friendly homes include recycled drywall panels or gypsum board for the walls and materials from older, destroyed or burned down structures that can be reclaimed and re-used. On the roof, new roofing shingles designed to collect sunlight and convert it into useable energy. The best part is that these roofing shingles have the same low-profile as the surrounding shingles. These solar-collecting shingles can collect enough sunlight to power the entire home - and any excess power is sold back to the power company - imagine that!

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Eco-Friendly Living Basics are Easily Attainable

Other ways to move towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle are the use of green housewares, organic foods, organic make up products, natural pet products, organic clothing, natural bath/bed products and eco-bug killers instead of toxic chemical pesticides. There's even eco-friendly furniture, lighting and personal care items. One easy way to start living more eco-friendly is to purchase home appliances that are more energy efficient - just look for the EnergyStar rating on each appliance label. There are also a number of stores and online sources for all of these products.


It's ultimately your own personal decision to become more eco-friendly. Just remember, the decisions you make today could affect the destiny of this planet and future generations - in a negative or positive way - for a long, long time.

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    • MKayo profile imageAUTHOR

      MKayo 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Relationshipc - Thanks for the read and the double comments!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Sorry - I don't know why my comment posted twice! lol

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Very good hub. My husband and I try to be as eco-friendly as possible. Just as a minor point...we have used TKO for our cleaning for over 5 years. It cleans everything - you will never need another cleaner again, and it is as pet-friendly as you can get. Worth checking out!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Very good hub. My husband and I try to be as eco-friendly as possible. Just as a minor point...we have used TKO for our cleaning for over 5 years. It cleans everything - you will never need another cleaner again, and it is as pet-friendly as you can get. Worth checking out!

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