21
Dec

The 10 Best Indoor Plants

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Houseplants are an awesome addition to the home for two reasons. They bring a bit if nature indoors and they are mini air purifiers. Selecting the best varieties for air purification and also the best variety for your space is the essential. You want plants that clean the air efficiently but that also won’t overwhelm the space. You also need to make sure they are easy to take care of and also not toxic to any pets you have. It can be a bit overwhelming to pick the best ones but the graphic below shows you some great options. Enjoy!

best indoor plants

Image credit goes to Larks and Larks.

Monday, December 21st, 2015

1 Comment on The 10 Best Indoor Plants

8
Sep

5 Easy Tips to Freshen Up Your Home

by Tiffany in A Green Home

5 Easy Tips to Freshen Up Your HomeI am all about being happy and content with what you have. Bringing some freshness into your home is surprisingly simple, and can make a big difference in how you feel and how your home looks. Here are five easy ways to freshen up your home – this fall or anytime!

1. Add Some Color

Repainting is definitely room is one way to do this, but I am talking about easy ways to freshen up! So to add a pop of fresh color, try these ideas:

* Rotate out some colorful throw pillows on furniture
* Hang a couple prisms or suncatchers in windows for the effect
* Brightly-colored placemats and table runners add color to your table
* Decorate with fresh fruit and flowers to add a colorful punch
* Paint picture frames a funky color

2. Wipe Down Walls

This doesn’t have to be complicated – just a bucket of sudsy water and a rag, and you can remove years of grime from your walls. It may look like a fresh coat of paint, and it’s a lot easier and cheaper than painting!

3. Polish Wooden Furniture

This not only makes your wooden furniture gleam; it also makes your home smell great. Use something citrus-y for a really bright, clean scent. You can make your own furniture polish using olive oil and lemon or orange essential oil if you like.

4. Add Houseplants

Add some healthy, green houseplants to your windowsills and bring a wonderfully lively look to your rooms. Hanging houseplants also add drama and greenery. If you choose varieties that clean the air, then you’ll literally be freshening things up by making the air cleaner!

5. Get Rid of Clutter

It may be time to Konmari your home and get rid of anything that is not useful and which does not spark joy. Storage containers hide things but we need to ask ourselves why we have so much stuff we need to hide away.

 

16
Jun

3 Ways to Help Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Green home Steps

Whether you’re a proud greenie, interested in long-term environmental solutions, or simply want to make a dint in your electricity bill, there are plenty of reasons to make your home eco-friendly. Have a look through some of the suggestions below and see what might work best for your home.

1. Invest in Solar Power

Few things are as overwhelmingly positive for the environment and for your incoming bills as solar power. Installing solar power panels at home is a relatively simple procedure, and while it may cost a little bit to install, your next power bill will show you exactly why it’s worthwhile. Harnessing the sun’s energy means you may need to change up a few habits. Putting the dishwasher on in the morning instead of when you go to bed or having a shower in the morning instead of the evening ensures you aren’t wasting valuable solar energy. To find solar energy solutions to suit your home, speak with a solar energy company like Absolute Energy Solutions to see what is available.

2. Say Hello to the Sun

If you’re serious about making your home more eco-friendly, it’s time to think about your heating and cooling techniques. Avoid using cost-heavy, energy-burning air-conditioning systems by embracing the weather and working your home to fit in with it. In winter time, find the side of the house where the sun first hits, and make sure all the blinds and curtains are wide open so the sun can filter in and warm the house. When the sun moves away, close the curtains and doors to stop the heat from dissipating. At night-time, close up any unused rooms – you’d be amazed at how much heat can be trapped by doing so. In summertime, keep blinds and curtains drawn during the day to minimise the effects of the sun, and throw open all your windows from late afternoon to catch any breezes.

3. Be Water-Wise

Water is one of the big things most people overlook, but being water-wise is a really great way to become eco-friendly. This includes everything from saving water, recycling water, and being aware of where your water (along with any mixed-in chemicals) goes. The first big water-wise tip is to be smart with your usage. Wash your car over the lawn, keep a bucket in the shower with you and use the water that is caught for your garden, and invest in a hose nozzle that restricts water flow. Nozzles can be found here to help you save water in your own home. You can also invest in timers to keep your showers shorter – just doing this can save thousands of litres of water every year. When you use chemicals (in the shower, when washing your car, and in the kitchen), remember all of them will eventually make their way through the drainage system to the natural waterways – think about what you’re using, and whenever you can, choose your chemicals with the environment in mind.

These are just a few simple tips that can make a big difference to any household. Have you used any of these? If so, let everyone know what worked well for you – or share any other tips you have – in the comments below.

26
May

3 Effective Ways To Save Power & Money This Summer

by Tiffany in A Green Home

3 Effective Ways To Save Power & Money This Summer

Summer is in full swing, and if your house is anything like ours sometimes it feels as if summer sucks the money right out of the front door. Between the high costs of water, air conditioning, having the kids’ home from school and everyone wanting to go places and do things it can seem as if there is never quite enough money for everyone who is demanding it. But how would you like to actually save money this summer?

I know that it may seem impossible as you are budgeting, but you really can save money by using these three simple ideas to get started saving and let yourself get creative. Why only three? Because you are busy this summer and it is easier to stick to smaller, defined goals than a broad range of tips of and ideas. Once you get started though you’ll find yourself coming up with even more ways that you can save.

Save Money on Your Energy Bills

One of the easiest ways to save the most significant amount of money this summer is to acclimate your home and family to the natural cycles of heat and humidity. The best way to do this is slowly adjust your air conditioning to higher settings during the day. Take about a week and slowly adjust your settings each day. You may find that your weather is too hot and humid to go without AC altogether, but this method can significantly reduce the amount you spend on air conditioning. In addition, try turning the AC off altogether in the evenings and use ceiling fans, floor fans, and window box fans to keep the cooler outside air circulating through the house.

Also instead of running the dryer use a clothesline and hang them outside to dry. They don’t have to be permanent or bulky structures either. Many are portable so that picky homeowner’s associations won’t have a reason to cite you. Plus, kids can help you hang and remove laundry. And while we are on the topic of sun power why not look into a solar power buyers guide and see if solar panels are feasible for you. There is nothing like paying pennies for your monthly energy bill in the summer because you powered up with the readily available sunlight!

Save Money on Your Water Bills

Water bills can be prohibitively expensive during the summer, especially if you are trying to keep your yard green and also allowing your kids to play in the sprinklers. Well, there are several ways to cut down on your water bills. First off is to reuse all of your water, and I do mean all of your water. Save the water from your baths and showers as well as your dishwater. Mind you, you’ll have to switch to biodegradable soaps and shampoos, but believe it or not, your shrubs, flowers, houseplants and even garden vegetables seem to thrive on recycled water, so don’t be shy!

Another way to save money on water is to buy a kiddie pool instead of letting your children play in the sprinkler. Buy a pool with a cover or rig a mesh cover that will prevent leaves and bugs from getting into the water so that you don’t have to refill the pool as often.

Saving Money by Skipping the Vacation

The idea of not going on a vacation can seem absolutely depressing to most people. After all, isn’t getting away from it all what summer vacations are all about? Now I’m not suggesting that you not take a vacation, but that you don’t go anywhere on your vacation. No mind you, you have to do some preparation for this kind of vacation so that you won’t slip into your usual home routine. You can choose a theme (such as a Caribbean cruise or a Tour de France) and plan your meals and activities accordingly. You can schedule a number of day trips to local attractions that will keep you out of the house. The point is to enjoy your time off without having to pay the ridiculous hotel, restaurant, and resort fees. Just using this idea alone you’ll end up with money leftover at the end of the summer; money you normally would have spent on something else.

While there are dozens of ways to save money over the summer, hopefully these three have given you a place to start so that you can get through the summer  without feeling as if your budget has been sucked dry and you can head into autumn with a little jingle in your pocket.

12
May

The Scoop on Indoor Air Pollution

by Tiffany in A Green Home

When you think about all the pollutants we breathe outside from the cars, factories, and businesses all around us it may come as a shock to know that in general, INDOOR air pollution is more likely to be a problem for us. Not only do the indoors have their own serious issues, as much as 25% of outdoor pollution can follow us indoors. Inside of doors you will actually find 2 to 5 times the amount of air pollution. Scary! Think about how many hours we spend inside. According to the graphic below it is 90% of our time.

What exactly are we breathing in during that 90%?

Dust mites, pollen, pesticide residue, carbon monoxide, pet dander, VOCs from furniture and paint, dust, mold, mildew, radon, carbon dioxide, car fumes, and much more. Yuck!

The healthy air checklist highlights some ways you can clean up indoor air and it serves as a great reminder about what products to avoid so we can make our homes less toxic. With a few changes in some of our habits and our consumer spending we can clean up our indoor air!

Indoor Air Pollution Infographic

Indoor Air Pollution infographic from AirFilterBuy.com