Decorating & Design - Green Living

25 ways to live green at home

Easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be a better friend to the environment.

Being environmentally friendly doesn't have to mean sacrificing your sense of style. Smart choices can ensure that you do your part, all the while looking (and feeling!) good about your contribution to our planet's wellbeing. Here are 25 ways that you can live green at home and be a better friend to the environment.

1 Buy for the long-term. Save toward a quality sofa, for instance, rather than a series of cheapies that you'll be throwing out every five years. A well-made sofa can be recovered several times over the course of its decades-long life.

2 Pack a litter-less lunch. Make sure your food storage containers are free of harmful bisphenol A Built NY's Lunch Tote, which is perfect for office brown bagging (in cooler colours, though!), fits the bill nicely.

3 Lower your thermostat a few more degrees and cosy up with your sweetie under an eco-friendly bamboo throw! Check out executive editor Laurie Grassi's fave new bamboo throw.

4 Buy cotton mesh produce bags and take them to the market instead of using plastic bags for your fruit and veggies. They will help keep them fresh in your crisper drawer, too, and are washable when needed.

5 Renovating? Add character to your home with reclaimed and salvaged items. Top hits: re-plated chrome bath fixtures, re-enameled vintage bathtubs, reclaimed barn board flooring and salvaged architectural accents like columns, corbels and mantels.

6 Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Look for products that are biodegradable, phosphate-free and not tested on animals. Seventh Generation, Ecover, President's Choice Green, Method and other brands are widely available at supermarkets, health food shops and drugstores across Canada.

7 Or just check out your cupboards: Vinegar diluted with water is great on windows and floors; baking soda is great for gently scouring and deodorizing kitchen and bath surfaces.

8 Use reusable shopping bags when grocery shopping. Executive editor Laurie Grassi shares her pick of reusable bags in her Natural Chic blog.

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