Earth Day, which is celebrated every year on April 22, marks the anniversary of what is considered the beginning of the modern environmental movement in 1970. A US Senator named Gaylord Nelson started the movement after witnessing the ravages of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Today Earth Day is celebrated in 184 countries by 5,000 environmental groups. To help celebrate Earth Day 2012 this Sunday we have put together a quick list of five easy ways to help keep your home both green and safe for you and your family:
1 – Choose low or no VOC paint. Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals that are off-gassed into the air. Some VOCs can be detected by their scent but many other times they are odourless. They continue to leach into the air for a considerable length of time. By choosing low or no VOC paint you can be confident in the air quality in your home.
2 – Use eco-friendly cleaning products whenever possible. Chemical-laden cleaning products can leave behind a chemical residue. Bleach, phosphates, ammonia, phenols and triclosan are just as bad for you as they are for the environment. Try making your own green cleaning supplies at home or look for third-party certified logos like the EcoLogo environmental Choice stamp.
3 – Say no to PVC. PVC is a common material used for everything from piping to vinyl flooring to shower curtains. However, most polyvinyl chloride emits carcinogens and is non-biodegradable. Choose a cloth shower curtain instead of a vinyl one and pick linoleum flooring over vinyl.
4 – Are you embarking on a renovation project? The materials you are removing from your home may be able to be recycled. It’s also a great idea to look for sustainable products wherever possible, such as formaldehyde-free bamboo flooring, Energy Star-rated appliances and lighting that uses LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs. Take it a step further by installing a green roof or solar panels.
5 - Window coverings can also make a big impact on the environment. Controlling the light can help to heat and cool your home. Plus you further help to lower your environmental footprint by choosing a natural material like bamboo, cotton or silk or VOC-free PVC shutters.
These days everyone is aware of their environmental impact. More companies than ever are creating products that make it easy for homeowners to become green. Making smart decisions for your home products is an easy way to make a big impact.