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How to Start Eco-Friendly in a New House

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The task of detoxifying everything in your EDC (endocrine-disruptor) and chemical-laden home is beyond daunting. 

Everything from your dish soap to your sofa fabric contains harmful chemicals that the FDA and EPA have determined are safe in measured quantities…

But so little research has been done into which quantities and which length of exposure actually impacts human development, that the “safety” of these chemicals is doubted by many. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if you were given the chance to start fresh… clean… unaffected? After all, even if you throw out all of your leading-brand cleaning supplies and moisturizers, you’ve sprayed your home’s surfaces, gotten moisturizer on the ceramic tub, and been breathing polluted indoor air stuffed with flame-retardants and formaldehyde.

It can be tempting to just…

Throw the whole house away.

Which lots of you might be doing as we speak. 

It’s officially peak moving season. You see, 80% of all moving occurs in April or September, and most people start looking for new places to live up to six weeks before the big move (earlier if you’re buying a house.)

Meaning… 

It’s the perfect chance for a fresh start.

Below, you’ll find several ways to use this opportunity to move forward in an eco-friendly way. 

Assess Your Current Staples

If this seems like a herculean effort, that’s because it is.

But it’s worth it.

Take a look at your:

  • Dish soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Surface cleaner
  • Grease cleaners
  • Stain removers
  • Window cleaners
  • Bubble bath

It’s likely that you’ll find PFCs, phthalates, glycol ethers, dioxin, and bisphenol A (BPAs) among the ingredients.

Use your move as a chance to (safely) ditch the old cleaning products and make your own new ones. As long as you have distilled white vinegar, unscented liquid castile soap, baking soda, essential oils, and lemons, you can pretty much replace all of your industry cleaners.

Donate What You Don’t Need

Moving house is the perfect chance to ditch the unnecessary gear weighing you down — and cut down on your moving time.

As you’re packing up, really take inventory. You’ll probably find things around the house that you haven’t been using because they’ve been hidden in nooks and crannies. 

And if you’re not using it, you don’t need it, right? Pay attention to clothes, tsotchkes, tupperware, bath products, books, furniture, old blankets, etc.

Repurpose What You Don’t Donate

Were you planning on throwing away some of those old clothes, blankets, and towels? 

Use them to help you move instead of cardboard boxes! Recent reporting has actually shown that the ripple effect of online retail has reduced the overall rate of cardboard recycling worldwide. 

But if you wrap items to be moved in blankets, towels, and sheets, use totes, tubs, and buckets for moving, and use old t-shirts for cleaning the surfaces of your old place instead of paper towels…

You haven’t added to your carbon footprint.

Trick the New Place Out Efficiently

Replacing and renovating the place you already live in can be complicated. Your supply closet is stuffed to the gills — where are the light bulbs? You need to touch up the paint in the living room, and the paint you have might contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

But in a new place…

You can start over!

Only buy LED light bulbs, since they require less wattage than other leading types, last longer, and save on energy.

Buy non-VOC paints for the rooms in your house.

Replace your showerheads with Energy Star or WaterSense showerheads, which can save 2,300 gallons of water per year (also reducing the demands on your water heater and extending its life.)

Make sure your attic is insulated! If you’re not sure what insulation does, it’s very simple. It lowers the movement of heat through surfaces, which means that heat isn’t escaping as much during the winter, and cool air remains in the house through the summer. That means you’re using your HVAC units much less than with an uninsulated attic.

Ultimately, there are many more ways you can make sure that your home isn’t running at the expense of the environment.

You can build garden boxes in your backyard (often easier than trying to repair existing damaged soil which contains the runoff of chemicals from pesticides, antidepressants, air pollutants, and more.) 

You can start a compost bin in your yard as well, since we know that uneaten food in landfills gives off immense proportions of methane gas. 

You can eliminate the use of plastic in your home, opting for beeswax wraps for food, glass containers for storage, and wicker and wood whenever applicable.

It’s all a bit overwhelming…

But starting green is a whole lot easier than converting an already-running household! 

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