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Guest blogger Jackie Edwards gives tips on how to make daily choices that help you to green up the air inside of your home.

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Studies show that the concentration of air pollutants can be two to five times higher inside than outside. Often, this is related to cooking practices. Molecules and toxin such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulates. These contaminants can cause health problems like headaches, dizziness, and chronic diseases.

As a population moving towards a greener future, it is vital that we think about the inside of our homes as well as the outside environment. For this reason, we want to cover tips on how to green up the air inside of your home. These daily choices can help you live a more sustainable, healthier lifestyle.

No Smoking Please

If you or someone in your household smokes cigarettes, a pipe, or cigars, consider making the rule that there is no smoking allowed inside. This household rule will help to keep the inside of your home free from the particulates that such smoking habits generate. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) has been shown to contain approximately 4,000 compounds, at least 40 of which have been linked to cancer.

Cooking Ventilation

Do you cook or heat your home with solid materials such as wood or coal? The little particles and carbon monoxide gases emitted by cooking materials are sources of pollution in the home. Get into the habit of ventilating the places in your house where cooking is done. This habit will help you keep the air clean. Read more about clean cookstoves

House Plants Can Help

Plants can be thought of as filters for the air. Within the environmental movement, we often see people protecting forests or planting new trees because trees contribute to the greening of the Earth’s atmosphere. The air inside of our homes can also benefit from the greenery. Keep a small house tree or potted plants with plenty of green leaves.

Green Building Materials

The building materials used in your home’s construction will affect the air inside of your house. Whenever you add something to your environments, such as paint, carpet, insulation, flooring, or furniture, research the material first. Look for materials that have a low volatile organic compound (VOC) rating.

The air inside of your home can become polluted, just as the air over an entire city can be dense with smog. To keep the air inside of your home clean and pollutant free, you can work on building up a few healthy habits. Never allow smoking inside, and always keep your cooking area well ventilated. Include houseplants in your decorating scheme, and only use building materials, furniture, and paint that are safe and environmentally friendly.

 

See more of Jackie’s writing: 

A little closer to home: sustainable everyday life choices

A guide to sustainable travel for seniors

Beginning at home – the next generation of sustainable travelers

How to choose an eco-friendly hotel

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Getting rid of habits and changing behaviour to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle on a personal level can be challenging. Let’s say you have noticed that you throw out a lot of food because it has gone bad before you’ve had the chance to eat it and you want to reduce the amount of food wasted in the future. more » Read more

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Sharing has become a main driver for our economy. Using underutilised assets allows us to improve efficiency, sustainability and community. Through user-generated web content, and with the growing popularity of renting goods rather than buying them, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, connected, and conscious.

Here are some ways to become a part of this movement:

  • Check out these 14 pioneers of the “share economy” to learn more about what’s out there already.
  • Break it down to a more personal level and incorporate sharing in your everyday life to improve your sustainability efforts on a smaller scale yet with a bigger and long lasting impact.

Do you want to go on a journey to become more sustainable or even ultimately adapt a zero waste lifestyle, but don’t know where to start? Sharing knowledge and tips within a community of like-minded people is the key to success. Consider these three steps to get rolling:

  1. Get to know your neighbourhood: Explore the area you live in to see which services and goods are available locally. Visit nearby markets and keep your eyes open for small businesses that offer local and organic products but may not necessarily have their own brick and mortar store.
  2. Attend events to learn and connect: Browse for festivals, workshops or other sustainability-related events in your neighbourhood or city. Make sure to green your commute when you go. This is an opportunity to connect with local businesses offering organic or sustainable sourced goods and services. Building relationships is essential in the process of creating a stronger community, as knowledge and updates can be shared and accessed more easily in the future. Contribute to the conversation by sharing what you have previously discovered and learned about your neighbourhood.
  3. Grow your community: Raise awareness about causes that matter to you and invite friends and family to join you in an initiative, challenge or at the next event. Start conversations that encourage others to rethink their own behaviour and actions, and support them to change and improve their lifestyles in a sustainable matter.

Walking the talk is not always easy and you may face difficulties, but remember that together you can tackle every challenge more easily!

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Guest blogger Jackie Edwards reminds us about our everyday choices and suggests sustainable ways to start the new year!

Humans have unarguably an enormous impact on our planet. With a growing population needing ever more resources, it’s really important to think about how your life has an impact on the environment around you, and take responsibility.

Some of the greatest effects are the most obvious – like air travel, for example, which is why being a sustainable traveller is really important. However, there are plenty of things to think about a little closer to home as well – consumption of petrol in the USA has more than quadrupled since the 1950s. Sustainability is important in all areas of our lives but really does begin in the home. Small changes to your everyday life will add up over the years to help make a positive impact for generations to come, so consider what you can do differently.

 

Consumable resources

Reducing your water and electricity consumption is a great place to start. Both are necessary to everyday life, but making sure that you are using it efficiently and without unnecessary waste is really important. Get your plumbing checked out for any leaks, and reduce the amount of water your toilet uses to flush – and even try an eco-friendly shower-head. Swap your light bulbs for low-energy LED models, and remember to turn them off when leaving a room – as well as other electrical items like your TV or laptop. You can also help the bigger picture by switching energy suppliers to one committed to using green renewable power.  

 

What’s on the table?

Sustainability isn’t simply about using less: it’s also being smarter about what we do use. Take a look at your pantry and fridge: where does your food come from? How far has it travelled to reach your plate, and how sustainable are the growing and manufacturing processes. You don’t necessarily have to turn vegan, but choosing ethical and sustainable local sources for your meat and dairy products is one way to reduce your impact. Buy only what you need to reduce wastage, and set up a compost bin in your garden to avoid sending any organic scraps to landfill.

 

Shopping and material goods

Whether you’re picking up your weekly shopping or making a big, one-off purchase, take a moment to think about the wider impacts of your choice. Home cleaning products, for example, can contain some really nasty chemicals, which create problems further down the water system – and make sure that as much packaging for food and other products you buy is recyclable or reusable. This is also a good idea to consider when you’re choosing big-ticket items like furniture or electrical equipment: what is its lifespan and how will you get rid of it? Make sure it can be recycled or re-used, and consider paying a bit extra for a quality product that will last longer.

 

Some of these changes will require altering habits and comforts we just take for granted – but with a commitment to sustainability driving you, it won’t be long before this becomes the norm and you can be more confident about your impact on the planet.

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3 Apps for a Sustainable Lifestyle

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Sustainable Lifestyle sustapps02The path to sustainability is a hard one, with many bumps and detours along the way. Here are three free apps that reminds, challenges, and guides you in living a sustainable lifestyle.

Rippl

Sometimes, the biggest challenge in going green is remembering to do so. How many times have you forgotten to bring your reusable bag to the market or say no to that straw at the restaurant? This is where Rippl comes in. Developed by the Ocean Conservancy and Invoke, Rippl can send you daily reminders as well as a green tip every week. By using Rippl, users also help researchers by providing data to analyse collective impact in reducing trash. (Photo: www.appicker.com)

Sustainable Lifestyle rippl

JouleBug

JouleBug is an interactive app that help you develop sustainable daily habits by earning pins, points and badges for actions as simple as turning the lights off when you leave a room, taking short showers or using a reusable bottle. The app is very easy to use and comes with videos that can help you complete challenges. You can even have a healthy competition with your friends and share your accomplishments on Facebook(Photo: www.joulebug.com)

Sustainable Lifestyle joulebug

Seafood Watch

Living sustainably means eating sustainably too. Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app helps us make food choices that are healthy for ourselves and the world’s oceans – 80 percent of which are over-exploited. By using this app, we can be sure that the seafood we are eating are not endangered and have been sourced sustainably. Seafood Watch provides you with a colour-coded seafood guide – green (best choice), yellow (good alternative), or red (avoid). It can even use your phone’s GPS to provide you with a guide that is specific to where you are. (Photo: www.dianamartinez.net)

Sustainable Lifestyle seafoodwatch_screens_1

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