As we head towards the end of the year (although you’d never know it was Autumn here in Southern California), here are some key eco-friendly steps you should take for the safety and sanity of you, your family and of course the environment.
Image by NCBrian
None of them are hard to do, but each of them helps in making sure you have a clean, green Autumn/Winter.
1 – Get some indoor plants. Since many of us tend to spend more time indoors during the colder months, you need to take steps to counter-act your indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can often be worse that the pollution outside. So work on improving your indoor air quality by getting a few houseplants.
2 – Air out your house regularly. Another way to improve indoor air pollution is to air out your house on a regular basis. Even if you just open your windows/doors for a little bit each day you help to get fresh air circulating through your home. Not only will it help you feel better, but it helps get it of any “stale” odors that often linger.
Image by piermario
3 -Do a little Spring cleaning. Even though it’s already Autumn, it is still a good time to do some cleaning. You are probably planning on having friends or relatives over during the holidays, so a little cleaning is in order. Just be sure to use natural, green cleaning supplies to give your home that really fresh, just cleaned smell. It’s much better than having a chemical smell permeating through your home.
4 – Donate. If you are like most people, you have at least one or two or three….or ten things sitting in a closet somewhere that you never use. Rather than keeping those things, you should donate them. Holidays are a great time to donate clothes, books, kitchen appliances, toys, etc. to charities. You get rid of things you don’t use and give someone else a chance to put them to good use.
5 – Schedule your downtime. In this day and age, we seem to always be connected somehow. Whether we sit all day on our computers, or bring our cell phones with us wherever we go, we seem to be “connected” all day long.
Image by Luna Jubilee
So do this…schedule in some downtime. Every day just walk away from your computer and your cell phone, your iPad, your iPod, etc, etc. Go take a walk. Ride your bike. Even sit outside enjoying the day (or evening). But schedule some time for yourself every day, above and beyond sleep time. You are worth it.
6 – Get your vehicle inspected. If you haven’t had your vehicle inspected recently, now would be a smart time to do so. Get everything checked out. Get your oil changed, tires rotated, tire pressure checked, fluids topped off, brakes checked…give it the full treatment. Doing so will help your vehicle run better and get better gas mileage. Using a proven fuel additive helps lower emissions and improve gas mileage too.
Besides, getting your vehicle fully inspected could save you a lot of time and money. Nobody wants their vehicle to break down, especially during the cold weather months.
7 – Move your garden indoors. Maybe you live someplace where having an outdoor garden during the Autumn/Winter just isn’t feasible. If that is the case, move some of your garden indoors. Growing your own food is not only healthy, but it’s smart too. If your food supply got cut off for some reason, at least you’d have your garden. Besides, no time like the present to start growing.
Image by ccharmon
8 – Winterize your transportation. Telling you to ride your bike on a cold, stormy day isn’t necessarily eco-friendly. But figuring out how you can ride-share, car-pool or mapping out your public transportation route for the Autumn/Winter is a simple eco-friendly step. There is no reason to drive by yourself in bad weather, when your co-worker lives a few blocks away. There is no reason to weather a storm, when you can join a vanpool. Before the bad weather hits is the best time to plan out your eco-friendly transportation.
9 – Make a gift list. One of the ways to save money during the holidays is to ensure you get the best deals on gifts for family and friends. I always start with a gift list. Make your list and include ideas of what you think each person would like. Then remember that not every gift needs to be something new and expensive. Handmade gifts made by children are some of the most cherished. An antique gotten at a yard sale or consignment shop could mean more than a brand new item at a local department store.
10 – Face each day with a smile. This may be one of the simplest steps of all, but it is also one that many people forget to do. No matter what is happening around you, if you walk into each day with a smile, you may find yourself having a better outlook on the rest of your day. Try it…smile. That’s right, SMILE! It’s contagious.
So, be sure to add these 10 eco-friendly steps to your ‘to-do’ list! Also, please share any other green steps you take to have an eco-friendly Autumn/Winter. It’s always good to learn from the experience of others.