Guest Post by: Nicole Dunham
As homeowners, we can reduce our carbon footprint and lessen our negative impact on the planet by making our homes more sustainable. Creating greener homes isn’t just collecting plastic bottles and installing energy-saving window treatments, however. Check out the following ways your family can make your home healthier and greener:
Of course, gardening provides your family with fresh produce and saves you money, but it’s also a rewarding extra-curricular activity that brings the family together. Feasting on homegrown food is a lifestyle change that enhances the experience of cooking and eating.
Consider installing raised beds in your garden, which are easier to tend to and help create an attractive and organized appearance. You may want to begin by planting salad greens, which are usually ready to harvest in four to six weeks, especially during the spring. Rosalind Creasy Edible Landscaping recommends you order these seeds under the name “mesclun mix,” or make your own mix by combining spinach, chard, mustard, rocket and endive seeds. Once you master growing these greens, expand your gardening to include potted vegetables – just make sure to use high-quality soil and follow experts’ recommendations for that particular crop and your part of the country. Sunset.com has more information on how to fertilize and harvest homegrown vegetables, including beans, carrots, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
Green Party Planning
Trying to think of a theme for a dinner party or your child’s birthday party? Go green for your next extravaganza, from cooking an organic meal and baking an organic dessert to using eco-friendly supplies and decor.
Children’s Birthday Party: Host your green birthday party by sending eco-friendly invitations that have been custom-made with recycled paper and natural accents, such as flower petals and colored star and heart paper-bag cutouts. Adorn your home with homemade birthday decorations that lessen your family’s impact on the environment. Eco-friendly party supplies, such as sugar cane-fiber napkins, will also green up your party. Have younger kids participate in earth-friendly arts and crafts, such as making and decorating a homemade boat out of a juice box.
Adult Dinner Party: Using the freshest ingredients(maybe from your own garden?), cook an organic, healthy meal for guests. Suggestions include organic vegetarian lasagna, smoky veggie quesadillas, a green greens and rice casserole and Portuguese kale and potato soup. After indulging in your healthy feast, serve an organic dessert such as epicurious.com’s carrot cake with cream cheese and lemon zest frosting or double ginger cookies. Accompany dinner with eco-friendly wines such as organic, biodynamic, natural or vegan wines.
Eco-Friendly Decorating and Designing
You can remodel your home to be more energy-efficient by installing green recessed lighting and designing your home with these eco-friendly touches:
- Bamboo hardwood flooring or recycled carpet installations
- Bamboo sticks in floor vases
- Soy candles and recycled glass candlesticks
- Lamps with recycled tin or aluminum shades
- Live plants
- Reclaimed wood furniture
- Organic fruit displays
Living in an eco-conscious home and maintaining a sustainable lifestyle will not only benefit the environment, but it increases the well-being of you and your family, too. Whether you’re cooking up freshly grown salads or investing in recycled designs, keep going green.