Easy ways to make your home a green home| 11 Magnolia Lane

Spring has sprung, and there’s lots of green outside (yay!).  But you can make the inside of your house more “green” regardless of the season, with these simple tips.

houseplant

Those of us who stayed awake in science class know that plants “breathe” carbon dioxide and release oxygen, so we already have a perfectly symbiotic relationship.  But did you know that there are real and significant benefits to keeping houseplants?  Benefits like decreased risk of colds, less dust in the house (boo-yeah!), lowered blood pressure, increased air humidity, and more {read all about it here at Going Home to Roost}.

And several types of houseplants actually filter toxins out of the air–indoor air that is universally recognized as being more polluted than outdoor air.   Here are the top ten best plants for filtering indoor air:

 

Top 10 air-filtering houseplants

{click for source}

I have to be honest, compared to some of those expensive air purifiers and ionizers on the market, these are much less expensive AND more attractive to boot!

green-clean

I love a clean house–even though it’s a sad rarity in my messy little world–and I spent years scrubbing with bleach, ammonia, and other harsh cleaners in an effort to kill germs.  When my first child developed asthma, we spent a small fortune on air purifiers (I guess we should have bought houseplants!) and carpet cleaning.

Knowing what I know now about the strong chemicals I was using and the harsh fumes that a few of them emitted, I might have been doing more harm than good.

JR Watkins natural dish soap | 11 Magnolia Lane

In the past few years, I’ve started using a combination of DIY cleaning solutions and more natural cleaners.  Vinegar and water, baking soda, lemon and almond oil are all incredibly useful and versatile cleaners.  I use all of them when I clean.

And my favorite way to clean fingerprints off stainless steel?  A little bit of olive oil on a super-soft cloth–so much less toxic and expensive than the petroleum-based stainless steel cleaners you buy at the store!

Method cleaners | 11 Magnolia Lane

When I buy cleaning products, I like the Method line, JR WatkinsSeventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s, and Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.  Amy swears by The Honest Company for their cleaning products, and she’s super-sensitive to chemicals, so if she endorses them, then they have to be gentle.

We both use a steam mop now as our primary go-to cleaning essential–it cleans, sanitizes, kills germs and dust mites AND uses plain old tap water to do it, making it both green and cost-effective.  If you add a drop of lemon or lavender essential oil, it makes your house smell amazing, too.  Can’t beat that!

recycle

Recycling is so mainstream now that most of us have curbside pickup, making it so convenient that you don’t have any excuse not to.  I don’t even have to sort my recycling, so I just keep a brown paper bag next to my trashcan and we put all of our recyclables in there.  Amy has a bin in her closet-turned-mudroom:

Recyling container in closet-turned-mudroom | 11 Magnolia Lane

To me, the thing that makes a recycling center most effective is putting it where it’s easily accessible–for you and the rest of your family.

Composting is another great way to recycle newspaper, coffee grounds, grass clippings, fruits and vegetables, and more.  Pretty Handy Girl Brittany has a great post on composting {here}.

{Click here for source}

{Click here for source}

decor

OK, I couldn’t resist, because decorating is my favorite thing.  Of course you should incorporate green in your decor to welcome spring!  I added a throw pillow and fresh flowers in my front entry:

Front entry with springlike touches of green | 11 Magnolia Lane

And a little more green and white on the back porch:

Green and white striped fabric on covered porch | 11 Magnolia Lane

Then finally, a DIY moss-covered initial for the front door:

DIY moss-covered initial | 11 Magnolia Lane

Be sure to visit us at 11 Magnolia Lane to see all the other ways we’re welcoming Spring (and green) into our homes!

Thanks for stopping by–

Final New Christy headshot 2015
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