Maintaining a Healthy and Environmentally-Friendly Home

Making environmentally-friendly choices for your family and your home can also translate into healthy choices. From eating local to getting indoor plants, there are many ways that you can be happy and comfortable in your home year round.

 

1. Eat local, or plant your own food.

Eating local is great for your health and the planet’s health. Local food tends to have more nutrients since it ripens naturally, and food that travels long distances is often picked before it’s ripe. Local food means less greenhouse gas emissions, as it travels shorter distances and is often farmed in a more sustainable way. Similarly, you can consider starting your own at-home garden to plant your own food.

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Money and Energy Saving Tips for Spring Yard Work

The temperatures are rising and the flowers are blooming! With the longer days and warmer weather comes some yard work. While you’re getting your lawn and gardens ready for the season, we have a few tips that can help you save money while reducing waste and your carbon impact!

Compost yard waste

You’re going to be removing all kinds of carbon-rich “browns” from your yard. Thatch (a layer of dead organic material between the root and green parts of grass), sticks, dead leaves you didn’t clean up in the fall, and similar materials are great additives for your compost pile. You want three parts “browns” to one part “greens” (more recently-alive, nitrogen-rich materials, such as plant clippings) to keep everything decomposing well. You can add the finished compost to your garden soil or lawn later in the season to promote growth.

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Berkshire Eagle: Solar Access program a ‘game-changer’ – just ask this Adams homeowner

“Noyes owes his energy-saving success to being the first person to enroll in Solar Access. The year-old state-sponsored initiative is designed to make solar energy more affordable for middle- and low-income households…”

Read the full article here

Learn more about the Solar Access program: cetonline.org/solaraccess

Eco-Friendly Cleaning

We can finally look forward to warm temperatures because spring is here! For many, the blossoming of flowers and the budding of trees renew our dedication to cleanse our homes of all the dirt, dust, and any other debris we’ve accumulated during the winter.

There are several cheap and sustainable alternatives for household cleaning, which allow us to get away from chemically driven cleaning products. Dirt and dust aren’t the only culprits for indoor air pollution, the off-gassing of chemicals in cleaning products are also to blame. Time to make the switch!

Look at what you have on hand, and what you use it for. This will help you find eco-friendly substitutes for any harsh chemicals you may have.

Baking soda effectively cleans, deodorizes, and cuts through grime.

  • For a heavy-duty toilet and shower cleaner mix ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle, let it sit for several minutes, then scrub and rinse after applying the solution.

Lemon juice annihilates bacteria, mildew, and mold.

  • Tired of bleaching your cutting boards? Lemons are a great alternative to disinfecting wood or plastic cutting boards. All you need is to cut a lemon in half, scrub over the desired surface, and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing. Talk about a non-toxic solution!
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Plastic Pollution Solutions: Home, Sweet Home

According to the EPA, over 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the early 1950’s. That’s more than the weight of the entire human population! In 2015 alone, the US produced 34.5 million tons of plastic, including packaging, durable goods, and disposable items. The rate of plastic production and consumption has grown faster than any other material on the planet. This holds especially true for single-use plastics such as straws, silverware, cups, bags, and more, which for many of us, have become an integral part of our lives. Our plastic pollution problem is the result of consumption by manufacturers, processors, and residents.

Why is plastic a problem?

A 2017 study recently uncovered that only about 9% of plastics are truly recycled. The majority – almost 80% – accumulates in landfills or scattered around the natural environment. One of the most well-known end spots for plastic is in bodies of water, including rivers, lakes, and the ocean.The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastics on the planet. It totals 79,000 tons of plastic – over 94% of which are microplastics, pieces smaller than a grain of rice. If we maintain our current plastic consumption, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish by 2050

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