The New Year is a time for resolutions, goal setting, and improvements on our lives from the year before, and I know that even though it's only the third week of 2013, you may still be feeling the effects of 2012. One of the most common New Year resolutions is getting in shape to fit into those tiny Carnival costumes. But, why not try a different type of New Year resolution? This year, instead of purchasing gym or personal training membership (which you probably won't commit to), try to reduce your carbon footprint at home. These resolutions will help make your home a more functional, appealing and a stress-free place.
These days, most of us are aware that we need to cut down on our energy consumption for more energy efficient homes. In fact, many of you may have already made the switch from incandescent lights around the house to compact flourescent lights (CFL bulbs). Always unplug appliances, machinery and electronics that are not in use. Electronic devices that are not in use but plugged in, continues to draw power.
Rediscover the clothes line
Yes, I can hear you saying, "Is she still living in the 80s?" No we are not, but line drying is pure bliss. As Trinbagonans we are blessed with beautiful weather for most of the year. Less use of your dryers each week and month will reduce your light bills considerably, as long as you have access to a backyard or line space. I promise you that your clothes will smell like fresh air and sunshine.
Remove clutter and organise
Make 2013 the year you clear out the clutter from your home. There is a general rule of thumb, that if you have not worn, used or looked at it in three (3) months you are not going to in 2013. You could sell furniture, clothes and shoes on Marketplace on Facebook or have a weekend garage sale. You can also recycle furniture; for example, turn an old dresser into a desk. For a more charitable approach, you can also donate items to the Salvation Army or children's homes and so on.
Whether it is a kitchen garden or plant for decorating our patio and homes you should plant something. Try using organic soil when planting. What's better than making a salad for lunch made with the lettuce and tomatoes you planted. Also, green plants are a good way to create oxygen in the home. So plant something, anything, it helps the environment.
Buy organic & local
When possible, buy and eat organic foods. Every week, there are tons of locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and provisions sold in every market and supermaket in this country. When eating out, try eating at restaurants that serve locally produced or seasonal foods.
Try your hands at composting this year, because it is an amazingly easy way to make a difference. Making your own compost will be beneficial to you, your plants and the environment. It will reduce the amount of household garbage you generate which will translate to less tax dollars spent on collection and disposal. You can use a wheelbarrow as your compost bin and the contents of which can be added to your garden, lawn, houseplants et cetera to improve your gardening soil.
Pay attention to packaging
When out shopping, try to go to stores or co-ops that keep packaging to a minimum. For example, you may choose to buy loose tomatoes rather than boxed or plastic-wrapped tomatoes. Also, take reusable bags to the grocery and market.
Hopefully, these tips will help you move closer towards your home decor goal...................Enjoy!
Lisa Moore Owner Lismoore Drapery & Interiors Member of the Window Covering Association of America (WCAA).
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