As you know, this first week of the new year is typically the time we reflect on what went well last year—and what didn’t go so well—and we resolve to do better in the fresh year that lies gleaming before us.
For me, things have fortunately been going very well, but I know there are still a lot of improvements I can make when it comes to living more sustainably and reducing chemicals in my home.
In that spirit, I’d like to suggest a list of ten items I plan to tackle in order to turn my own home into a safer haven. Now I’m not saying that I’ll be able to accomplish all of these, but if I can pick even just two and more or less master those, then I’ll feel like I’ve truly made a difference.
Want to jump in with me? I invite you to select a few of these too, or come up with your own ideas, and let’s discover together the difference we can make in our homes. Ready? Here we go!
1. Reduce clutter. Sometimes the idea of a safer haven can just mean more peace and harmony in the home. Cleaning up my workspace at home (and encouraging my kids to do likewise) can help provide a sense of calm and peace that everyone appreciates.
2. Get organized. Once the clutter is at bay, I plan on taking 30 minutes here and there to organize one section of my house at a time. What a great feeling knowing where things are (so I’ve heard)!
3. Give stuff away. This is just good for the soul. I’ve given lots of clothes away as my children outgrow them, as well as various articles of furniture, etc. whenever I’ve purchased new. It just feels right, and it’s a good way to model generosity for my kids, too.
4. Cut back on single-use items. By this I mean things like paper towels and disposable plasticware, etc. Just something as simple as using a (BPA-free) reusable water bottle instead of purchasing already-bottled water can keep tons of plastic out of our landfills and waterways.
5. Reduce consumption. I’ll be looking for ways to conserve resources like energy, water, gasoline, etc. All ideas are welcome!
6. Dust and vacuum at least once a week. This was number one on the list of ways to make your home healthier, according to WebMD. I will probably enlist my kids’ help on this one!
7. Recycle. We do a pretty good job of recycling at our house, I’m proud to say. And I’m also glad to see the employees at Norwex choosing to recycle plastic, aluminum and paper. Here’s a handy chart to help you remember which types of plastic are recyclable. Remember: 1, 2, 5, 4—these are the ones you’re looking for!
8. Read labels. Look for key words like “BPA-free,” “lead-free,” “USDA Organic” and “non-toxic” to guide your purchase decisions. Be vigilant in scouring ingredient lists for chemicals of concern.
9. Repurpose. Almost anything can be given new life through reuse or repurposing, plus it’s a great outlet for your creative juices. Here are some of my favorite ideas shared by readers from a 2014 contest.
10. Share your success stories! Who knows? Your small, conscious choices could influence your friends as well as the rest of us here on Norwex Movement to make similar changes. If everyone does something, together we’ve done a lot!
Who’s in? I’d love to see your name in the Comment section below! Jump in to 2016 with me by sharing your commitment to create a safer haven for your family. Let us know what small, conscious choices you’ll be implementing—or what you’re doing now to reduce chemicals and live more sustainably. I’ll keep you posted on my success, too!