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Making (Small) Differences in 2016


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New Years Resolutions

Let’s Jump in Together!

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!

Resources
Friends of the Earth: Reducing consumption
Web MD: 10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Safer and Healthier
Green Blog: Plastic by the Numbers!
Green Blog: Share Your Story Week 1 Winners!

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Deb Fezzuoglio
Deb Fezzuoglio
5 years ago

Count me in!

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner
5 years ago

Always looking for ways to improve the way we live and how it impacts the environment. I’m in!! Thanks Amy!!

Christine Becker
Christine Becker
5 years ago

I think I am going to work on No. 8. I’ve been feeling like I use too much canned food and so I’m going to make a conscience effort to look for BPA free cans and / or organic canned food to help with that.

I also feel like I purchase too many items that I already own. For example, I love tea and I keep buying more and more without finishing what I already bought. This year I am going to focus on the tea that I already own and enjoy that before I purchase more. This will definitely help with my space situation in my tea drawer and help with my budget! Hopefully this will overflow into other areas of my life…like maybe clothes…but I’m going to start small!

Thanks for the post!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago

Great feedback, thanks Christine. Small, conscious efforts are what the Norwex Movement is all about!

Cathy petersen
Cathy petersen
5 years ago
Reply to  Moderator

Amy- is there a Norwex product in the making that could substitute for the gallon plastic baggies used for freezing frozen fruit or left over dinners?
I use glass for leftovers in the fridge but can’t out glass in the freezer.
I’d love to hear your ideas!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago
Reply to  Cathy petersen

Hi Cathy, what a great question! We are always open to great product ideas, and will certainly take this into consideration. Meanwhile, here’s a link to an article that lists several alternatives for plastic storage bags suitable for use in the freezer: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/how-freeze-food-without-plastic.html. Good luck!

Johanna Chepernich
Johanna Chepernich
5 years ago

Thanks for the ideas and encouragement! All great ideas. I tried last January to take some time each (or every other) day to declutter/organize specific sections and that really helped to keep it at bay, gotta do that again.
I’ve also started to not purchase shampoos, body products with chemicals in it (that I know of, like SLS) and really try to go more natural – Norwex body cloths are my best helper in that! 🙂

Anne Baudouin
Anne Baudouin
5 years ago

1. We are switching green tea brands because our current one produces too much garbage.
2. Also I am going to reduce buying groceries that are out of season and buy locally.
3. Dusting regularly will continue to be on my list – hope I will actually be on top of this one.
Best wishes for your New Year’s projects – may you realize success and together we will be better for our combined efforts.

Ramona Saatkamp
5 years ago

Love this! Norwex has sparked something in me about using up, giving away, etc., a lot of the little bottles of this and that around the house. I won’t be storing all those chemical bottles in my cupboards, under my sinks, and lots of other items will be gone, too. Feels great. Love having more room. Which…..will help with #’s 1 and 2–unclutter and get organized! Have a great 2016.

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago

Way to go, Ramona! We agree: it DOES feel great knowing you’re turning your home into a safer haven for you and your family. And having the additional room in the cupboards and under the sinks isn’t bad either!

Barbie Boyle
Barbie Boyle
5 years ago

I am going to further cut down on my use of paper towels & napkins. I’m looking into going back to cloth napkins. If Norwex could put these in their product line, that would be awesome! I’m also looking into a composting bin. Does anyone else compost and can you recommend anything in particular? I saw a tumbling one with a crank which seems much more appealing than trying to turn the materials with a stick or paddle. (Gag)
I have always been really good about recycling and everyone is already using reusable bottles, etc. Giving up my diet soda addiction this past summer has also reduced what has to be recycled. Eating pretty clean also reduces the amount of garbage and recycling! With an empty nest and down to just one small dog, the house stays a lot cleaner. Planning on keeping it that way!

Hattie Walker
Hattie Walker
5 years ago

One of the nicest ways to freshen your home is to open the windows. After days of heavy rain here in the UK, the sun came out this morning and I opened all the windows and let the fresh air in for a couple of hours. It feels good to air the house and it was free too!

campsuz
campsuz
5 years ago

let’s do this!

Dana James
Dana James
5 years ago

This is a great to do list! I have already started .

Inez Smith
Inez Smith
5 years ago

I need to work on reducing garbage and repurposing items.

Jennifer Jones
Jennifer Jones
5 years ago

Totally jumping on board with all 10 of these ideas!

Brittany
Brittany
5 years ago

#2 I start off great and then as year goes by im not so organized lol

Sheri Silvis
Sheri Silvis
5 years ago

This is awesome information!

Christina Meekins
Christina Meekins
5 years ago

I’ve decided to focus on reducing clutter and giving a bunch of clothing away. We’ve done garage sales for a number of summers in a row which I think were great ways to teach our kids the value of money, but now I think it’s time to reinforce the values of charity and reusing in this particular part of our home. Besides these two, we need to get better about vacuuming more often. The dusting at least the kids like to do with our Norwex mitt so that one is not so bad. 🙂

Hope Beach
Hope Beach
5 years ago

These are all great ideas to get off to a fresh New Year! Happy New Year to you. I am definitely making it a priority to reduce cluter and start getting more organized. I already do most of the list but I need to get back to vacuuming once a week and dusting more!! And I definitely need to get my kids on board! They’re older so they’re set in their ways and can’t understand why I’ve all of a sudden started doing all this “hippie” stuff around the house. God forbid I try to save some money and do good for myself and the earth! haha

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

Totally relevant for 2018 too! <3