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Creating an Eco Friendly House

We currently live in a world overrun by plastic and disposable products. We know that it’s a problem. We know that it’s bad for the environment. However, it hasn’t clicked with everyone just how much damage we‘re doing to the world despite our efforts to become completely eco friendly. Things are still wrapped in plastic and styrofoam. We still throw them away, proud that we have one less item to dispose of. Is have a completely eco friendly house simply impossible? It seems that way doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Today, we’re talking about how you can shop smarter and more Earth conscious to give yourself an eco friendly house that any environmentalist would be jealous of.

Why Go Reusable?

I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds and thousands of times before but plastic takes a long long time to decompose. Due to our excessive plastic use, the oceans are disgusting, the forests are littered, and every inch of this planet is being harmed. But, instead of just talking at you, let me explain why using so many disposable products is so bad. How do they really effect the environment?

Plastic Bottles:

  • How Are They Made?

This material called Polyethylene Terephthalate (we’ll call it PET) is polymerized, creating two impurities within itself, diethylene glycol and acetaldehyde. This makes up the plastic. They do a lot of tests on the product to check that it has factors like transparency, impermeability to CO2, shatter resistance, gloss, pressure resistance, and thickness. Once the testing it complete, it’s blown into a molding with extreme heat. It goes through tubes and molds until it’s the desired shape. Then it’s cooled. It’s then trimmed and ready for transportation. That’s an awful lot of effort for a bottle you only use once or twice.

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

All these bottles end up in a landfill, or at least a percentage of them do. The rest causes land and water pollution. Because it takes so much oil to produce these bottles and they create such nasty chemicals, as they break down they begin leaking harmful chemicals. These chemicals disrupt the ecosystem, harm the animals, and aren’t very pretty to look at. In fact, according to National Geographics, plastic bottles and caps have become the 3rd and 4th most collected piece of trash in the annual Ocean Conservancy beach cleanup. Animals, both land and water, don’t know the difference and eat them anyways. This causes a lot of animals to die and if they don’t die from the chemicals, they die when we catch them. Then, surprise surprise, we eat them. Those who eat meat and fish consume pounds and pounds of plastic a year.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

Plastic bottles take at least 450 years to completely degrade.

More than a million plastic bottles are used world wide every minute. That’s 1,440,000,000 every day.

The U.S only recycles 30% of all plastic bottles used.

Manufacturing bottles takes up to 2,000 times more energy than just drinking from the tap.

Plastic Straws:

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

Much like plastic bottles, straws take hundreds of years to completely degrade. But, even then, they only break down into tiny particles. These particles release chemicals into the soil, air, and water. Not only do they harm turtles but they harm other animals, plants, and even us people. I don’t know about you, but I’m on a strict plastic-free diet.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

5 hundred million straws are used every single day in the U.S.

Plastic straws are one of the most used and disposed of plastic product.

Most straws are NOT biodegradable and can’t be broken down naturally.

They are particularly prone to ending up in waterways.


  • What Are They?

Those tiny beads you find in face washes, body scrubs, abrasive cleaners, and toothpaste. They’re small pieces of plastic. Yep, plastic again.

  • How Are They Made?

Through the same process as other plastic products. So, yes, they have lots of chemicals in them, You’re putting that in and on your body.

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

These guys are super small so passing through water filters is nothing. They end up in the ocean and contribute to the plastic soup that swirls around. Sea creatures eat and absorb the beads and we, again, eat them. They aren’t biodegradable and once they enter the ecosystem, it’s virtually impossible to get them out.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

They’re used as cheap fillers.

You’ll find them in a lot of cosmetic and self-care products.

There are over 500 products similar to microbeads.

After a single shower, 100,000 plastic particles can enter the ocean.

Wet Wipes:

  • How Are They Made?

Well, they’re made with more plastic! It’s not necessarily cloth or paper. It’s a plastic fiber that’s soaked in a mixture to make them soft and wet and clean. They’re easy to flush down the toilet but they should not be for reasons you could probably guess.

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

Most people flush these down the toilet. They end up in the oceans, washing up on beaches and being consumed by marine life. They don’t dissolve because they contain plastic. The chemicals they soak up drench the environment they end up in disgusting harmful products. We end up eating them.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

Last year, there was a 400% rise in wet wipes on beaches.

They don’t dissolve in water because they aren’t paper.

They can’t be properly recycled because people flush them away.

Antibacterial Gels and Soaps:

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

I’m so glad you asked! They don’t actually kill 99.9% of all germs. These products cause a rise in antibiotic resistant “super-bugs” while attempting to play God with your immune system. They have also been proven to interfere with the development of immune systems in children. This is not me telling you to not wash your hands or use antibiotics when necessary. Please don’t misinterpret.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

Those exposed to some germs have stronger immune systems.

Studies have shown that being clean is better than being germ-free.

Aerosol Cans:

  • How Are They Made?

They’re made in many ways but usually they are cans made up of metal that safely contain a pressurized liquid and gas. Your common household cans are made of steel with a tin lining to prevent reactions and rusting. The so called ”environmentally friendly” is made with more, you guessed it, plastic linings. Some are even made of glass, which is said to be the ideal material, but there’s a lot of pressure for such a fragile material.

  • How Do They Affect The Environment?

Other than the fact that a lot of them are made with PLASTIC, there are several reasons why they’re super dangerous. The active ingredient is a hazardous substance, which means it can harm you with chemicals. You can absorb those chemicals, get injured, or worse. If the can is damaged or overheated, it can explode all over you or the person using it. Not only that but they also emit a volatile organic compound that affects the ozone negatively and induce asthma in many.

  • A Little Info To Keep in Mind:

Empty cans are considered hazardous material.

The propellants in aerosols are EXTREMELY flammable.

Affects of these products actually change rainfall patterns.

The U.S has changed the propellants in aerosol cans to be less damaging but the same can’t be said for other countries.

I am not writing this to scare you. I just want to give you a little bit of perspective. You might think you’re helping the environment by buying reusable straws online or other reusable items but...they come packaged in plastic and styrofoam. Yes, you won’t be getting straws at the drive-thru anymore. However, you just threw out plastic packaging. It seems like a no win situation, right? WRONG!

How Can You Create an Eco Friendly House?

I’m so glad you asked that cause I do have the answer! So let’s review some ways to expel those harmful household products from your home.

  • Research:

This is probably the most important way to become more eco friendly. Read labels, search the manufacturer, look up the affects of making certain products. Doing this and using multiple sources seems like a lot and a bit of overkill, however, once you find the products you need/want in environmentally friendly forms you don’t need to do as much research. This applies to just starting this journey and finding new products. It’s important to stay informed and on top of things.

  • Make It Yourself:

This is the most effective, fun, and educational way to go about things. I’m not saying you have to make your own clothes or anything. You can, however, make your own cleaning products, soaps, personal hygiene products, etc. all yourself. Not only will you know exa toy which ingredients are in your items, you’ll learn how to make them all yourself. These are skills to pass on to your other family members. These are skills you can use to bond with your family and friends. You can set aside a day or afternoon to make your products then it becomes part of the routine.

  • Reusable Alternatives:

Here are a few alternatives to everyday items:

  1. Reusable water bottles

  2. Reusable coffee filters or a machine that doesn’t need a filter

  3. Shoes made out of recycled material

  4. Loose leaf tea

  5. Naturally made eyewear

  6. Cloth diapers

  7. Biodegradable trash bags

  8. Beeswax or soy food wraps

  9. Reusable glass, ceramic, or metal containers

  10. Bamboo or long lasting toothbrush

  11. Solar powered chargers

  12. Recycled pens

  13. Rechargeable batteries

  14. Reusable grocery bags

  15. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars not bottles

  16. Shower timer

  17. Compostable cutlery and bowls

  18. Reusable straws or no straws at all

  19. Natural laundry detergent

  20. Reusable toilet paper, yes it exists

  • Recycle:

This is big. Recycle as much as you can. A lot of businesses take recycles material and turn it into something that can be reused. These products are usually very environment conscious and that goes for the packaging as well, but always double check and remember your research.

  • Second Hand:

If you don’t play into the entire ploy of the fashion industry, you’ll greatly reduce the money you spend and the environmental impact of those manufacturing companies. You can thrift clothes. You can repair them and give them a new life. Alternatively, you can donate your old unused clothes too. Someone could use them.

  • Grow It Yourself:

If you’ve read our other posts, it’s clear that we enjoy growing our own herbs and produce. It’s a good way to reduce waste, control what you consume, and learn about the Earth. Plus, gardening is a proven stress relieve and hand work out.

  • Composting:

Not only will this give you organic fertilizer for your growing garden, it’ll also reduce your waste significantly. Instead of tossing old dry salad into the garbage, put it in the compost. This furthers the entire “knowing where your product comes from” deal. Besides, you’ll have loads of worms processing your fertilizer instead of eating your garden.

  • Turn It Into Something Else:

You have old stuff that you can’t recycle in the bin or compost? Clean it and give it a new life where it can be useful instead of garbage. There are plenty of hacks out there for turning plastic containers into helpful reusable household tools, storage, and even feeders. The same can be said for other materials as well. Besides, working with your hands is good character building.

Yes, this is a lot of work at first and it takes some time. However once you get into the groove of it, it’ll become second nature and you’ll be a big environmentalist. Mother Earth will love you and you’ll be super proud of yourself. The extra work is worth it for a safer happier home and planet. You’ll see the difference. You’ll feel the difference when you have an eco friendly house.

Creating An Eco Friendly House was researched, written, and edited by Emmalie Roberts. For more articles, check out our blog page, here, and don't forget to follow us on social media, here, for daily tips, tricks, and reminders for your path to holistic health.

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