It’s time to make our resolutions for the new year. Most resolutions involve losing weight, getting organized or banishing bad habits, but let’s make this year the “year of the home.” Let’s resolve to make our homes cleaner, greener and more welcoming for our families. What better way to start a new year than to focus on your family and home? Here are a few easy steps to start your home-keeping resolution for 2013.
1. Find a market or store that carries green cleaning products and replace just one of your cleaning products with a greener alternative.
2. Identify the biggest problem area in your home and resolve to find a system that will help you fix it. In my home, our biggest problem is the kitchen sink. At the end of the day, there is a mountain of dishes in and around the sink. I implemented a system where I run the dishwasher every night- no matter how many dishes are in it. Then, every morning during breakfast, I empty it. This leaves the dishwasher available for dirty dishes all day. Now, all the dirty dishes make it into the dishwasher without the excuse that “it was full of clean ones.”
3. Have the family talk about one nice thing you could get for the home that everyone would enjoy. It could be as large as a couch or as small as a lamp – but something that would add an accent to your home that everyone could enjoy.
4. Take out the slow cooker. Using a crock pot will use less energy, less pots and make you plan ahead. Coming home to the wonderful smell of dinner will make everyone in your family very happy.
5. Make some simple commitments to use less. Buy everyone a insulated mug in different colors so they don’t have to use paper cups. Do the same with insulated water bottles so you don’t have to purchase bottled water.
6. Make some green promises to each other. Everyone can promise to cut a few minutes off their showers, agree to use reusable totes at the store and always put on an extra pair of socks before touching the thermostat. Use family-friendly accountability tactics. No nagging.
7. Switch your family to an all-natural laundry soap. Using a simple soap verses a detergent can be a blessing for family members susceptible to skin irritations. If your family loves the scent of your current laundry detergent, add your favorite essential oils to your new laundry soap.
8. Think about switching out your old scratched pots and pans with some greener alternatives. Using cast iron is a much safer alternative and is a cinch to keep clean.
9. Have everyone in your family pick one topic that they can research and present to the rest of the family, including how your family can make some simple, eco-friendly changes. Recommend some green blogs that are fun to read and are great sources for learning how to make changes. A few you can recommend are: Keepersofthehome.org, TheDailyGreen.com, EWG.org and GreenCleaningCoach.com.
10. Take turns being the “light fairy.” Each week, make one person in your home responsible for turning off the lights in your home. This will give everyone gets a chance to see how much electricity you use as a family, and teach them to be more personally responsible for their energy consumption.
Photo credit: Getty Images