Everyone knows the benefits of recycling, turning off lights when you leave a room, and grocery shopping with reusable tote bags. But if you want to kick your green efforts up a notch, here are some creative ways you can reduce your environmental impact from home. Plant native species. The summer heat might tempt you to fill your backyard with exotic plants from tropical climates to create beach vibes, but planting native species that can adapt to your local climate is much better for the environment. The plants are easier to grow and maintain, and they create a friendlier and healthier habitat for wildlife. Pro Tip: If you plant your trees and shrubs in strategic areas, then they can help regulate your home’s temperature and cut down on the need to use central air conditioning. Make household cleaners. Chemical cleaners get the job done, but at what cost? Many store-bought cleaners are full of harmful chemicals and components that can damage THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX 3 Unique Ways to Be Eco-Friendly
Transform Your Backyard Into the Ultimate Entertainment Destination
Whether it’s for family entertainment or future shindigs, warm weather beckons people into their backyards. Here are three ways you can transform your backyard into a place where entertainment is nearly endless.
Take the kitchen outdoors.
your household items, yourself, and the environment. However, your pantry might be hiding a few simple items you can combine to make your own cleaners that are just as effective. For example, if you mix white vinegar, water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs, you’ll have your own all-purpose cleaner for stains, smudges, and disinfecting. Plus, it will have an appealing scent.
There’s something about food on the grill that draws people together. Instead of just rolling a grill onto your patio, create a space for people to enjoy the cooking process with you. Construct countertops with built-in storage where you and your loved ones have all the supplies needed to enjoy the cooking process together. A comfortable seating area complete with a picnic table should be close by so that those not cooking don’t miss out on the action. And if you really want all the luxuries of an indoor space outside, then fill a cooler with cold drinks and hook up a TV.
Get in the game.
Pro Tip: Always research which natural items are safe to combine and use around your home before you start experimenting with mixes.
Encouraging fun games and competitive activities is a great way to stay entertained outdoors. There are lots of options for backyard games, and many of them are easy to construct yourself. You can dig a long sandpit for horseshoes; trim your lawn short for bocce, croquet, or miniature golf; and even build your own cornhole and ladder toss games. These games and their various equipment are versatile and easy to store, so you don’t have to resort to just one.
Swap paper for cloth. If you stop and think about it, then you’ll probably realize you use a lot of different paper products in your home, such as napkins, paper towels, and tissues. Some of these are recyclable, but most aren’t. If you want to reduce the amount of trash you generate, then use cloth napkins when eating meals, rags and towels for cleaning and hand-drying, and a handkerchief for nose- blowing. They’re washable and reusable, meaning you generate less product for the landfill.
Gather around the fire.
The fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. Spend summer nights around a crackling fire right in your backyard. Make your firepit unique by constructing it from brick or stone and gather an array of crafty benches, comfy chairs, or fun logs and stumps for an authentic camping feel. Keep a bin of blankets on hand, right next to the s’mores supplies. And don’t forget to brush up on your scariest ghost stories. You don’t need a huge backyard or a swimming pool to create a place that people love to gather. By getting creative with your entertainment options and adding your own personal touch, you’ll create countless memories to reminisce on for years to come.
Pro Tip: When doing laundry, always use cold water instead of hot to save energy.
There are countless ways for families to reduce their environmental impact every day beyond the above suggestions. All it takes is a little care and creativity.
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