With only a couple days to go until Earth Day, prepare to get inundated with a billion things we can do — should do — to save our planet. Although there will likely be plenty of events to attend and planet-themed parties to enjoy, one of the best places you can celebrate Earth Day is in your own home!
If our homes are a reflection and expression of our lifestyles and values, then it makes sense that we start making conscious (i.e. green) choices at home. The issues affecting the Earth — from the oil crisis to water shortages to disappearing species — are complex, and can seem distant and insurmountable, but it is essential to understand the correlation between our everyday environments and our larger ecosystem. Everything and everyone is interconnected, and even the simplest act, such as turning the water off when we brush our teeth, creates positive change.
I’m a bit of a fanatic regarding pure air. I once (single-handedly) moved a dresser into the hallway of a charming B&B because of the mothball smell (my boyfriend at the time was not impressed). Admittedly, it has never been easy being me/green — I smell everything! Synthetic perfumes, soaps, laundry detergents, “air fresheners” and other conventional “fresh smells” gag me. (I must have been a bloodhound in a previous life.)
The “official” first day of spring may have been March 20, but with the cold weather, it certainly didn’t feel like it then. Now it seems like spring has finally sprung!
I may have “reached that age” when I appreciate each spring just a little more (or maybe it’s just my recent memory of the brutally cold winter), but the colorful spring buds are making me extremely happy this year. Another thing that makes me happy is the feel of a de-cluttered, freshly cleaned home, so spring cleaning is on my mind. Some of you may not have gotten around to this annual rite of passage yet, while others may feel ready for a second pass at it after all the recent rain (and the inevitable mud it invites in). Either way, before you start cleaning your home, consider doing a clean sweep of your chemical cleaning products first.
When my husband and I bought our first place, my answer to that question would have been 440 square feet per person.
We had everything we needed in that space, including a spare bedroom for guests and enough “party space” for gatherings with friends. But it didn’t take long before the lure of our first house — an 1800s Victorian — made us feel as if we needed to double our living area to 925 square feet per person. (Sound familiar?)