5 Easy Ways To Green Your Routine

Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
With it being Earth Day and all, maybe your desire to be eco-friendly is somewhat heightened. Perhaps you want to consider being more conscious about the environment and your health, but you're nowhere close to eating all organic, "freeganing," or adopting a zero-waste lifestyle. Baby steps are what you need. Don't worry, us, too.

So, we asked Trudy Dujardin, interior designer and author of Comfort Zone: Creating the Eco-Elegant Interior  for five seriously easy steps to a super-stylish abode with the green credentials to match. They're simple, low stress, and don't require a total overhaul on your life.
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
Just set that air freshener down and back away. Dujardin says, "Chemical sprays that claim to add the scent of fresh-baked cookies are just a long list of chemicals that may smell good, but don't promote good health. That includes scented candles that could be filling the air with carcinogenic fumes." Instead, set the mood by lighting 100% beeswax candles and keep the wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch.
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
Banish plastics from your life whenever you can. It's a plastic cup-by-cup battle. "Drink from a china mug, store leftovers in glass bowls, and ask your coffee shop to serve your coffee in a biodegradable paper cup," she says.
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
No one wants unwanted visitors, but resorting to big bad bottles of poison is not the answer. "Try natural combatants instead," Dujardin says. "Flies hate the smell of basil and spiders detest citrus. Squeezing a lemon into water in a spray bottle and squirting it into corners where they hide is a no-chemical way to tell them they're not welcome. If you have ants, wipe the counters with vinegar. Repel fleas by sprinkling salt into your rugs and vacuuming every three days. And, apparently mice can't stand peppermint." Their loss, our gain.
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
It's perhaps the simplest of habits, but taking off your shoes can help prevent dirt and bacteria from being tracked around your home. "Keep a basket for shoes at the door and keep a few pairs of inexpensive footie socks available for visitors who might get cold feet," she says.
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Illustrated by Mary Galloway.
We might all know that cleaning with chemicals isn't the best for us, yet we still do it. But, it's not too hard to go over to the light side. "Say goodbye to your commercial cleaners, and you’ll be saying goodbye to alkylphenol ethoxylates, ammonia, chlorine, lye, formaldehyde, petroleum solvents, and synthetic fragrances, as well," she says. Fortunately, we have a guide to making your own natural and safe cleaning products.
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