A green yard, butterflies, the scent of blooming flowers, abundant water, natural ventilation, etc etc are fast disappearing. Urbanization has fast wiped out all this. But, there are many nature loving people interested in eco-friendly life style. The first step starts right at our homes. Here are some easy ways to a green and eco-friendly home:
1. While moving houses, give preference to houses that allow ample sunlight and air flow.
2. While building houses, plan your window placements as per wind flow. Ensure every window / door in the house has an opposite window or door to allow movement of air. For maximum air flow, it is always good to have windows facing East / West. Nothing can beat open courtyards and skylights to make your house bright and airy.
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3. Grow your own vegetables. This is the best way to reduce carbon foot prints. Every imported fruit or off – season vegetable in the super market was grown in a far away place and has been transported to your location. It has used up fuel and resources in travelling all the way. Instead buy from local farmer market, or grow your own vegetables.
4. If your garden space is limited, incorporate vegetable plants into your existing garden in an aesthetic manner. For example, spinach makes an excellent ground cover, instead of the familiar lawn. Beetroots, carrots, cabbage, turmeric etc make good border plants. Pumpkin, bitter gourd, bottle gourd etc would make your fence or alcove a pleasant sight.
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5. Terrace gardens act like centralised air condition systems in keeping out heat. If you live in an apartment, it is an excellent opportunity to plan a community garden involving all residents. It is fun, easy to share the work, and also gives a constant supply of fresh flowers and vegetables.
6. Do you have a balcony or patio? Convert it into an english garden or a zen garden or a green reading corner. All it needs is creativity, a few potted plants and a couple of chairs 🙂
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7. Re-direct your tap water / or washing machine outlet to water your garden. It helps recycle and save a great deal of water.
8. Have a terracota jug or pot for storing drinking water. This is the best and safest source of refreshing cold water.
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9. Use neem oil, with crushed garlic to keep away mosquitoes. They work wonders in keeping out bugs, flies and mosquitoes. Neem leaves can also be used to prevent stored rice, wheat and grains from rotting.
10. If you live in hot areas, traditional flooring like terracotta tiles, Athangudi tiles keep your house cool through out the year. They are also easy to maintain and clean.
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An eco-friendly home is not about having a green lawn and bird bath. It is about small things that reduce our consumption and help recycle. Let us do our bit in conserving and preserving nature around our house.