BLACK VOICES
01/18/2014 11:24 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Making Your Home Your Best Ecosystem

Lisa Stokes via Getty Images

Your home is your sanctuary. A sacred space to unwind from the day and enjoy family and friends, separate from the daily grind. But you can also make it fun, green and functional. By blending nature and environmentally friendly products, you can create a home ecosystem that allows you to enjoy the best of green living.

To ensure that you are getting as much as possible from your new and improved green lifestyle, see if you can incorporate some of these habits.

Fresh Air
The air you breathe is as important as the food you eat. While lots of exhaust and pollution exists outside, it can equally, if not more so, build up in your home. Incorporate plants such as boston fern, golden pathos, bamboo palm, rubber plant, dendrobium orchids, peace lily, english ivy, and wax begonia to support in filtering the air naturally.

Remodel with Recyclables
If you're remodeling your home, consider going the recycle, reuse, and repurpose route by using salvaged goods and raw materials. From thrifting for furniture to finding reclaimed wood from a demolished barn, there are a number of way to save you money and give your home some unique characteristics.

Water Waste
Be mindful of water waste in the home. Make sure none of your faucets are leaking or dripping unnecessarily. When brushing your teeth, turn the water off until you're ready to rinse. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it to maximize efficiency. Install a low-flow toilet as they use much almost 50 percent less water than older models. If you have a garden, use drought resistant grass such as perennial ryegrass that doesn’t require much watering.

Unplug
Your bedroom should be a place of rest and relaxation. Consider turning off your WiFi and bluetooth devices before resting as some early studies suggest they could be disruptive to getting your best sleep. Remove a television from your bedroom and keep in your common rooms. Whether it be your TV, phone or laptop using devices, before bed may delay your body’s natural release of melatonin, leading to restlessness.

Convert your home into your best ecosystem and in turn, your home will support a healthier, happier, and eco-friendlier existence.

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