DEEP: Practice P2 at Home

Home, Green Home

{Image of CFLs, grass, shopping cart, renovation, cleaners and water drops}  
Whether you live in the city or a small town, a house, apartment or condo, you can prevent pollution, save money, protect the environment and your health through the choices you make every day.

Energy  - Find out how to conserve energy, save money and be comfortable in your home all year.
Shopping - Purchase (or not!) with the environment in mind.
Non-Toxic Products/Household Hazardous Waste - Learn about alternatives to toxic products; how to dispose of medicines and hazardous products; information of the potential health effects and environmental impacts of specific products.
Green Building and Renovation - Design, construct and chose green products for healthier people and a healthier earth.
Indoor Air Quality - Breathe cleaner air inside your home.
Lawn and Garden - Have a healthy, green lawn without conventional pesticides. Conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - Practice the 3 R's to reduce your environmental impact.
Water Quality and Conservation - Water is a precious resource. Learn how to protect it. 
Stay Informed - Subscribe to our free newsletter, P2 View ; find out about other environmental publications and videos.

Shopping
  • Think before you buy! Ask yourself: Do I really need it? Do I already own something like it? Is it adding to the clutter in my home? How will I dispose of it? Get more green shopping tips.
  • Avoid wasteful packaging and single-use products.
  • Buy reusable, repairable, rechargeable or refillable products.
  • When appropriate, buy reused, reconditioned, or refurbished rather than new.
  • Buy "greener" products. Check out the Green Guide, "Greener Choices for a Greener Planet"
  • Seek out locally grown food or goods manufactured locally.
  • Purchase wood products from sustainable forests (look for independent certification labels).
  • New American Dream "helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice."
  • For information on sustainable furniture, go to Sustainable Furniture Council.
  • Remember to take your reusable shopping bags to the store!
  • Is it really "green?" Read "8 Ways Not To Get Tricked Going Green" from Earth 911.
 
Non-Toxic Products/ Household Hazardous Waste
  • The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) is a non-profit organization that compiles scientific evidence on the health and environmental problems caused by endocrine disruptors. 
  • Learn more about alternatives to toxic products found in the home. 
  • Follow the "recipes" for some home-made non-toxic cleaners. (Also available in Spanish.)
  • Tox Town, developed by the National Library of Medicine, is an interactive guide to help identify commonly encountered toxic substances that effect your health and the environment. Visitors can take a virtual tour through the city, a parks, home, river and other locations that reveal environmental and health concerns.
  • The Household Products Database provides easy to understand information about the potential health effects of ingredients in over 2,000 brand name products. Search by  product category or specific brand name.
  • Green Seal, a non-profit organization, provides information on products that they have certified. Products are evaluated to ensure that environmental impacts and human health are considered. 
  • You may have more toxic products in your home than you think! Products like oil-based paints, cleaning products and insect sprays are considered Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and should be disposed of at an HHW collection, not in the trash.
  • Antifreeze can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested and can contaminate water if spilled or leaked. Learn how to manage it properly.
  • Deicing products can cause skin irritation to people and pets. They also contain chemicals that can deplete oxygen levels in ponds. Learn about alternatives .
  • Do you work on engines and use degreasing products? Learn how to use them safely and with less impact on the environment.
  • Don't flush disposable cleaning wipes down the toilet. They can cause clogs at pump stations, resulting in sewerage overflows and expensive repairs.
  • Don't throw out unwanted prescription drugs and over the counter medicines in the toilet or sink. They pollute our water supply and harm fish and other aquatic life. Follow these instructions for safe disposal
  • The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has created a new Healthier Furniture Product Guide to help purchasers find products that do not contain the “hazardous handful” chemicals: flame retardants, fluorinated stain treatments, antimicrobials, PVC and formaldehyde. 
 
Green Building and Renovation
 
Indoor Air Quality
The air in your home can become polluted from gases released from fireplaces and gas stoves, molds, cleaning products, and chemicals used in building materials and more. Poor air quality can make you feel sick and cause breathing problems. Find out how to keep your indoor air clean.
  • The air in your house may be more polluted than you think. Learn how to improve your home’s indoor air quality
  • The CT Dept. of Public Health has information on how substances like asbestos, lead, mold, radon, carbon monoxide impact indoor air quality. 
  • Learn more about healthier air in the home from the American Lung Association.

Lawn and Garden

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Water Quality and Conservation
  • Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a new tap water database that includes information about contaminants in drinking water.  The tool includes over 50,000 water utilities across all 50 states.  
  • "Just flush it and forget" is a common advertising message to get you to buy disposable wipes. The wipes - even those marketed as flushable - don't break down fast enough.  They can cause clogs at pump stations, resulting in sewerage overflows and expensive repairs. Please help us spread the word
  • Find out how to save water all around the house by taking the  H2ouse Water Saver tour.
  • Look for the WaterSense  label to choose quality, water-efficient products.
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
  • Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
  • If you must water the lawn and garden, use timers and drip hoses early or late in the day.
  • Collect rain water in a rain barrel for use on the lawn and garden.
  • A rain garden, grassed swales and pervious pavements are just of few of the techniques you can use to reduce stormwater run-off to protect our water supply. Learn more
  • Each of us uses 100 gallons of water per day! Read more about water use in your house (P2 View).
 
Stay Informed
  • Subscribe to the DEEP's Office of Pollution Prevention quarterly newsletter, P2 View. It's free and has many articles related to greening your home.
  • Get environmental tips from EPA  delivered to you via e-mail or podcast.
  • Watch DEEP videos on organic land care, composting, grasscycling and more. 
  • A "Green Home Is A Healthy Home" (pdf) is a printable brochure with many tips on how greening your home will benefit the environment and your health.

 
Content Last Updated August 2017