An Eco Friendly Family Home for Your Children

Make a commitment in your family home to be environmentally friendly year-round by using recycled plastic products and energy-efficient alternatives to reduce energy consumption.

Eco-Friendly Practices Start at Home

Earth Day promotes awareness of environmental issues and challenges people to renew their commitment to the planet by planting a tree, starting a compost pile or picking up trash in a local park. However, the Earth, could really use a year-round commitment. One of the best places to make that commitment is close to home. In fact, why not start with your home? The New Ecological Home: The complete Guide to Green Building Options, written by Daniel D. Chiras (Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004, $35), offers the following advice to make your home more eco-friendly.

Use green building materials- products that are durable, recyclable, efficient, and non-toxic. The book offers a green product checklist. Replace leaky, old doors and windows with energy-efficient alternatives that limit heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Consider using low- or no- VOC (volatile Organic Compounds) paints, stains, and finishes. If interior paint has less than 150 g/l (non-flat), it is low VOC. The amount should appear on the can.

Use recycled plastic lumber for decks and play sets. Not only does use of this lumber save trees, but it also prevents your family from exposure to the chemicals used in pressured treated lumber. Seek out carpet made from either recycled plastic products or natural materials (such as wool). Choose porous pavers for driveways and walkways instead of asphalt or cement. The pavers allow rainwater to seep in and reduce runoff from your property.

Use formaldehyde- free fiberglass insulation. Not only is this product safer for the installers, but it also protects your family from breathing formaldehyde gases. Ask for green building products from your home improvement stores. The greater the demand for such products, the sooner they will become widely available. There are many simple steps you can do to make your family home more eco-friendly.

Chesapeake Family serves parents and families in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Bowie, Calvert and Prince George’s County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.