Simple Tips For Making Your Home Greener (Room By Room!)

I know that talking about “going green” can sometimes seem a bit like a fad that some people mainly want to do because it’s trendy, but I for one am so happy that’s it’s trendy and talked about more and more. I really think trying to reduce waste, limit toxins, and make your overall environment healthier is so necessary and beneficial to not only the environment, but also to your own personal health and well-being. So no matter why someone might be doing it, I think it’s still a great idea either way! I’m always trying to look around our house and find places where we can do better or make a change to be a bit greener, and here are a few simple tips, room by room, to change your home for the better, too!


One of the biggest ways you can reduce waste in the kitchen is to change your paper towel habit into a reusable system instead: unpaper towels to replace the paper version, rags for cleaning dirtier jobs, and cloth napkins for mealtime can cut down on a ton of paper waste and you can keep all the dirties in something like this under your sink and wash them together as needed. Setting up a recycling station in your kitchen is also a big help and it makes it easiest if you have a system where you can separate the recyclable from non-recyclable items right there instead of having to go outside to your recycling bin for every item. We have something like this installed under a cabinet or you could use a double trash can set up too. To cut down on unwanted junk mail that you’ll just throw away immediately (and who doesn’t want to do that?!), you can follow the FTC’s guidelines to help reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. When you are at the grocery store, try and find food options to buy that are unpackaged (like bulk items or produce) that you can put into containers you brought from home or choose glass jars over plastic when possible (or go to a farmers market or food stand and bring your own bags). Plastic can only be recycled a limited amount of times (and it has to be a certain kind of plastic to begin with), but glass can be recycled an unlimited amount of times. And speaking of glass jars, they are a great way to store leftovers in your kitchen instead of plastic containers (and you can buy them in sets like these too). I keep several in different sizes so I always have one to fit the food need. You can also get rid of kitchen toxins by switching out your dish/dishwasher soap and cleaners for non-toxic versions (check out our DIY dish soap with essential oils!).


The bathroom can be a big spot where you can trade in some toxic cleaners for a more green approach. Adding one tablespoon of this cleaner in a spray bottle (we love this one from Grove!) with 8-10 drops of lemon essential oil is a great option for a general bathroom cleaner and this cleaner is great for scouring a tub. Switching your toilet paper to a recycled paper or sustainable bamboo option is an easy way to help out and using dispensers like this for hand soap can be easily refilled with a non-toxic bulk soap option (or try an unscented option and use essential oils to create your own scent!). To save on cotton ball and face wipe usage, you can use these instead and simply wash to reuse again! You can also replace your shower head with a low-flow option to save water and that’s usually something that you should be able to do yourself pretty easily (low-flow toilets are another good option but more expensive and probably not a DIY job for most people).


You spend one-third of your life sleeping, soooo it’s a good idea to think about what you’re sleeping on so you aren’t breathing in gross chemical and pesticides while you sleep (Elsie has and loves this organic mattress brand). A big chunk of the world’s pesticides are used just on cotton, so choosing organic cotton sheets will also help you sleep cleaner and greener, too. Speaking of chemicals, the bedroom is where I tend to get bitten by spiders the most so using an essential oil spider spray is a great way to keep the 8-legged little guys away from your space without the use of harsh pesticides. Switching out your lamps and overhead lighting with LED bulbs is a great way to save energy as well as money as they can last up to 10 years (and you can get bulbs like this that let you choose how warm or cool the light appears).

Laundry room:

Switch out your artificially-scented dryer sheets with some wool dryer balls! The wool will help your clothes dry faster by helping to suck up moisture (thus saving energy) and you can also add some essential oils onto the balls so that your laundry still has a delicious natural scent fresh out of the dryer. You can also make your own dryer balls if you want more of a custom look. As a side note, if you decide to make a bigger purchase of a front-loading washer (which are generally more eco-friendly as they use less water), just remember to keep your washer door open when the washer is not in use so the rubber ring around the front can fully dry between washings—otherwise you can get a lot of hidden mold growth that can affect you by remaining on your clothing. If you have a front-load washer, just pull open that rubber lip and check for any black areas to see if you need a good cleaning on your machine (I know I did when I first checked). Wash your items on cold when you can and use a drying rack for clothes when possible—you’ll save energy and won’t shrink your favorite items on accident anymore!

Living Room:

This tip can work for every room in the house, but especially in rooms where you have a lot of electronics plugged in. Plug them all into a surge protector power strip with an on/off switch so that you can turn all the electronics off at night or during the day when you aren’t home and the items aren’t in use. We tend to think that if we don’t have an electronic item on there isn’t any power flowing, but there is as long as it’s plugged in! If the thought of all that switch flipping is getting you down, you can get a smart power strip where you can set a timer for when you want the power flowing, so it’s all set up automatically—cool! You can also add air-purifying houseplants to your space to clean up the air and diffuse essential oils rather than use artificially scented candles or air fresheners.

Of course, there are a lot bigger (and a lot more expensive) things you can do, like solar panels, for example. But I feel like trying to be more conscious is more of a process where you change small and easy things first and work your way up to bigger things in the future as you can afford them. It may be too expensive to switch out all your lighting to LEDs at once, but a lot more doable to just switch each bulb as they burn out so eventually they are all energy efficient. It can feel overwhelming to think you have to change every aspect of your life overnight, so don’t beat yourself up too much as you begin—it’s a journey, and hopefully, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, as you know better, you’ll do better. Let me know if you’ve made some simple green changes lately that you would suggest! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman, Amber Ulmer, and Alyssa Rosenheck. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Do you have any knowledge or tips for diffusing oils when you have furr babies? I’ve tried doing some research and it get so confusing and everyone has different opinions. I don’t want to hurt my cats by diffusing oils.

  • Thanks Laura! Love the reusable cotton balls! I’ve been reading about pets and essential oils lately. I know you have some sweet kitties so I wanted to ask your thoughts! I love using my diffuser but I’ve been nervous since reading about how it can affect our pets. Curious what you think!

  • It’s great to see things like this being discussed on such a mainstream and influential blog ???? I would add to the laundry room section that even better than using a dryer is to get your clothes drying out in a line when weather allows it! x

  • Actually using a cistern water saver in your toilet cistern is a really cheap and easy thing to do- for instance the Hippo cistern savers
    Also similar to showerheads you can fit inserts on your taps do you use less when washing hands/ brushing teeth etc. Also a shower timer to use less water. Composting, avoiding plastic packaging (trying to find shampoo in a glass bottle is hard!) and moving back to soap from shower gel all help. Agree about recycled toilet paper- why wouldn’t anyone do that? And using non-applicator tampons instead of plastic applicators, or indeed moving to the moon cup as someone else pointed out. Also probably having less children is a big one no-body wants to talk about!

  • Your home is just so lovely! Thank you for sharing these tips. My family definitely has an addiction to paper towels, but I try to use dish towels as often as I can.

    Eva |

  • These are such great tips. I never knew they did organic mattresses and a spider spray is a must! x

  • When I read the title of this post I was like ok this could be about being environmentally friendly, or getting more plants, or adding more of the colour green. and I was pumped to read either of those 3 topics XD great tips! I gotta get my family on the no paper towel thing

  • Tip: You can add a weight (like a gravel filled bottle) to your toilet cistern and it will cut water use!

  • I love this! Such simple ways to be more green, that I would never have even thought of! Thank you.

  • Great article! I like to think I have a fairly green home (no paper towels, composting, storing food in glass containers) but this article gave me so many additional easy changes to strive for. As my current products run out, will be referring to this article again and again. Thanks for compiling!

  • Vavv. Thats great. You are very skill about design. Thanks

  • Spring definitely has me looking for more ways to live a greener lifestyle. We’re thinking of composting soon, and I would really like to make some natural soaps. Thanks for all the tips!

  • Actually, there is a debate whether cloth napkins are actually “greener” because of the energy needed to wash them. Composting (if you have a garden) is also an option. If you use plain white paper towels or napkins (There are also recycled paper options for both) you can throw them into the compost along with certain kitchen scraps.

  • This home is gorgeous! I love all the added greenery!


  • We’re always looking for new way to be green! In addition to your tips we make sure to always store leftovers in glass Tupperware and to set our Nest to away when we we aren’t home. xAllie

  • This is great! Another bathroom item that creates a lot of waste — tampons and pads! I switched to using a reusable menstrual cup a couple years ago and LOVE it. Healthier for you (no risk of TSS) and the environment!

  • Thank you for the link to reduce mail! I get so many junk credit card offers and I hate having to throw out or recycle them every week.

  • I loved reading your blog! Thank you for you tips and tricks! As a budget -friendly lifestyle blogger it is so helpful! I also am all about this being good for the enviorment! Def shared it on my socials!

  • I love this, that’s exactly what I am trying to do with my home right now! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • I absolutely LOVE plants, so I always have them dotted all over our house! xx

  • Thank you for the guide! It’s so nice to see such a thorough one. Being more “green” or eco-friendly is such an important thing nowadays. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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