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Going green has become more than a movement; it has become a habit. But for many, going green still sounds Greek. What does it involve, exactly?  Does it require a 180-degree change of lifestyle? The transition to going green is often met with skepticism, especially because while it is environmentally friendly, it is also perceived to be costly, time-consuming and inconvenient. It isn’t just about recycling, choosing organic products, or hugging trees. It isn’t even necessarily about joining clean-up and tree-planting projects.

The very basic definition of “going green” is living life with the conscious effort to do as little harm as possible (or none at all) to the planet, so that its environmental and natural wholeness is preserved for this generation and the many next ones. That may be a mouthful to say, but the truth is, a commitment to love Mother Earth starts in the home. It’s as simple as bringing canvas sacks with your to the grocery store to use instead of paper or plastic bags. It may be a little tweak of habit like turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth. Or, it could involve more substantial family decisions such as purchasing a “greener” family car.

Having your family embrace the green movement is not an overnight endeavor, but it isn’t impossible, either. There is no perfect timing when it comes to deciding that you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Start small and go from there. Here are five simple tips to get your family started on a greener, healthier, safer, and ultimately brighter life.

Steer clear of harmful chemicals: From your daily shampoo, to your couch’s cushions, and even to what’s in your makeup kit, you are bound to come in contact with several different substances and chemicals every day. Blame it on the age of modernity — not a lot of people ask what’s in their products anymore. The keyword to look for is “nontoxic.” Just as many of the products out there are unsafe for you and your family, there are also several alternatives that are not as dangerous to your health and to the environment.

Improvise. Instead of buying cleaners of all sorts, make your own. Vinegar can be used to effectively clean glass, just as baking soda is ideal for scouring and cleaning almost any surface. Also, use microfiber cloths that hold more cleaning agents so that you can cut your usage by half.

Look around your home. Are all your furnishings made of natural materials? This is especially important if you’re shopping for new home furnishings that have treatments, adhesives or coatings. Be wary of fumes from paints and adhesives.

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Clean your air: We’re talking about the air inside your home, as this is where you spend majority of your time. Contrary to popular belief, the air indoors is not always cleaner. In fact, it may even be more polluted than the air outside. This is because air indoors is congested with carbon monoxide, radon, secondhand smoke, formaldehyde, benzene, and other compounds.

First, determine where your air pollutant is coming from. This way, you can easily get rid of the products. The second thing to make sure the air your family breathes is safe is to purchase only nontoxic products. An air purifier works by trapping any contaminants suspended in air, but nothing works as well as adequate ventilation. Open the windows for a few minutes every day and let the breeze through. You can even try growing these indoors plants to reduce air toxins.

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