small ways to transform your home into an eco haven

get the word on a reducing impact

Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect on both our relationship with the environment and discover ways to contribute to a cleaner planet for the future. As a whole, homeowners and apartment dwellers are becoming more aware of how their lifestyles directly affect the environment and opting to make positive changes to reduce their planetary impact.

For many residents of the Front Range, environmentalism is directly tied to consumer choices, as evidenced by an abundance of eco-conscious businesses and a collective love of green spaces. Below are just a few ways that homeowners can adopt a more eco-minded lifestyle and deepen their relationship with the environment.

// the indoors //

Many of the ways homeowners can reduce their waste starts in the heart of the home. Waste is often tied to the way we prepare and consume food, so it makes sense that the kitchen features the most practical ways to reduce impact.

reusable produce bags

Beyond the tried-and-true method of reusable shopping bags, shoppers can take the extra step of reducing waste by purchasing their own reusable produce bags instead of opting for the single-use plastic option at the grocery store.

100% natural sponges

Dishwashing sponges are often the bane of a tidy kitchen: they collect bacteria, are often unsightly and do not withstand the test of time. Instead of disposable synthetic sponges, homeowners can make the swap for natural sponges — either in a washable cotton form, or by using a bamboo bristle brush that can withstand months of cleaning.

compost containers

The average American wastes approximately 219 pounds of food per year, creating environmental repercussions such as nitrogen pollution and water waste. An easy way to combat sending food to the landfill is by composting food scraps and, in effect, feeding the soil. Compost containers range from small wastebaskets to DIY outdoor bins, so homeowners and apartment dwellers can easily choose a system that works for them.

Even better: Local companies like Denver Compost Collective offer a compost pickup service while the City of Boulder requires trash haulers to provide curbside compost pickup.

multiuse products

A quick peek into the refrigerator reveals even more ways to live a less wasteful lifestyle. Plastic snack bags can be swapped for reusable silicone bags; paper towels can be easily replaced by reusable bamboo cloths. Fans of sparkling water can ditch the bottled or canned versions of their favorite beverages for a more eco-friendly SodaStream.

// the outdoors //

Crafting a more eco-friendly outdoor space can be more complex than an easy product swap. Most eco-friendly yard upgrades require time and commitment in order to create a more sustainable environment. However, once these changes are implemented, homeowners can enjoy a vibrant, environmentally responsible backyard for years to come.

rethink the lawn

In an area plagued by dry spells and snowfall, maintaining a grassy lawn requires thorough and frequent watering. Although it may not be necessary to say goodbye to a lush backyard, incorporating Xeriscape elements — such as river rock and boulders — and choosing native plant life can help reduce water usage while still looking stylish.

help the pollinators

Pollinators such as bees and butterflies are facing a crisis fueled by irresponsible use of pesticides. Consumers can combat this dilemma on a larger scale by choosing organic, pesticide-free products. On a local level, those with backyards or a patio space can plant a pollinator garden filled with native flowers to add both color to an outdoor area and resources for our flying friends.

harvest rainwater

Some areas in the Front Range permit a rain catchment system, allowing homeowners to collect valuable rainwater to use in the garden or in other outdoor applications. Collecting rainwater reduces the use of water from an outdoor spigot and creates a backup system during times of drought. Check with your local authorities and homeowners’ association before installing rain barrels in your backyard.

// the neighborhood //

Residents of the Front Range are lucky to live amongst a variety of small businesses aimed at creating a less wasteful lifestyle. Below are just a few local organizations equipped with a vision of a better planet.

Homefill Co // RiNo

Nestled into Modern Nomad, a staple of the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, Homefill is a bulk retail store specializing in at-home care and cleaning products that support zero-waste living. BYO container, or select from a variety of reusable vessels.

Zero Market // Edgewater

As its name implies, Zero Market promotes living a zero-waste lifestyle by offering over 1,200 products that are completely waste or package-free.

The Conscious Merchant // LoDo + Louisville
From your bathroom to your kitchen, the conscious Merchant makes being more eco-conscious lifestyle easy, attainable and fun.

Rebecca’s Apothecary // Boulder

Offering everything from bulk tea blends to dried botanicals, Rebecca’s Apothecary has made it possible to take a DIY approach to holistic health. Most products are packaged in recyclable or reusable containers with the option to BYO vessel.

Nude Foods Market // Boulder

Shopping both local and package-free can be a tricky endeavor, but Nude Foods Market has combined these eco-friendly features and provides the additional bonus of delivery by either bike or electric car.

CSA // Everywhere

Participating in a CSA (community supported agriculture) crop share directly benefits local farmers and allows participants to develop a deeper relationship with their food — resulting in less food waste and a more profound impact on the community.