It’s starting to get cold outside, and and that’s going to mean more time staying in. Sure, it may sound boring; but after the pumpkin patches and hay rides are over, sometimes you just want to remain cozy within the confines of your own home.
No need to fear staying in: These eco-friendly indoor activities will keep you entertained for hours.
What to do if... you’re not up to visiting the botanical gardens.
Make your own! Start an upcycled terrarium. Terrariums are super easy and fun to make. Make use of a container that you already have in your house and get creative: Anything from old candle jars to chandeliers will do. Depending on what plants you choose, you simply need soil, gravel, and a little bit of moss, and you’re good to go.
Indoor plants, inside a terrarium or not, have benefits beyond decor. Plants reduce carbon dioxide in an enclosed environment (you may remember from elementary school that during photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen) — at least 300 grams for every square meter of a leaf’s surface in the area per year. They improve your indoor air quality, too, by neutralizing some pollutants.
What to do if… you’re alarmingly low on some quality “me-time.”
In the infamous words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle: Treat yourself. Pawnee’s classiest duo had it right on Parks and Recreation. Sometimes, you gotta just get in a little me-time. Give yourself an in-home spa day or a mini-makeover. Start by exfoliating with DeVita Natural Skin Care’s 2-Step Home Alpha Beta Peel Kit to give your skin a new glow. Then give yourself a manicure with a water-based nail polish, like this one from Honeybee Gardens. With a water-based nail polish, you don’t need a harsh acetone-based nail polish remover; simply use rubbing alcohol, vodka or grain alcohol, or Honeybee’s own gentle-but-effective nail polish remover.
What to do when… you’re avoiding the gym, again.
Going to the gym is, for me, the ultimate nightmare. The locker rooms, the hustle and bustle, the sweating freely among strangers — terrifying.. If you are (like I am) always finding new excuses to skip the gym, make your own fitness routine at home. Work on your downward dog with a comfy yoga mat like this one from ThinkSport. The mat is good for all of your Pilates moves, too. And don’t forget to stay hydrated with a reusable BPA-free water bottle.
Working out at home, of course, helps reduce fuel emissions and can give you a new sense of calm.
What to do when… the season of spring cleaning is long gone.
Get busy, and get green around the house, no matter what the season! Instead of focusing on dust, maybe focus on saving energy — the colder months are huge energy sucks, so now’s a great time to cut down on electricity use where possible. Start first with little things, like replacing old incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs use one-third of the energy and last as much as 10 times longer. The replacements will save you money by reducing light bulb changes and reducing your lighting energy costs.
You can also save energy easily by switching to a power strip for your electronics. I plug my television, cable box, and router into a power strip that I turn off whenever I leave the house. This ensures everything powers off, slaying energy vampires.
What to do when… you miss the BBQs.
Cooking is another great way to pass the time indoors, so green that by diverting your food scraps from the landfill. Purchase and cook only what you’ll eat, and make the most of leftovers. You can compost indoors, too. Consider purchasing a counter-top compost bin, or making your own compost bin.