Tips and Guides

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home

Help save the planet in your own little ways


Every day, we are bombarded with environmental issues from the media, but we often forget the smaller picture. How can we, in our own little way, do our share in saving Mother Earth? Our individual efforts will eventually add up when we start becoming ecologically conscious at home.

Styling by Arlene Sanchez-Maslog. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("Home Green Home”) in the June 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

Light a green candle.

Most candles are made of paraffin, which is a byproduct of oil refining. Burning candles can release carcinogens as well, and wicks have lead that can release toxic emissions. Try a safer, greener light such as Alice Blue Candles—these are deliciously scented, hand-poured, and made out of safe, eco-friendly soy, a renewable and biodegradable resource, and their wicks are made only out of cotton, paper, or hemp.

Set up a home recycling center.

Make it part of everyone’s job to separate and segregate.

Here’s how:

  1. Find a good location. Choose a convenient spot that will make it easy for your family to make recycling part of your everyday routine. It can be your kitchen, hallway, basement, or garage.
  2. Select storage containers. Get containers to cover the categories you want to sort your items into and label them. Call your local recycling center and find out which items they accept.
  3. Keep it clean. Protect your storage area from insects and rodents, and keep containers covered and clean. Take the stuff to the recycling centers frequently, so there is no build-up. 

Give an incentive.

Having a hard time teaching your family or househelp to segregate? Give them a push by letting them keep the money earned from selling the recyclables.

Use earth bags.

Take along your own earth bags (if it’s foldable, it’s easier to put in your purse), reusable water bottles and even home-cooked food whenever you leave the house, and insist that cashiers stash the goods in your tote and not in plastic—hopefully, you’ll inspire others to do the same!

Re-use coffee grounds.
  • Use as fertilizer: Scatter grounds around the base of your plant and press down. These can also be sprinkled on your lawn.
  • Turn them into an odor-eater: Dry grounds thoroughly. Place them in clean netting, tie, and use as an odor absorber for your ref.
  •  Deodorize your hands with them. Keep it in a small container, and rub onto your hands to remove the smell of onion or fish.
Re-use plastic water bottles.

It takes 450 years for these pesky plastic water bottles to break down or decompose.

Here are some tips on how to use them and keep them out of the landfills a little longer.

  • You may use it as a Sick-Pack: Fill the bottle with water. Pop it in the freezer and have an ice pack ready when needed. Just wrap it in a thin towel and it’s good to go.
  • Or as a Kitty toy: Fill a clean, empty water bottle with rice or multi-colored stones, seal the cap and you’ve got a new toy for kitty.

Latest Stories

This Art Festival In Pasig Is Free To The Public

The first ever Ortigas Art Festival features paintings, installations, and art classes all within a community mall

8 Things to Remember When Visiting Art Galleries

Make sure you turn off your camera's flash

This Online Store Sells Pretty Woven Planters and Handmade Items

The plus side? Buying a piece helps local weavers and craftsmen, too!

The Best Divisoria Shopping Tips for 2018

Here’s our ultimate, updated guide on how to navigate Divisoria, the best bargain shopping spot out there

5 Renovating Mistakes To Avoid

DIY can only go so far—sometimes, you need the help of a pro

Get Ready to Shop: MUJI Is Lowering Their Prices

It starts today so run to a store near you!

A 100sqm Coffee Shop-Inspired Home

To turn this home in Singapore into a cozy haven, designer Kuay Mei Yee of Distinct Identity perfectly mixed Scandinavian and industrial details

5 Household Uses For Silica Gel Packets

Those tiny things you see in boxes of shoes and new bags go a long way

Smart Tips For Styling Mismatched Furniture From A Decorator

Take a quick lesson on asymmetry with these tips

Bathroom Picks For High, Mid, or Low Budgets

Because you can have a stylish bathroom, regardless of the price points!

7 Resort-Inspired Design Ideas for Your Home

Turn your house into an idyllic escape with these simple but striking styling tricks inspired by the beauty of Bali, Indonesia
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!