Joy Cho Shares 6 Simple Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly at Home

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Welcome to Healthy Home: This is the moment to double down on making your home as healthy as possible, whether it's finding nontoxic cookware, trying out new natural cleaning methods, or turning your space into a fitness and wellness zone.

Joy Cho is someone who, these days, rarely needs an introduction. Many are familiar with the vivacious, chic, down-to-earth vibe that she applies to everything in her life, from spaces she styles to desserts she makes to the licensed products she creates for brands like Target, Keds, Clé Tile, and Bounty (the new collection is scheduled to launch on July 1 at Sam's Club). Her eponymous blog, Oh Joy!, has been around since 2005, and has grown quite a loyal following on social media. In fact, Joy has the most followed account on Pinterest.

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In the midst of all that color, life, and well, joy, the author and lifestyle expert has been weaving eco-friendly fixes into her daily life, too. With a husband, two young girls, and a couple of doggos in tow, simplicity is naturally a top priority, which is why those environmental tweaks need to be as easy as possible.

The good news is that being more environmentally conscious isn't the huge undertaking you might imagine. With these helpful tips from Joy, you may discover that a sustainable lifestyle is pretty darn effortless.

1. Break things down into doable steps.

Sure, going totally plastic-free and swearing off chemical-laden products are admirable crusades, but these changes, when done cold-turkey, might be harder than you think. That's why Joy recommends taking baby steps to reach those eco-friendly goals — and doing it in a way that feels comfortable to you.

"It doesn't have to be all or nothing, but make gradual steps every day," she advises. "For example, we use cloth napkins when eating meals at home mixed in with paper towels to clean up some of those dirtier spills and messes that we don't want harboring on our cloth towels and would rather just throw away. Think about your needs and where it makes sense to be more sustainable, and take that one step at a time."

2. Avoid anything that’s “fast.”

This tip is as simple as replacing a few things that are currently sitting in your online shopping cart. When shopping for home decor, Joy recommends skipping over "fast fashion" pieces in lieu of better-quality furniture and accessories that can live a longer life. More than likely, you won't be quick to throw these pieces away, and that translates to sustainability.

3. Rethink your paint choices.

Traditional paint has the potential to give off chemicals inside your home, which is why Joy has chosen to go with non-toxic paints instead. Luckily, they can be found in every on-trend hue of the rainbow. Joy is partial to Clare's zero VOC paint for her own home.

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4. Consider solar power.

If your home is a good candidate for solar polar (and it's within your budget), Joy suggests installing panels — and it's actually easier to achieve than you might think. Installed by professionals, they'll likely save you money down the line and it's impactful for the environment.

"It's been amazing running our electricity off the sun," Joy shares. "It's an investment that will pay off for us in the long run."

5. Be a bit more mindful.

One budget-friendly, low-effort way you can go greener is to be mindful of how you live in your home. Joy says, "Whether that's monitoring the amount of electricity you use or recycling whenever you can, small changes you make within your home can have a significant impact on the environment."

6. Support sustainable brands.

In her own life, Joy says that she strives to support brands that make products from recycled materials or encourage their customers to recycle. Nowadays, you can purchase a slew of recycled items that'll fit right into your home, like sofa covers made from cast-off denim, side tables rendered in post-industrial plastic, and even litter boxes derived from recycled plastic.

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Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.