Green Tour: Entry (Part 1)

Welcome, come on in!

The next stop on the green tour is the entry.

Oh wait, don’t forget to take off your shoes!

I think it’s a must to have everyone who enters your home remove their shoes, especially if you live in an urban area. Did you know that having a place to sit down near the entry to remove shoes and store them is one of the requirements in order to get LEED certification? (In case you don’t already know, LEED is an “internationally recognized green building certification system” developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.) Removing your shoes will have a significant impact on the quality of the air in your home, not to mention how much cleaning your floors require!

Some people worry about offending their guests. In all the years that we have been doing this, no one has ever been upset. Every once in a while people ask why, but when I tell them what comes in on our feet effects our (and our cats’) health, it’s never been a problem. When our cats all ended up with hookworms, I asked the vet how on earth they got them as indoor only cats and the answer was, “they probably came in on the bottom of someone’s shoe.” Ew.

Anyway, here’s how I get people to take their shoes off! Instead of demanding people remove their shoes, I keep a pair of shoes that easily slips on and off under the bench. When someone rings our bell, I buzz them in through the downstairs door, slip on the shoes and meet them in the middle of the two flights of stairs. When we get up to our front door, I sit down, take off my shoes and put them away. Most people will start taking their shoes off when they see me taking mine off. If they don’t, I’ll either ask polietly or offer them one of the many pairs of slippers we keep handy in the winter.

What about you?

Do you wear shoes in your home? Do you have any other tips for getting your guests to remove their shoes?