You're not so much worried about damage to the house (although hubs isn't quite as forgiving) so much that he'll chew and swallow something he shouldn't. Indeed you are right to worry because swallowing small objects is a sure fire way for the pup to end up in doggie ER awaiting surgery to remove a foreign body stuck in the gut.
A friend suggested crate training the pup, so that when you can't be there to supervise, you can at least know he's not eating carpet or house plants. It seems a good idea, and something you are keen to know more about.
Of course, there's a right and a wrong way to crate train a dog. The wrong way is to force the dog inside and shut him in against his will. This will serve to make him resentful of the crate and feel stressed when inside.
The right way to crate train is to have the pup discover the crate as a great place to be (hidden treats help a lot) and then praise him for spending calm time inside the crate.