Every day, more and more people are becoming more environmentally cautious. Adopting eco-friendly habits will not only help our environment, but it will also help you to save money. Here we list things you can change or update in your home to work towards this goal.
Recycle: In this day and age, the act of recycling is second nature to many households. The simple process of separating our trash from recyclable products, such as cans, jars, cardboard, magazines, etc. keeps unnecessary trash out of landfills and allows for the recyclable products to be processed and used again.
Start Composting: Yet another way to reduce the amount of “trash” going into our landfills is by composting. Many people have shied away from composting because of the smell they associate with rotting food, however this does not have to be a problem if done correctly. Check online or home improvement stores for composting bins, which can be easily stored in your garden or even on your porch.
Purchase recycled products: Whether your purchasing paper towels, toilet paper, or even printer paper, look for and purchase recycled products whenever the option is available.
Transition to reusable products: Swap out your plastic wrap and aluminum foil for reusable containers. Replace your disposable razors for those with replaceable heads. Use dryer balls in place of dryer sheets. Choose rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries.
Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or LED lights:
- CFLs last about ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. Popular choice for home lighting but cannot be used with dimmer switches
- LEDs last up to thirty-five times longer than incandescent bulbs, and two to four times longer than CFLs
- Do not use much energy, whereas incandescent bulbs waste up to ninety percent of their energy as heat
- Remain cool to touch
- Used often in recessed lighting
Install a smart thermostat: By installing a smart thermostat, or programmable thermostat, you can program the times you want the cooling and heating system to come on and off and at what temperature it should be maintained, therefore being able to reduce your carbon footprint and decrease your cooling and heating bills.
Reconsider your water usage: Much like reducing your energy consumption, you can reduce your water usage. Swap out your standard showerhead for a low-flow showerhead; fix any leaks you might have in your kitchen, bathroom or basement; wash all laundry in cold water instead of hot water; turn off the faucet when brushing teeth and washing dishes.
Install solar panels: Solar energy provides clean electricity. Depending on your location, you have the option to lease panels or contract with a company which installs the panels for a pre-determined amount of time, providing you pay that company a contracted amount per kilowatt hour for the energy you use. If you make more electricity than you use, often times you will receive a credit to use towards future bills.
Insulate your home: Be sure to insulate your attic and basement to keep the warmth in during the cold winter months and the heat out during the warmer summer months.
Unplug: Appliances and electronics continue to use electricity even when not in use. The only way to stop this is to unplug these items when they are not being used. For convenience, use a power strip for your electronics and shut the strip down when the electronics are not being used.
Use non-toxic cleaners: With just a bit of research, you can learn to remove harsh chemicals and cleaners and replace them with products such as baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, and citrus. You can also swap out paper towels for micro fiber cloths.
The above examples represent just a small portion of the ways we can transform our existing houses into eco-friendly homes. With a small amount of time and money, the changes you make can in turn make a huge impact on the environment, save you money, and keep your families healthy.