In this day and age, it pays to be green, not only because it’s better for the environment, but also because it’s a great way to save money. And the best part is that it’s not even as complicated or time-consuming as you may think. Read on to discover 10 easy ways in which you can make your home more green.
Use energy-efficient appliances
When looking for a new fridge or washing machine, look for the ones that come with an Energy Star label, as they can reduce your electricity consumption by up to 20% for fridges, 30% for TVs, and 41% for dishwashers.
Even when they’re turned off, some electrical appliances, especially older models, are still using energy. The main culprits are items such as older TVs and desktop computers, stereo systems, and even some kitchen appliances that boast features like built-in clocks. Unplugging any electrical items that are just sitting in standby is a great way to save energy.
Replace light bulbs
Switching from incandescent light bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) can save you up to 66% more energy. Not only that, but CFLs last up to ten times longer. It’s a great way to not only reduce energy waste, but also the amount of waste that ends up in landfills each year.
Proper insulation is one of the most important factors in keeping your home in top condition for years to come. Keeping doors in your home shut maintains a consistent temperature year-round, thus reducing your electricity bills. Installing double-pane windows also helps with insulation, as do carpets, which also provide noise insulation.
Reduce plastic use
Life in plastic is no longer fantastic, not with all the pollution concerns it’s been garnering. Take a moment to do a headcount of all the single-use plastic items in your home, and switch to something more sustainable. Ditch plastic bags for paper or canvas. Go for soap and shampoo bottles that can be refilled, and buy loose fruit and vegetables.
Cook in bulk
Cooking several days’ worth of food at a time is not only a great way of saving energy by not using your oven every day, but it also reduces the amount of produce you throw out because it’s expiring. The food you make in bulk can easily be kept in the freezer and reheated, and you can also take it to work. Bonus point? It’s also an excellent time-saver.
Don’t make a splash
Most of us waste a lot of water on a daily basis, and the main culprit is our cleaning habits. Therefore, the bathroom is an excellent place to start saving water. Grabbing a shower instead of a bath can drastically reduce your water consumption, same as turning the tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving. Installing low-flow fixtures also helps, such as a low-flow showerhead, or toilet. And while you’re in there, check your bathroom for any leaks, and get them fixed.
Grow your own
You don’t need to turn your house into an urban farmstead to be more green. Sometimes, all you need is a couple of pots on the windowsill to grow herbs or low maintenance vegetables, like cherry tomatoes. If you’re buying potted herbs from the supermarket because you enjoy the extended shelf life, go the extra mile and treat them like houseplants, watering them daily to ensure that you have a steady crop throughout the year.
Reduce, recycle, reuse
You’re probably already familiar with this mantra, and putting it in practice is easier than you think. Start off by carefully considering your buying habits, and eliminate any items that you are likely to only use once. Separate your waste responsibly, and whenever possible, try to buy recycled items. Also, before thinking of making a new purchase, remember that being vintage will never go out of style, so make sure you don’t already have something that can be repurposed instead.
It’s cool to be cool
The optimum room temperature is between 66.2°F and 71.6°F, so there’s no need to crank up the heat on the thermostat. In fact, studies have shown that sleeping in a colder room ensures better rest, while also boosting your metabolism. Not only that, but having a lower temperature in your home helps preserve humidity, which will help if you have a blocked nose or a condition like asthma.
Use natural cleaning products
Making your own cleaning products is an excellent way to reduce both plastic waste and also the amount of toxic substances that could end up in the local water supply. The humble baking soda has an outstanding number of uses, from cleaning your teeth and your hair to removing certain stains. On top of that, there are a lot of cleaning products now available on the market that have a green seal, reducing the impact they have on the environment.