Consumers around the world are making a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Globally, 66% of shoppers are happy to spend more for eco-friendly products. If you’re looking for ways to go greener, the best place to start is with an eco-friendly home.
It’s easy to overlook the effects of a wasteful lifestyle at home. But with some energy efficient appliances and water conservation techniques, you’ll notice a stark difference on your next utility bill. An eco-friendly lifestyle is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet.
You don’t need bulky renovations or expensive solar panels to have an eco-friendly house. Here are ten easy ways to be ecofriendly at home.
1. Disconnect Devices
Did you know that your devices are still draining electricity, even when they’re switched off? It’s a concept known as standby power — or “vampire” power if you want to put a fun spin on it. Televisions, printers, and other consumer electronics are fond of guzzling energy.
Throughout their lifespan, these devices will consume more energy while idling than they will during actual use. It’s something that costs Americans more than $3 billion every year.
Stop losing money to standby power and unplug all your devices when not in use. It’s an easy step to help your wallet and the environment.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
It’s a common mantra for environmental activists. Recycling may seem old-school, but it’s still one of the most important tools in the ecofriendly arsenal. Recycling saves energy and reduces your carbon footprint.
Learn about recycling programs in your neighborhood and understand what you can recycle — and what you can’t. There’s more to recycling than sorting plastics.
Don’t forget to purchase recycled items as well. These eco-friendly products can make your home even greener.
3. Grow a Garden
No matter where you live, a small garden is great for the environment. Even small plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which reduces your carbon footprint.
Avoid trips to the supermarket and harmful pesticides by growing food in your garden. Or instead, plant vibrant flowers and provide a food source for bees and hummingbirds.
4. Conserve Water
Water scarcity is a serious threat to the environment. Are you guilty of running the water while you brush your teeth, or singing in the shower for half an hour or more?
Reduce the impact of your water use and invest in low-flow appliances, such as toilets and shower heads. Toilets and showers account for nearly half of your home’s water use. These changes alone can make a significant impact and lead to a more eco-friendly house.
5. Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Let’s be real: To be as environmentally friendly as possible, you’d have to toss every electronic device you owned. But you don’t have to give up on modern amenities to live an ecofriendly lifestyle. Instead, you can rely on energy efficient appliances.
These appliances use less energy than their normal counterparts. In America, energy efficient appliances are Energy Star certified. With Energy Star appliances, you’ll save in monthly energy costs and enjoy some minor tax credits.
For example, do you use an air purifier in your home? Energy efficient air purifiers are available. Yosaki’s Hepa Air Purifier List includes some of the most energy efficient air purifiers on the market.
You’ve heard of composting, but do you know what it is? Rather than trashing organic material, you can use it to enrich your garden soil. You’ll throw away less garbage and keep these items out of the landfill.
Since you need yard debris, such as leaves and twigs, it’s the perfect complement for any green thumb. Mix these garden leftovers with organic waste, like fruits, vegetables, and ground coffee. With a bit of water, these items will break down into rich and healthy compost.
7. Hang Your Clothes Out to Dry
Your dryer is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home. After putting your clothes through the wash, take some extra time to hang them on a line outside.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly clothes dry in the warm season. In the winter months, it’s possible to hang clothes inside, but you might have to contend with mold and other factors. At the very least, you can dry your clothes outside for half the year and minimize your carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly homes are well-insulated. Why? Because they save energy by being less reliant on heating and cooling systems. If every room seems to be a different temperature, that’s a good sign that your house would benefit from insulation.
An energy audit can help you pinpoint the problem. During an energy audit, a professional will scour your home and look for poor insulation in your attic, doors, and windows. With their help, you’ll know where to improve the insulation in your home.
9. Try Ecofriendly Cleaning Solutions
Synthetic cleaning products aren’t just bad for your health, but also the environment. When you need to scrub down the shower tiles or mop the floors, consider some natural solutions.
Vinegar and baking soda is a potent cleaning solution for everyday house cleaning. If you don’t want to make your own cleaning mix, many companies create natural and eco-friendly cleaners of their own.
10. Manage Your Kitchen
Much of the waste we produce comes from the food we eat, whether it’s tossing spoiled food or plastic coffee pods every morning. Limit the waste you produce in your kitchen and try to make the most of every ingredient. Buy in bulk for less packaging and always use fresh coffee grounds rather than cups.
Since meat is an extremely insufficient food source, consider cutting down on meat with some tasty and healthy vegetarian alternatives.
Go Green, Save Green
Saving money is one of the best parts of living an ecofriendly lifestyle. If you make even some of these changes at home, you’ll be enjoying smaller bills and a smaller carbon footprint. Couple these green tips with the use of a bicycle or public transportation and the environment will thank you.
There are so many ways to make small, insignificant changes that end up being better for you and the environment. Take a look at our eco-friendly homes section and find more ways to live healthier and happier.