We know we should be kinder to Mother Earth and do our part to give back, yet are we doing anything on a daily basis to contribute? Whether you are looking to completely change up your home to support the environment, or you just want to do a little something here and there to ease into it, there are many actions you can take. Our homes require the use of a lot of energy, water, and many household products.
Here are just a few small and simple, yet effective ways, to reduce your impact on the earth by starting from home:
Recycle: This is old news, but it definitely still applies. Most cities have recycling programs, so set aside a separate trash bin for the recyclables. Be sure to wash out foods and liquids that were previously housed in the containers.
Replace Light Bulbs: Save 66% of energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL). You can also save 400 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions for EACH light bulb trade. Bonus: Switching bulbs also help lower the temperature in your house.
Unplug When Not in Use: You can save up to 15% on energy consumption by unplugging devices (curling irons, TVs, and even toasters) when they are not in use.
Use Natural Sunlight: Rather than turning on lights in the daytime, open the blinds and take advantage of natural light. It will also heat up the room, saving heat energy. To get the most of your natural sunlight, consider applying tinting treatments on the windows.
Bamboo: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. This makes it much easier to replenish than other kinds of wood. Choose bamboo for hardwood floors and other materials.
Keep Fridge in the Shade: When the fridge is in direct sun from the windows, it has to work harder to stay cool. Keep it out of direct sunlight for more efficient energy consumption.
Buy Low-Energy Appliances: Replace your current appliances with low energy models. These can use 10-50% less energy than older models.
Faux Wood Blinds: Faux wood blinds do not have as much of an environmental impact as wood blinds because the materials are synthetic. So when updating your blinds, opt for faux wood.
Clean with Vinegar: This is a great substitute rather than using harmful chemicals. For extra tough cleaning, preface the surface with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
Essential Oils: Use essential oils for fragrances around the house rather than spraying chemicals.
Houseplants: Plants recycle air naturally – that is what they are made to do! Add more to your home to improve the air quality in any room.
Organic Sheets: 25% of the world’s insecticide use is used for cotton to make sheets. Opt for organic or bamboo to minimize this demand.
Turn Off the Tap: About 48 gallons of water are lost a week from leaky faucets. When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn the water off when you are not actively using it.
Low Flow Toilets: Flushing the toilet accounts for 30% of all water use in your home. Replace your toilet with a low flow model to reduce this usage.
Low Flow Showerheads: You can save up to 15-25 gallons of water per day just by switching out your showerhead to a low flow model.
Shower: Opt for a shower instead of taking a bath, as showers require only 14% the amount of water needed for a bath.
Hang Dry: Hang dry your wash as much as possible to reduce carbon emissions that come from using the dryer.
Concentrated Detergent: The development of concentrated detergent has reduced its carbon footprint because transportation costs have been reduced due to the smaller amount of packaging needed. Support this cause by buying concentrated detergent.
Choose Native Landscaping Options: Plant vegetation native to the area in your yard to protect the local environment.
Use Homemade Pesticides: If you have your own garden, consider making your own pesticides, such as garlic oil spray or a chopped tomato leaf spray, rather than using ones made from harmful chemicals.
These suggestions are small and will most likely take little effort for you to make the switch. However, you can make a difference and even save some money in the process too.