Everyone is responsible for reducing the human impact on our environment. You can take actions in your own home to help with this effort. And an added benefit is the money you save goes right back into your wallet! Check out these nine ways to help make your home eco-friendly.
1. Use LED lightbulbs
Did you know LED lightbulbs last nearly a decade and they’re 85 percent more energy efficient than regular light bulbs? So you can lower your energy footprint and save money by changing your lightbulbs!
2. Invest in programmable thermostats
It’s no secret you should power down your heat or air conditioner when you leave the house. But we’re all busy and sometimes forget. By investing in a programmable thermostat, you can set your home’s temperature for specific times of the day. During the winter, keep your home cool while you’re at work. Then, an hour before you get home, set the temperature higher so when you walk in the door it’s nice and toasty. Not only is this good for our environment, but it will save you money on heating costs.
3. Choose energy-efficient appliances
It’s never fun when one of your appliances breaks, but look at the bright side. Now, you can purchase an appliance with increased energy efficiency. Check to make sure Energy Star has certified it, as this indicator lets you know the product is truly energy efficient. Then check with your electricity provider to see if there are any cost savings associated with your purchase!
4. Stop air leaks
Preventing air leaks is easy. Just add weather stripping around doors and caulk around windows. This will inhibit cold air from entering, and warm air from exiting, your home in the winter. And the reverse happens in the summer, which regulates your heating and cooling systems so they don’t work as hard. If weather stripping and caulking don’t improve your energy bills, you may need to consider replacing old windows with newer, more energy efficient windows. Explore other home improvements to help save money on your utility bills.
5. Start composting
Composting can save approximately 277 pounds of waste per person each year. Many people think composting is difficult or unpleasant so they avoid it. Ironically, the decomposition of organic matter (food scraps) is often happening in plastic garbage bags across the U.S. Composting just means spreading this material into soil. When food waste decomposes above ground, it’s exposed to oxygen and adding it to the soil acts as a fertilizer. But when these scraps don’t have access to oxygen (in landfills), they release harmful gas into the environment. So, start composting today!
6. Minimize water use
Remember when you were a kid and your parents yelled for you to get out of the shower already! That’s because they didn’t want you to waste water. But nowadays, you can purchase low flow showerheads. They perform the same as regular shower heads, but help conserve water. Check out the selection at your local home improvement store.
7. Explore solar panels
The U.S. solar market continues to grow and the upfront cost for solar panels is more reasonable than ever. With solar purchase power agreements and solar leasing, you can now purchase solar panels with minimal money down. And eventually these panels can bring savings of upwards of 100 dollars per month. Not only is this a great source of renewable energy and monthly cost savings, but it also increases the value of your home. Don’t forget to check out other ways to increase your home’s value.
8. Try eco-friendly household cleaners
Many of the leading household cleaners contain toxic chemicals. Some studies find they can be as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. These chemicals are also harmful to the environment. These two reasons alone should persuade you to try green alternatives. Luckily, there are a variety of reasonably priced green household cleaning options on the market. And an added benefit: many of them smell great.
9. Think about reusable water bottles, cups, and utensils
Take a look around and you’ll notice some people have switched from plastic water bottles and Styrofoam coffee cups to reusable ones. This is great, but you can do more.
Think about trying reusable bamboo utensils. They don’t absorb flavors and are resistant to stains and heat so you can throw them right into the dishwasher. Once again, this alternative is great for the environment and your wallet.
Do you see a theme here? When you help the environment, you also help yourself by saving money. So start trying these options and see which ones stick. You might be surprised!