Being more eco-friendly is a conscious decision more and more people are making in their lives and their homes.
Studies show around 70% of homebuyers are seeking eco-friendly features, for example. Homeowners are opting to upgrade their property with features like energy-efficient appliances and solar panels.
Even if you don’t want to spend a lot and invest in major upgrades, there are still things you can do around the house and in your daily life to reduce your carbon footprint and be more aware of your environmental impact.
Wash Clothes In Cold Water
Around 90% of the energy you use when you’re doing laundry goes to heating the water. A simple way to fix this issue in seconds is to wash everything in cold water. Cold water is actually better for the longevity of your clothes, and you’ll have the added bonus of saving on your monthly utility bills.
Get Bins for Recycling and Composting
If you don’t already have a dedicated bin for recyling, or you don’t participate in your community’s recycling options, start as soon as you can. Around 75% of what we throw away could actually be recycled, yet only around 30% actually gets recycled.
When you commit to composting at home, you’ll have an organic material that you can add to soil which will help your plants grow.
You can use both food scraps and yard waste, which otherwise makes up 30% of what gets thrown away.
You can keep these items and materials out of the landfills because when they’re there, they release methane and take up space.
Composting requires three ingredients. There are browns, which are materials like branches, twigs, and dead leaves. Greens include fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, and grass clippings. Then, the third required ingredient is water.
You can also compost eggshells, teabags, cardboard and paper, hay and straw, wood chips, and even fireplace ashes.
You can compost outside, but if you don’t want to do that, there are also special bins you can buy for the indoors.
Cut Costs on Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling are the biggest reason your utility bill soars, and this also affects the environment negatively.
There’s plenty you can do requiring minimal effort to cut your heating and cooling costs and simultaneously be more environmentally conscious.
Start by checking the seals on your windows and doors as well as your appliances. When you have a bad seal, it lets energy leak out.
Then, repair any leaky ductwork, and set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you’re sleeping or away from home.
You could lower your annual heating and cooling expenses by as much as 10% if you reduce the temperature every night while you sleep. A programmable thermostat makes it easy for you.
Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer. The fridge should be set at 38 degrees and keep the freezer between 0 and 5 degrees. These temperatures maintain fresh food, but it’s less work for the appliance to keep up to maintain the temperature.
Your lights and electronics in your home make up around 11% of your overall energy usage.
You can save around $75 annually if you switch out the bulbs in five of the light fixtures you use most often. LED bulbs or compact fluorescents with the Energy Star label are the best choices.
Installing dimmer switches on your lights, or at least your most used fixtures, helps you adjust the light to just what you need.
A smart power strip is something you can plug your electronics and devices into, so the current is then cut off when they’re not being used.
Buy a Reusable Bottle Water
Reusable bottle waters are better for your health because you can choose a material like stainless steel that won’t leech toxins like a plastic bottle with BPA will.
You’re also helping the environment. Otherwise, plastic bottles can take more than 450 years to decompose.
Consider Using a Clothesline
If you have a clothesline, you can dry your clothes outside when the weather is nice. Air-drying can significantly reduce your household carbon footprint, and you’re going to save a lot of money on your energy bills.
Finally, the food you eat can also help or hurt the environment.
Try to find organic foods when you can because it requires significantly less energy to produce these items. Locally-grown food also helps the environment because it reduces the energy required to transport items long distances.
If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can lower your food costs and throw out less. Food takes a lot of energy and resources to produce and transport.