With our environment changing so rapidly, individuals are making changes to be more eco-friendly at home. The best way to combat climate change is by analyzing your daily habits. Where could you start to make a difference? Making your home more eco-friendly benefits the environment and can positively impact your finances and overall well-being. Check out these ways you can go green at home.
One of the most straightforward ways to make an eco-friendly change in your home is by switching out the lighting. Traditional incandescent bulbs tend to use more energy and emit less light, so consider trading any old bulbs for LED lights. With a more brilliant light and less energy usage, you won’t need as many lights around the home, which will help decrease your energy bill over time. Additionally, most modern lights come Wifi-enabled, which gives you full control with the press of a button. Set a timer, so all of the lights turn off at the same time. Forget to turn off the lights before you leave the house? Just pull up your phone and turn them off from wherever you are!
Some of the biggest culprits of excessive energy consumption are your larger appliances such as refrigerators and stoves. Technology has played a significant role in improving for the environment. For example, energy-efficient refrigerators can learn your patterns and only use energy when the door is opened or needed. Some even come with an exterior window, allowing you to look into the fridge without opening the door! The initial investment can be expensive, so you may want to look into financial help, like a home equity loan to fund the upgrade. You can use your home's equity to acquire a lump sum that can help you purchase the new appliances. It may seem like a lot at first, but with your new energy-efficient appliances, you’ll start seeing a drop in your energy bill over time.
Reduce Food Waste
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 30% to 40% of the food supply around the U.S. is wasted on a retail/consumer level. When we waste food, we’re destroying the ecological resources it took to produce, package, transport, and sell these goods. On top of that, wasteful food ends up in landfills, which contributes to methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, further damaging our environment. When shopping, consider taking a list so you only buy what you think you will eat. Any leftovers you have can even be added to another meal. You don’t need to eat less; you just need to eat smarter!
Start to Compost
Another environmentally healthy way to eliminate food items is to start composting. Composting helps enrich the soil, allowing it to retain more water and nutrients. Food scraps such as fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, and nut shells are perfect for composting, but food isn't the only thing you can put in compost. Items such as shredded newspaper, sawdust, and even hair can be composted as well, keeping them out of our landfills and reducing your carbon footprint.
Use Water Appropriately
According to the EPA, an average family can waste upwards of 180 gallons of water daily. But being more water efficient at home comes down to changing habits. In the bathroom, limit yourself to a five-minute shower. Take a look at your old shower head. Is it outdated? Old shower heads can waste up to two and a half gallons of water per minute. Do some research and switch it out with a more water-efficient model. In the kitchen, don’t pre-rinse your dishes; let your dishwasher do all the heavy cleaning. Even consider the number of times you do laundry a week. You might find you can do one or two big loads instead of four smaller ones. Saving water will have a positive impact on the environment, as well as help decrease your monthly water bill.
Being eco-conscious at home is the first step toward a better tomorrow. Take a look at your daily habits to determine where you can implement a greener lifestyle. Even the slightest change can make a big difference to our environment.