Recently, more and more people are opting to live a more “green living” lifestyle. Green living is being aware of what products, chemicals, and actions can harm the environment, and choosing to use more sustainable options in your everyday life. Many people are unaware of how their everyday decisions can add up and contribute to more environmental pollution, waste, and often cost them more as well. Some simple changes in your home and daily life can make a huge difference in your environmental footprint and can help preserve a healthy environment at home and in your community. Here are some tips on things you can do today for a more green household.
- Update appliances to be more energy efficient. When your appliances are about ready to be replaced, look into energy-efficient or Energy Star appliances to help conserve energy in your kitchen and laundry room.
- Buy reusable water bottles for the family, rather than the single-use plastic water bottles to eliminate waste. Make it more exciting for everyone by getting reusable water bottles in different colors, patterns, and sizes. Plastic water bottles, which mostly end up in landfills, leak chemicals that disrupt ecosystems and it is said that one water bottle can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
- Also to reduce waste, reusable grocery bags are great to eliminate the stash of plastic grocery bags that you have in your closet and helps to reduce the overall number of these plastic bags that will end up in landfills. Bring your reusable grocery bags to the store with you each time to significantly cut down on the number of plastic bag waste. Some stores even give you a discount if you use your own bags! Win! For more bonus points, get reusable mesh bags for your produce as well.
- Wash clothes in cold water to save your water heater from working too hard. Also, lower the temperature on your hot water heater - most times you don’t need your faucets spewing out scalding hot water, so turning it down a little could save you money and could save the environment’s resources.
- Try to donate or repurpose items that you no longer need or want. Using old t-shirts as dish rags or donating household items that you’re no longer using are ideal to cut down on waste and items being thrown out after one use.
- Use cloth towels instead of paper products for cleaning, napkins, etc. Contribute less trash (and therefore less harm to the environment) in your daily life by using cloth napkins, hand towels, cleaning rags, etc. and toss them in the wash (with cold water) with your other items.
- Opt for cleaning products with less harmful chemicals and fragrances that cause irritants. Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing the right natural or green cleaning products for your home? Check out some of our tips.
- Add energy-efficient light bulbs to your shopping list and install them as your current light bulbs blow. Adding energy-efficient light bulbs in each room can significantly cut down on the energy you are using while having the lights on each day. Learn about more ways to lower your electricity bill.
- Turn the lights off when you leave the room & open curtains and use natural light when you can. Not only will the natural light (hopefully sunlight and fewer clouds) brighten your mood, it will also help you save money and resources by not requiring you to turn on all of the lights all day long.
- Always wash out the cans, bottles, and jugs that you are recycling. Anything that still has remnants in the bottom of the recyclable can contaminate the entire batch of recycling, which results in having to throw the entire batch away.
- Support local businesses by shopping at the farmers market. You can get many different things at the farmers market, produce, plants, coffee, treats, and sweets. Take advantage of the experience and the fresh air to walk around your local farmers market and see what you can find.
- Pay your bills online and opt for paperless billing to cut down on paper waste, also making it easier on the mail carriers. It takes a fraction of the time and you’re saving paper waste. Win, win!
- Unplug anything that you’re not using - a good rule of thumb is to unplug it when you’re done using it. Unplug your phone or computer when it is done charging, the coffee machine when your coffee is made, et.c These small changes can make a difference when added up.
- Repurpose leftover glass jars for storage all around the house. Glass jars are great for food storage, keeping utensils organized in your kitchen, your Q-tips and toothbrushes in your bathroom and so much more.
- Make sure you’re recycling your items in the proper ways to reduce the number of recyclable products that end up in the landfill. Pizza boxes with oil leaked into the cardboard, plastic bottles with the plastic cap and plastic ring still on, and containers with any food residue can all contaminate an entire batch of recycling, resulting in the entire batch needing to be tossed out.
- Change your air filters every 1-3 months to keep your HVAC system working efficiently and to clean the air in your home. Learn more on our website!
Having a green household will take time, but by implementing a few of these changes, you will be on your way to helping conserve the Earth’s resources (and saving yourself some money)! What are some other things that you do to be green at home? Share your tips and tricks with us!
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