Making a change and going green is the latest lifestyle trend that many are making to help conserve energy and prevent air, water, and noise pollution. While reducing, reusing, and recycling are very important and simple ways to be kinder to our Earth, they aren't the only ways to make a meaningful and lasting impact. Read on for a few additional changes you can make now for a more eco-friendly home.
1. Use technology.
If you’ve been wanting to ditch your old thermostat for a smart one, the winter season is the perfect time to take advantage of the energy and cost savings. Smart thermostats are an eco-friendly option, as they typically have settings to automate temperature controls based on your past usage or a schedule you create.
You can also access your thermostat remotely to decrease use while you’re away. Additionally, consider upgrading other appliances to their energy-efficient counterparts, such as LED lights and energy-efficient refrigerators, to further reduce your carbon footprint.
Stay energy-efficient in the summer with these cost-cutting tips for your summer bills.
2. Switch to reusable products.
From paper towels and storage bags to wraps and grocery bags, there are reusable versions of most kitchen staples available these days. Consider living a green lifestyle by making a sustainable swap and implementing things like the following into your everyday life:
- Cloth towels
- Beeswax wraps
- Silicone food bags
- Mesh produce totes
The bonus? You’ll produce less waste and avoid the hassle of constantly purchasing replacements. Extend this practice beyond the kitchen to your personal care items, opting for reusable cotton rounds, bamboo toothbrushes, and refillable soap dispensers to reduce plastic waste.
3. Look for the ENERGY STAR Rating.
In the market for a new appliance, TV, or light bulbs? Always look for the government-backed ENERGY STAR rating and logo when purchasing.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the ENERGY STAR program has helped Americans save more than four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions since 1992.
This extends beyond home appliances; installing ENERGY STAR-rated windows and doors are sure to improve your home's energy efficiency.
4. Go digital.
Believe it or not, junk mail makes up about 6% of annual paper waste in the United States--over 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered annually! Opting out of unnecessary mail, unsubscribing from magazines you don’t read, and paying your bills online are digital habits you can adopt that'll make a big difference for the environment.
Plus, consider exploring digital options for entertainment, such as e-books, streaming services, and online newspapers, reducing the need for physical copies and the associated environmental impact.
5. Be mindful of water use.
Water is essential, and we all use and need it daily; however, it’s crucial that you do your part and ensure you aren’t using water in excess. Upkeep an eco-friendly home by doing things like turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth, collecting rainwater to water your lawn, and fixing a leaking faucet to decrease your home’s water usage significantly.
Want to take it a step further? Install low-flow faucets and toilets to conserve even more water.
6. Start a garden.
The benefits of gardening are endless—for your health and the environment. Starting a backyard garden is a great way to stay active and reduce your energy costs, noise pollution, and carbon footprint.
Getting fresh, home-grown food is a delicious and rewarding bonus, too! Plus, research composting as a way to reduce kitchen waste and enrich your garden soil, closing the loop on organic matter.
Food waste is likely one of biggest sources of waste in your household. Check out how to reduce food waste with our article, "The Food Re-Cycle: Tips for Reducing Food Waste in Your Kitchen."
7. Invest in renewable energy sources.
Think about installing solar panels on your property to harness the power of the sun and generate clean, renewable energy. While the initial investment may seem significant, the long-term benefits include reduced electricity bills and a smaller environmental impact.
Many regions offer incentives and rebates for installing solar panels, making it a financially viable and environmentally responsible choice.
Eco-Friendly Home: Go Green, Save Our Planet
Embracing a green lifestyle goes beyond the simple act of recycling. By incorporating eco-friendly practices into your daily routine, such as upgrading to a smart thermostat, opting for reusable alternatives, choosing Energy Star-rated appliances, and more, you contribute to the well-being of our planet. Take it a step further and see how to recycle almost anything, like batteries, lightbulbs, and more.