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There’s no shortage of benefits to living in an eco-friendly home. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment, will save money, and will be living in a cleaner, more spacious home. It’s all win-win-win, and all it takes to get there is a small amount of effort on your behalf. Below, we take a look at eleven ways you can make sure your home doesn’t use up any more of the earth’s resources than necessary.
Switch it Off
It’s oh so simple to get your eco-mission underway. All you need to do is…switch off your electricals and other items when you’re not using them. It’s tempting to leave a television on standby when you’re off to take a shower, but all you’ll be doing, if you keep it on, is wasting energy and money. And how often do people leave the lights switched on when they leave a room? It happens all the time. If you’re going to be gone for more than four minutes, it’s energy efficient to turn it off. Make sure everyone in your family makes this habit second nature, and you’ll notice that your bills are down in no time.
Upcycle Your Furniture
It’s a rare person who waits for their furniture to break before replacing it. In nearly all cases, all that happens is the homeowner is just a little bored by the look of their decor, and wants to upgrade. But if you’re splashing the cash on new furniture every time you’re no longer thrilled by what you see in your home, then you’re going to end up using a lot of earth’s natural resources – not to mention giving your bank balance a big hit. Instead of buying new, look at upcycling your current furniture. You can make something look newer – and more interesting – just by making a few small alterations. And it’s not just an earth-friendly practice: it can also be super fun, too.
And Buy Vintage
Of course, you’re not going to upgrade your furniture all the time. Eventually, it’ll have to be replaced. But replaced with what, exactly? That’s the question. Instead of automatically heading to your local furniture store, hit up the vintage market. You’ll find plenty of interesting, one of a kind pieces which could add a lot of character to your home. It helps that the vintage look is pretty trendy these days, so you’ll have a stylish as well as an eco-friendly home. Nice!
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Do you know how much energy it takes to grow a vegetable and then transport it hundreds of miles from the farm to the supermarket? It’s a lot. Why not cut down this lengthy process considerably by getting your hands in the dirt in your yard, and planting your own vegetables? It’s nowhere near as difficult as it sounds – it’s as simple as can be. As well as reducing your home’s carbon footprint and saving money, you’ll find that there’s much pleasure that can be derived from cooking and eating a vegetable that you brought into the world, on your own property no less. This is an especially fun activity to do with your children, who are always willing and ready to get their hands dirty.
As well as vegetables, you can also take a look at planting flowers and bushes in your yard. These will do more than just improve the aesthetic quality of your outdoor space: they can be great for the environment. For the eco-world to flourish, it needs to have access to the plants that are native to that area. Just think of all those insects that rely on flowers for food! Have a talk with your local gardening center, and find out which plants are native to your area. Once they’re in the ground, you’ll be doing your bit to help the local life thrive. Perfect!
Keep the Heat In and Out
Your home, first and foremost, needs to be comfortable. You’re not going to choose to make your home eco-friendly over making your home comfortable. Your heating is going to run in the winter, and your a/c is going to run in the summer. However, did you know that you might be using much more energy than necessary to heat and cool your home? It’s all in the windows. If your windows aren’t energy efficient, then the hot and cold air you’re pumping around your property might end up escaping, and disappear into the air. Work with a company like Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement, and have energy efficient windows installed in your home. You’ll notice a reduction in the cost of your energy bills, and you’ll be helping the planet too.
Dry the Natural Way
Many people automatically take their laundry and put it into their dryer, but why? If it’s not raining outside, then it’ll be much better to hang your clothes up outside, and dry them the natural way. This doesn’t just save money and energy: it will help to give your clothes that fresh outdoor scent, which, try as they might, the laundry companies can never quite replicate. It takes a bit longer than putting the clothes in a dryer, but not that much longer, and the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience of the longer drying time.
Recycle Your Trash
You’re going to have a lot of waste in your home, especially if you have a large family. It can’t be helped! But what can be helped is what you do with all that trash. Instead of sending it all to the landfill, divide your trash up into different recycling trash cans, and give them a new lease of life.
Lighting the Way
If you haven’t yet made the switch to earth-friendly LED light bulbs, what are you waiting for? They’re slightly more expensive, but they last a ridiculously long time, and use a fraction of the energy of traditional light bulbs. There’s no reason whatsoever not to make the change!
Low Energy Appliances
Not all appliances are created equally. If you’ve got machines that you bought, say, a decade ago, then the chances are that they use much more energy than newer appliances. If you’ve got a really old machine, then it really might be worth getting rid of it and replacing it with a newer model: there have been great leaps forward made in the energy department in recent years. The money you’ll save will pay for the machine pretty quickly!
Golden Rule: Think about your Actions!
Finally, remember the golden, overarching rule when it comes to reducing your home’s carbon footprint: think! Most everything can be improved upon; you just need to take a look and think about how you can make things better. So take a look at how you’re currently doing things in the home. Can you make your practices more beneficial to the earth and your wallet?
Sooner rather than later, we’re all going to have to think a little bit more about our relationship with the world. If we all made our home as environmentally friendly as possible, then the future of the natural world would look a lot brighter! It’s all about finding ways to tweak our behavior to result in more earth-friendly practices, rather than making wholesale changes. Once you’ve taken the small amount of effort needed to make the changes, you might find that you’re eager to tell your friends all of the ways they can help the planet and save money, too!