Being a good member of your community involves treating the environment it resides in, kindly. Beyond your recycling you may be curious or even just unaware of the simple ways you can make your home more “environmentally friendly.” Here are a few of those habits you can implement that will contribute to your clean living and give you that peace of mind that you’re doing your part to keep your atmosphere healthy.
Energy efficient appliances not only help your area conserve valuable energy, they also decrease your utility bills! Technological advances have now given us refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, washing machines and more that require less power to run for a fractionally higher investment at purchase. Along with these specially-designed utilities, consider utilizing things like ceiling fans in place of constantly running your air conditioning, or installing motion-sensor lighting to cut down on needless lightbulb usage. Heat pumps are also a great way to regulate the temperature of your home without high-powered central air units pulling huge amounts of power from your local power plant, which burns fuels that go directly into your ecosystem.
Channeling all-natural resources for power is another way to positively reduce your energy emissions. Collect energy from whatever resources you have access to—some coastal towns have connections to ocean turbines, windy areas may have windmill energy for your use. The most worldwide, accessible resource is, of course, the sun! Consider utilizing this easy natural resource by using a solar powered oven, solar water heaters, or solar panels for general power. Especially in recent years, solar energy has become more affordable than ever. It also allows you an independence from locally sourced energy, so if an accident or outage affects the rest of that power grid you will have your own power storage to rely on!
Not only does a decrease in water usage improve the energy levels usually required to route water from resources to your home, it also means that you are contributing less dirty water to dump sites, maintaining their cleanliness. Some energy efficient appliances will do this for you automatically. You can also make conscious changes in your usual habits that will help decrease water usage like taking shorter showers or baths, hand washing dishes and laundry, and collecting the natural rainwater your environment provides for watering your plants (indoor or outdoor) on your dry days!
Your home itself can be an environmentally-conscious building! Using durable, clean and “green” resources ensure that even the building blocks of your property were created and used in a safe way. This involves things like architectural elements to promote effective flow of air, water and energy, the sturdiness and naturality of your building materials, any special eco-promoting elements installed in its original production, and more. Green building also involves using low-VOC paint for your home. VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) contain harmful chemicals that can damage the air and therefore the atmosphere around your home. Using a more natural, low VOC paint will help keep the air in and around your home clean!
As much as possible, reduce the amount of any kind of waste you create in your home. Consider creating your own compost out of discarded organic food material, to be used as a fertilizer for your yard instead of manufactured chemicals. (And use the “first in, first out” rule to make sure you actually eat any leftovers!) Learn to fix broken things rather than discard them entirely. Take advantage of reusable bags, containers, and dishes! Make your payments online rather than with paper-copies. Buy second hand decorations, gadgets and clothing (you can consider it “vintage”!)
Even the area surrounding your house can be made more “sustainable”. As you design a yard for you to enjoy, consider consulting a landscaper to determine what placement of greenery will make for the best growth with the least amount of maintenance. Native plants in your area should thrive with little to no effort on your part, so consider using them as an intentional part of your yard design! Rock beds or mulch also don’t require the water that full sod or soil do, and therefore may be a wise investment. Another popular addition to yards that are extremely eco friendly for many reasons, are gardens! Planting your own produce means you get organically grown fruits or vegetables for a fraction of store bought produce, reduces the waste of traveling to the store and any packaging necessary for preservation, and prevents harmful chemicals from being sprayed into the air and on plants!
Natural, homemade cleaning products created from simple substances will also reduce waste from bottles and containers, and are better for you and the earth! Most recipes for these cleaning solutions involve materials you are likely to already have in your own kitchen! White vinegar, baking soda, Castille soap, cornstarch, water and an essential oil or two to help them smell good are all it takes to create an effective cleaning product fit for your kitchens, windows, bathrooms and more. Keep your home clean and your garbage empty with simple products and reusable bottles and clothes for your cleaning needs.
Leaky faucets, dirty air filters, cracks in ventilation or gaps in windows all mean energy and water are escaping your controlled environment and becoming “wasteful”! Take routine inventory of your home for any damages, large or small, on your property. Maintaining your appliances will also ensure that no extra energy is being spent unnecessarily. During this inventory is also a good time to consider any updates that may make your home more energy efficient and therefore environmentally friendly! Add insulation where necessary, shift your home protection with the changes in seasonal climate, etc.
These steps are simple, but make a huge difference that you will feel!Make your home a property you can be proud of for its functionality as well as it’s positive impact on the area it is in.
Read this next: Top Home Features in High Demand from Buyers