Green Living Tips You Can Apply at Home
People are drawn to a green-living lifestyle for a variety of reasons, whether it's sound environmental practices, cost-savings initiatives, or the opportunity to instill positive values in the younger generation. Fortunately, green living satisfies all of these areas simultaneously, while offering other benefits at the same time.
Because of the amount of time we spend in our homes, creating an environmentally-sensitive house is a way to practice the green-living lifestyle and make a serious impact. The following tips can help you make your home more eco-friendly so you can start living green today.
Pursue Energy Star Options
Replacing outdated appliances or electronics with Energy Star models is a cost-saving, green-living upgrade that doesn't require any change in lifestyle. The bigger the appliance, the larger the savings, but even replacing the home's outdated incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star LED bulbs can save $30-80 over the lifetime of each light.
Create Less Waste
Many waste-creating daily habits actually havegreen-living alternatives. For example, purchasing a durable water bottle eliminates the need for plastic bottled water, and using inexpensive tote bags for shopping errands eliminates the need for plastic bags that will later be thrown away. Pay bills online and look for paperless options to cut back on the amount of waste paper you create, as well.
Source Your Food Locally
The shorter the distance that food travels from the farm to your dinner table, the less energy the journey consumes. Keep an eye out for farmer’s markets and local sections in your supermarket to source locally-produced meat, dairy, and produce. If the food is organic and grown without releasing damaging chemicals into the environment, all the better.
Don't Let There Be Light
Turning off the lights in an empty room is an energy-saving tip that predates the green-living movement, but it remains a good habit to follow for those interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle. In addition, those interested in conserving energy should reserve artificial light for tasks that require it. Opening the curtains to welcome sunlight during the day can often provide all the light that is necessary. At night, try to go as long as possible before finally turning the lights on.
Use Green Cleaning Products
Everyone needs to clean, but some of the cleaning products you purchase at the supermarket can have negative effects on the environment, not to mention your own health.You can concoct healthy, green cleaners using common household items like baking soda and vinegar that will get your home clean and shiny without the harmful side effects.
Embrace Cooler Water
Adjusting the home's water heater to between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit (48 and 54 degrees Celsius) reduces the energy and financial expense required to run the appliance. As a side benefit, you reduce your risk of scalding by using the lower temperature. It’s also more eco-friendly to opt for cold water rather than hot when washing clothing.
Cultivate a Green Yard
Don’t forget the area outside your house when you’re trying to enhance your green lifestyle. Look for plants that don’t require much water, plant trees for shade and wind breaks, and avoid harsh herbicides and pesticides to help cultivate a yard that is more in tune with the surrounding nature.
Eliminate Useless Energy Waste
Even those most dedicated to green living at home waste energy via household items that are not in use. Tour the home and look for leaky faucets that need to be fixed, electronics and chargers that can be unplugged, and computers that need to be completely shut off. All of these adjustments will improve one's green-living lifestyle.
Find Alternatives to Throwing Away
Objects that appear to be past their point of usefulness may have life yet in the hands of someone else. Before throwing the object away,determine if it can be recycled, donated, or even sold to someone else. Lastly,consider whether the item may be repurposed in some way – such as turning a jar into a flower pot or a tire into a swing.
Choose Cloth Over Paper
Whether repurposing old t-shirts as cleaning rags or investing in towels, cloth presents a more eco-friendly alternative to paper. A cloth rag can last for years, whereas used paper gets thrown out immediately. Use cloth towels for cleaning projects, cloth napkins for meals, and cloth diapers for children.
Look for Sources of Green Energy
Electricity produced by wind and solar energy is dramatically more friendly to the environment than using fossil fuels, and renewable generating facilities are expanding rapidly all over the country. That means more opportunities for you touse green energy in your home and know that you’re doing your part to reduce carbon emissions.
Enlist Your Friends and Family
Every person you bring onboard to a green lifestyle multiplies the impact that you can make on your own.Teach your kids about conservation around the house andencourage other friends and family members to think green, and you’ll by surrounded by an eco-friendly community in no time.
These tips can help anyone embrace green living at home, and while the more tactics you pursue, the larger the environmental benefit, any one of these practices can serve as a starting point toward a green-living lifestyle.