Go Greener at Home

8 Easy Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home

By SaleCore BIZ

The idea of making your home environmentally-friendly can be overwhelming. While many people associate going-green with inconvenient and expensive lifestyle changes, there are a number of economical and easy adjustments you can make around the house to reduce landfill waste, clean the air, and preserve the natural landscape. Begin with the small things, and over time you can take bigger steps to building an energy-efficient home, and significantly shrinking your carbon footprint. Being eco-wise is not only good for your home and the earth, but your budget as well. Following are several tips toward achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.

A bright living room with many green plants

1. Fill Your Home with Plants

Not only are house plants aesthetically pleasing, but adding plants to your home is a wonderful way to improve air quality. Plants perform photosynthesis, through the removal of carbon dioxide in the air, transforming it into oxygen. Some house plants can reduce other pollutants in the air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and mercury, which can cause health problems like dizziness, headaches, and eye irritation.

A happy woman preparing fresh fruits and veggies at home

2. Eat Environmentally

Developing eco-friendly eating habits can make a difference for both your body and the earth.

  • Buy foods with minimal packaging, and avoid plastic or bottled beverages.
  • Grow your own produce, eliminating the emissions that come from the transportation of goods to your local markets.
  • Plant herbs in small pots and keep inside close to a sunny window.
  • Cook more meals, controlling how much food is prepared, and therefore the amount of waste.
Natural ingredients to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products

3. Use Natural Cleaning Products

Making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products helps reduce harmful chemicals that are being released into the environment, creates better air quality, and creates a safer home. Natural cleaning products are just as effective, and you can easily make your own using items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon or lime juice.

Personal placing banana peel in compost bin

4. Create Recycling and Compost Centers

Recycling and composting both keep many tons of materials out of municipal landfills.

  • Place a recycling bin where convenient to easily recycle glass bottles, jars, paper, and other items.
  • Use a compost bin for food waste and help reduce methane emissions from landfills. Dispose of fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, loose leaf tea, cooked pasta and rice, and more. It will also give you free fertilizer for your plants and garden.
A plant emerging from a small pile of torn paper

5. Pass on Paper

Paper makes up 40% of the waste dumped in landfills. Taking a few small steps can make a big difference.

  • Ditch wasteful paper towels and use sustainable alternatives, such as cloth and linen rags.
  • Switch to cloth diapers, or combine with disposables (one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill annually).
  • Pay bills online, a more environmentally friendly option that also reduces paper clutter.
  • Use reusable totes when grocery shopping, significantly decreasing paper (and plastic) waste.
Close up of a dripping kitchen faucet

6. Be More Water Conscious

We are all accustomed to having a steady supply of clean water and often take this for granted. Reducing our water usage will help keep the environment healthy and prevents air pollution from energy used to treat, pump, and heat water.

  • Fixing leaky kitchen and bathroom faucets (or toilets) can significantly cut the water waste your home produces.
  • Shortening your showers by just one minute can save up to 150 gallons of water per month.
  • Pre-washing your dishes is a waste of both water and time. Scrape leftover food into compost bin, and put straight into dishwasher.
  • Filling your dishwasher all the way, and running it in the middle of the night during "off-peak hours".
  • Embracing cold water for your laundry reduces energy consumption and financial expenses. By using the cold water setting on your washing machine, you can eliminate up to 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
  • Buying a water filter will instantly save time, money, and helps reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles that end up in the landfills.
  • Maintaining your water heater by lowering the temperature by just a few degrees will save a lot of energy.
  • Collecting rainwater to water your house plants and garden will have a positive impact on sustainable living and conserving water outdoors.
  • Installing low-flow showerheads and toilets will decrease your home’s water consumption, save energy, lower annual heating costs, and reduce your monthly water bill.
A light bulb standing in soil with a leaf and coins beside it

7. Consume Less Energy

Consuming less power reduces the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources and protect ecosystems from destruction.

  • Switch to LED or CFL Lights. You will not only use less electricity, but they last longer, are eco-friendly, and they help you save money in the long run.
  • Utilize natural lighting as long as possible during the day, and turn off the lights when not in use.
  • Unplug unused chargers and appliances, and use power strips for ease.
  • Line-drying your clothes can reduce your household carbon footprint by nearly 2,400 pounds a year.
  • Hand-drying your dishes can cut your dishwasher's energy use by up to 50 percent.
  • Installing solar panels is the cleaner and a more sustainable alternative power source. Solar panels don’t produce greenhouse gases which helps combat the negative effects of climate change.
User controlling HVAC through an app on their tablet

8. Control the Heating and Cooling in Your Home

One area that shows a lot of potential for decreasing the environmental impact of your property is to control the heating and cooling in your home.

  • Invest in a smart thermostat to reduce energy waste, and allow you to monitor and control your temperature.
  • Seal air leaks around your house by caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping all openings and cracks.
  • Upgrade curtains and blinds to help maintain heat and cool temperatures in your home.
  • Insulate heating ducts and attic to save money on heating bills and conserve energy throughout your home.
  • Install an attic fan to reduce the amount of energy spent on heating and cooling your home, and reduce the potential for moisture buildup in your attic.
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